Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
–Martin Luther King Jr.
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
You, true God, who are Lord of power, fountain of light and of life, flowing unsearchably from the Father, O miracle-working Holy Spirit, promised to the holy apostles by Christ our God. By his death, he broke the chains of death and locked the origin of sin in the inextinguishable flame and in the outer darkness. There, with unbreakable chains he firmly locked up the vile dragon with his rebellious powers, and by his resurrection he rescued from hell those who were sequestered there, the sons who had fallen asleep because of Adam.And going up to the Father with our nature, at the fulfillment of all good things and at the completion of all the mysteries, he sent you, the Renewer, the life-giving Holy Spirit, as the Comforter [Jn 14:16, 26] for those in sorrow.You, O inaccessible One, came down, God from God the Father, and came into the upper room from heaven, and filled with ineffable joy and grace your chosen ones, whom you sent as a proclamation of the Word of life throughout the entire earth.They filled the universe with your full knowledge, Lord, and introduced the whole world to the one Godhead, abolishing the worship of useless idols.Through the holy font they gave birth to the Gentiles, for adoption by the heavenly Father, and they made them all worshippers of the all-Holy Trinity.In all places they laid the foundation of the holy church and they erected the table of your glory, from which they fed all who believe in you with the immortal Mystery. Turning earth into heaven, they made the earthly equal to the heavenly.And now, O Lord our God, merciful and loving, receive the requests which we make of you, and give rest to those of ours who have fallen asleep, who, also enlightened by spiritual birth, became worthy of the name “Christian,” and participating in the divine Body and Blood [1Cor 10:16], they have left this world in faith and right teaching. Today, on the great day of your appearance, we have commemorated them in the hope of this saving Badarak.Lord almighty, God of the mortal and of the immortal, creator of all and Lord of life and death; provider for body, and in the future, the hope of all the corners of the earth; who, on the last day of the great feast of Pentecost exhilarated by your glorious advent those who were assembled in your name in the upper room, hear also now the voice of our supplications, and remember those who have fallen asleep, (our fathers and brothers), and give them rest in a place of light and in the tabernacles of your saints.Remember their prayers and implorations, and their confession both in this life and at death, and grant forgiveness for all their transgressions. Make all of them worthy to await the distribution of the good and glorious things to come, which you have prepared for your beloved, and with them [make them worthy] to bless the all-holy Trinity.And to us, assembled in your name in your holy temple, worshippers and celebrants of the day of your all-saving advent, grant your heavenly peace and the renewal of [our] souls and bodies from the staleness of sin so that we may be born again in repentance and tears. And strengthen us all, in sobriety and righteousness, together with the holy apostles, so that we may abide in you, lest there be in us any opportunity or occasion for evil.Purify the lips and tongues of your servants by means of the fiery tongues, so that with spiritual blessing we may be worthy to sing, and to say psalms, and to pray at all times with the spiritual ones; with a holy heart and humble spirit to offer you the rational service, and from the depths of the heart, with tearful pleading, to ask you for expiation.Fortify our entire life in fear of you, and defend and protect us from evil thoughts, words and deeds. Make us worthy to live in your pleasure, and according to your will to complete the course [of our lives] in the confession of the true faith and ardent contrition, participating in the saving Mystery, with a priestly funeral, with offerings and sacrifices to make commemoration before your holy altar always.Falling down before you, we ask, O loving Holy Spirit, that you also keep our souls fearless in their journeys during this bodily life, so that they be spared from ethereal and vile demons; that you may lead them on a straight path [Ps 142:10] in this blessed life and in this station of the just, where the souls of the saints bless you joyously. And at the renewal to come, when the Savior, consubstantial with you, comes to awaken all at the sound of the archangel’s trumpet, and the voice of God;And when you, our God and Lord, Holy Spirit, receive all mankind through the resurrection, and renew each one in spirit from the threat of Gehenna, and exempt them from unforgivable torment, and join them in the camps of your saints, with those who love your name, to become heirs of the kingdom of heaven; then we too, your rational flock, who believe in you, shall bless and glorify the all-holy Trinity, now and always and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
–A Prayer of the Armenian Church
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him–since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened–so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe.
–A Prayer by Paul (Ephesians 1:17-19)
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Who through the death of Thy Son hast destroyed sin and death,
And through His resurrection hast restored innocence and eternal life
That we, being delivered from the power of the devil,
May live in Thy kingdom,
Grant that we may believe this with our whole heart
And steadfast in this faith, ever praise and thank Thee,
Through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Grant, dear Lord God,
That the blessed Day of Thy holy advent may come soon,
So that we may be redeemed
From this bad, wicked world
(The devil’s dominion)
And freed from the terrible plague that we must suffer
From without and within
(From wicked people and our own conscience.)
Do Thou dispatch this old maggot sack
That we may finally get a different body,
Which is not full of sin,
Inclined to unchasteness and to everything evil
(As this present one is)
But one that is redeemed from all bodily and spiritual misery
And made like unto Thy glorious body, dear Lord Jesus Christ,
That we may at last come to our glorious redemption.
Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.