Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Eastern Orthodox Prayers

An online chum of mine, Jim Roemke, happens to be a Concordia Seminary student in St. Louis (about to go on vicarage).

Jim has an appreciation for iconography. While shopping online at an Eastern Orthodox bookstore, he ran across some morning and evening prayers which he found intruiging, and passed along to me.

Many of these prayers are un-prayable for a Lutheran, because they address saints, Mary, or someone (or something) other than God. But in the Lutheran tradition of saving the baby while throwing out the bathwater, I found some of these prayers actually worthwhile (with some minor editing).

In the "spirit" of Pentecost (pardon the pun), take a look at this evening "Prayer to the Holy Spirit":

O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, show compassion and have mercy on me Thy sinful servant, and loose me from mine unworthiness, and forgive all wherein I have sinned against Thee today as a man, and not only as a man, but even worse than a beast, my sins voluntary and involuntary, known and unknown, whether from youth, and from evil suggestion, or whether from brazenness and despondency. If I have sworn by Thy name, or blasphemed it in my thought; or grieved anyone, or have become angry about anything; or have lied, or slept needlessly, or if a beggar hath come to me and I disdained him; or if I have grieved my brother, or have quarreled, or have condemned anyone; or if I have been boastful, or prideful, or angry; if, as I stood at prayer, my mind hath been distracted by the wiles of this world, or by thoughts of depravity; if I have over-eaten, or have drunk excessively, or laughed frivolously; if I have thought evil, or seen the beauty of another and been wounded thereby in my heart; if I have said improper things, or derided my brother's sin when mine own sins are countless; if I have been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I do not remember, for all of this and more than this have I done: have mercy, O Master my Creator, on me Thy downcast and unworthy servant, and loose me, and remit, and forgive me, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, so that, lustful, sinful, and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, and hymn, and glorify Thy most honourable name, together with the Father and His Only-begotten Son, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Just two comments.

1. You gotta love the confession of sin here. It just about covers everything!

2. As a Lutheran, I would make it clearer that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ and his blood shed for us, not just out of the love of the Holy Spirit. But with a little tweaking, couldn't a Lutheran pray something like this?


Karl Thienes said...

"I would make it clearer that our sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ and his blood shed for us, not just out of the love of the Holy Spirit"

I think there is a misunderstanding here. The Orthodox, when they pray, are praying to the Trinity as a whole even when only one of the Persons is formally named. (To the Father, in the Son, through the Spirit)

Preachrboy said...


Thanks for stopping by.

What I mean to say is not that it is improper to pray to the Holy Spirit, or even, to the entire Trinity.

I think the prayer lacks clarity in describing the basis for our forgiveness - which is always the merits of Christ, our Savior.

We are not forgiven because the Holy Spirit is a "nice guy", but because Jesus died for us.