Prayer of Manasseh, King of Judah
From Great Compline
O Lord, Almighty, the God of our Fathers, of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and of their righteous seed; Who created the heaven and the earth with all their adornment; Who bound the sea by the word of Your command; Who shut up the abyss and scaled it with Your awesome and glorious name; Whom all things dread and before Whose power they tremble, because the majesty of Your glory is unbearable and the threat of Your anger against sinners is unendurable; yet the mercy of Your promise is both immeasurable and unfathomable, for you are the Lord most high, compassionate, long-suffering and all merciful, Who repents towards the wickedness of man.
You, Lord, in the multitude of Your goodness promised repentance and forgiveness to those who have sinned against You, and in Your infinite compassion appointed repentance for sinners that they may be saved.
Therefore, Lord, the God of the powers, You have not appointed repentance for the righteous, for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who have not sinned against You, but You appointed repentance for me the sinner, for I have committed more sins than the grains of the sand of the sea.
My transgressions have multiplied, Lord; my transgressions have multiplied, and I am not worthy to look up and see the height of heaven from the multitude of my iniquities, being weighed down by many iron chains, so that I cannot raise my head; there is no respite left for me because I provoked Your anger and committed evil before You, not having done Your will and not having kept Your commandments.
And now I bend the knee of my heart, beseeching Your goodness: I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressions; but I beg and ask of You: Forgive me, Lord, forgive me and do not destroy me with my transgressions; do not be angry with me forever and keep my evils in me, and do not condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you are the Lord God, the God of those who repent, and in me You shall show all Your goodness; for even though I am unworthy, You shall save me according to the multitude of Your mercy, and I shall praise You without ceasing all the days of my life. For every heavenly power sings your praises, and Yours is the glory unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer of Repentance to Jesus Christ
Based on a 15th century prayer from the Greek tradition
Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, the only merciful One and quick to forgive, the Fountain of mercy and the overflowing Wellspring of love for mankind; Who did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Receive me, You Who commanded Peter, the first among Your disciples and Apostles, to forgive sins until seventy times seven, showing Your immeasurable goodness and love for mankind, and mercifully and patiently opening the door of repentance to all who have sinned, granting them time to return to You and banishing despair.
Lord Jesus Christ, Guide of the erring, Correction of the fallen, Hope of the hopeless, Comfort of the oppressed; receive me as I return to you with tears and sighs, as I repent for my transgressions and ask for forgiveness. Bow down to my prayers and supplications. Show mercy to me as the merciful One, have compassion on me as the longsuffering One, have pity on me as the Lover of mankind, and forgive me for all that I have sinned against You. Receive me, Your servant, as I thank You for not letting me perish in my transgressions. I ask You for the loosening of my trespasses, and for perfect redemption and forgiveness from Your goodness. From now on I bow down before You and I entreat You with compunction: strengthen me in Your faith, in the hope that lasts, and in Your love. Guard me unmoved by the plots and assaults of the evil one, so that wickedness does not throw me into the depth of destruction, and so that I do not become the prey of the enemy.
My God, uphold me to do Your will and to fulfill Your commandments. I turn only to You, Master Christ, for in You I live and I move. Only through You do I exist, even though I have sinned more than all. Purify my mind of the passion for material things, of idle thoughts, of impure and evil memories and thoughts which grip me, choke me, and envelop me now. Wash me thoroughly of sin’s defilement, and purify me of all sinful stench, of impurity and defilement of soul and body. And grant me steadfast quiet and deep stillness of thoughts; so that through all these things, delighting in Your blessings, in Your longsuffering and abundant goodness, and obtaining Your divine mercy, I may thank You, praise You, and glorify Your Most Holy Name, and that of Your Father Who is without beginning, and Your Most Holy and good and life creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
From the Apanthisma,
published in 1799 by St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite
O Holy Spirit, Who alone are good, all holy, and life creating, I fall down before You, guilty of every evil deed and worthy of every punishment. I beg You, my Lord and my God, the always existing and unending Life, the true and unwaning Light; do not let me be destroyed by the adversary to the very end, but reign in me, O You the all-powerful and incomprehensible Power; the full, unlimited, and unsurpassable Dominion; complete Goodness and Cause of all that is good and beneficial; Who restores all of creation to life; through Whom the weak are strengthened, from Whom comes our second birth, our second formation, and all of our knowledge; through Whom we are illuminated to see the Lord, our Redeemer and Saviour; through Whom all things live and breathe.
Ineffable Wisdom, Knowledge higher than sense perception, incomprehensible Brightness, full Life, full Power, full Glory, the God of all, the caregiving and merciful One.
Grant me to be wholly Yours and from now on to live according to Your will. Raise my members crushed by sin. Enlighten my heart darkened by evil desires, and resurrect my soul slain by sins. Make the towering waves of passions subside. Deliver me from the enemy who overpowers me within and without. Deliver me from all evil works, forgive all my iniquities, and fill me with Your perfect love.
Inscribe the name of Your servant in the Book of life and grant me a good end, so that being victorious over the devil, I may worship before the throne of Your Kingdom without shame. O Master, make my heart Your good soil, so that it may receive the good seed and Your Gift may bedew in it the dew of eternal life. Return, o my soul, to your rest through fasting! Return, o my soul, to the gates of heaven through suffering and pain! May my soul find itself, O Lord, in Your ineffable light together with all Your Saints. Therefore, Master of all, the infinite and inconceivable One, listen to me, Your vile and unworthy servant; help me to follow and remain on the narrow and difficult way, so that I may become worthy of attaining to Your promises, and I may cry into the exultation of heaven: Glory to the immortal Father, and the immortal Son, and the immortal Holy Spirit; great honor and worship is due to Them, to the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer to the Most Holy Theotokos
By Saint Ephraim
Translated by the Very Rev. Archimandrite Maximos Constas
From Mother of Light: Prayers to the Theotokos (New Rome Press)
O All-holy Lady Theotokos, you alone are wholly pure in soul and body. You alone transcend all purity, chastity, and virginity. You alone fully became the dwelling place of the fullness of the grace of the All-Holy Spirit, incomparably transcending even the bodiless angels in the purity and sanctity of your soul and body. Look upon me, who in my soul and body am polluted, defiled, and impure because of my passion-ridden and pleasure-loving way of life. Purge my mind of passions. Purify me and recall my thoughts, which wander blindly in the dark. Teach my eyes to see, and guide and direct all my senses. Free me from the tyranny of my evil and shameful attachments and passions. Make me cease from all active sinning. Grant vigilance and discernment to my darkened and wretched mind so that my misdeeds and wrongdoings might be corrected, and, being released from the darkness of sin, I might be found worthy to glorify and praise you with boldness of speech, because you alone are the true Mother of the True Light, Christ our God; for with Him, and for His sake, you alone are blessed and glorified by all creation, visible and invisible, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Prayer for Deliverance from the antichrist
By Saint Anatoly the Younger of Optina (d. 1922)
Deliver me, O Lord, from the deceptions of the God-hating and evil antichrist, whose coming is at hand, and shelter me from his snares in the secret desert of Your salvation. Grant me, O Lord, strength and courage to firmly confess Your Most Holy Name, that I may not abandon You because of fear of the devil, and that I may not deny You, my Saviour and Redeemer, nor Your Holy Church.
Grant me, O Lord, tears and lamentation for my sins, and spare me, O Lord, in the hour of Your Dread Judgement. Amen.
Prayer for the World
By Saint Silouan the Athonite (d. 1938)
O Lord, set us right, as a tender mother corrects her little children. Give every soul to know the joy of Your coming, the power of Your help. Refresh the suffering souls of Your people, and teach us all to know You in the Holy Spirit.
The soul of man languishes on earth, O Lord, unable to find strength in You through the mind because she does not know You and Your goodness. The cares of this world overshadow our minds, and we cannot comprehend the fullness of Your love. Do enlighten us. To Your compassion all things are possible.
You proclaimed in Your Holy Gospel that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and shall live. Make our dead souls hear Your voice this day, and come to life.
Tell the world, O Lord: “The sins of all men are forgiven,” and they will be forgiven. Hallow us, O Lord, and all men will be made holy by Your Spirit, and all Your people will glorify You on earth, and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, for to You all things are possible.
Prayer at Daybreak
By Saint Sophrony Sakharov (d. 1993)
O Eternal Lord and Creator of all things, in Your inscrutable goodness You have called me into this life and have given me the grace of baptism and the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit. You have instilled in me the desire to seek Your face. Hear my prayer!
I have no life, no light, no joy, no strength, no wisdom without You, O God. Because of my unrighteousness, I dare not lift my eyes in Your presence. But I obey You Who said: Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11) Truly, truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father He will give it to you in My name. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16) Therefore I now dare to approach You. Purify me from all stain of flesh and spirit. Teach me to pray rightly. Bless this day which You give to me, Your unworthy servant. By the power of Your blessing enable me at all times to speak and to act with a pure spirit to Your glory; with faith, hope and love, humility, patience, gentleness, peace, purity, simplicity, sobriety, courage and wisdom. Let me always be aware of Your presence.
In Your boundless goodness, O Lord God, show me Your will and grant me to walk in Your sight without sin. O Lord, unto Whom all hearts are open, You know what I need and what is necessary for me. You know my blindness and my ignorance. You know my infirmity and corruption. My pain and anguish are not hidden from You. Therefore I beg You: Hear my prayer and teach me by the power of Your Holy Spirit the way in which I should walk. And when my perverted will leads me otherwise, O Lord, do not spare me, but force me back to Your way. Grant me, Lord, to hold fast to what is good by the power of Your love. Preserve me from every word and act which corrupts the soul, and from every impulse that is unpleasing in Your sight and harmful to the people around me. Teach me what I should say and how I should speak. If it be Your holy will that I be quiet and make no answer, inspire me to be silent in a peaceful spirit that causes neither harm nor hurt to my fellow human beings.
Establish me in the path of Your commandments, and until my last breath do not let me stray from the light of Your ordinances. May Your commandments be the sole law of my being in this life and for all eternity. O Lord, I pray to You: Have mercy on me. Spare me in my affliction and misery and hide not the way of salvation from me. In my foolishness, O God, I plead with You for many and great things. Yet I am ever mindful of my wickedness, my baseness, my vileness. Have pity on me! Cast me not away from Your presence because of my foolish presumption. Increase rather in me the right presumption of Your grace and grant that I, the worst of people, may love You with all my mind, all my heart, all my soul and all my strength, as You have commanded. By Your Holy Spirit, Lord, teach me good judgment and sound knowledge. Let me know the truth before I die. Maintain my life in this world until the end that I may offer worthy repentance. Do not take me away while my mind is still blind and bound by darkness. When You are pleased to end my life, give me warning that I may prepare my soul to come before You. Be with me, Lord, at that awesome hour and assure me by Your grace of the joy of my salvation. Cleanse me from secret faults. Purify me from hidden iniquities. Give me a good answer at Your dread judgment seat. Lord of great mercy and measureless love for all people: Hear my prayer! Amen.