Fr. Thomas Colyandro
Second Kneeling Prayer of Pentecost
This is a vocal prayer read in the context of Vespers at Pentecost in anticipation of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It provides us plenty of material on which to meditate (the bold type is added to help you start a meditation).
Notice that this prayer addresses Jesus Christ, the second person of the Most Holy Trinity. While it contains heavier theological content, the material is accessible and presented in a way that reveals, as familiar, the human condition. It acknowledges sin, but recognizes with great zeal the love and mercy of God. This prayer reveals the illumination that has come to us through Pentecost and how God gives us everything we need to break the chains of delusion that plague us. In an effort to aid in catharsis, the prayer speaks of Jesus as the "tranquil haven;" asks that He "cover us in the shelter of [His] wings;" and reminds us that whatever is authentically and faithfully "asked in His name, will be granted by the Father."
"O Lord Jesus Christ our God, who has bestowed upon mankind your peace and the gift of your Holy Spirit; who, while you were still with us in this present life, did give unto your faithful people an inheritance which shall not be taken away from them forever; who this day did send down your grace upon your disciples and apostles, in a manner most clear, and did furnish their lips with fiery tongues; by whom now, we also, together with all mankind, having received, through the hearing of our own ears divine knowledge in our own tongues, have been illumined with the light of the Spirit, and have put away the delusion of darkness by the distribution of the material and visible tongues of fire, as also by the marvelous operation of the same, whereby we have been inspired with faith toward you, and to glorify you; together with the Father and the Holy Spirit in one Godhead and might; and have been enlightened with power:
"Do you, who are the Brightness of the Father, of His Essence and his Nature the Express and Immutable Image, the Fountain of Wisdom and of Grace, open the lips of me, a sinner, and teach me in what manner and for what needs I ought to pray; for you know the great multitude of my sins, but your loving-kindness shall overcome the enormity of them. For lo, I stand in awe before you, and have cast into the great deep of your mercy the despair of my soul. Govern my life, O you who governs all creation by a word, with the unutterable might of your wisdom, O tranquil Haven of the storm-tossed; and make known unto me the way in which I should walk. Grant unto my understanding the spirit of your wisdom, bestowing upon my ignorance the spirit of your understanding.
"Overshadow my deeds with the spirit of your fear, and renew a right spirit within me; and by your sovereign Spirit make stable the instability of my thoughts. That being daily guided by your good Spirit in that which is profitable for me, I may be enabled to keep they statutes, and ever bear in mind your glorious Coming-again, and those things worthy of torment which I have committed. And give me not over to be led astray by the corrupt pleasures of this present world, but strengthen in me the desire to strive for the treasures to come. For you have said, O Master: whatsoever a person shall ask in your Name, that shall he freely receive from your God and Father, who is from everlasting. Wherefore, I also, a sinner, at this descent of your Holy Spirit, do entreat your goodness, that you will grant me whatsoever things I have asked which are unto salvation.
"Yea, O Lord, the bounteous Giver of every benefit, and the Distributor of blessings - for it is you who gives most beautifully unto those who ask of you - you are pitiful and gracious, and also was made a partaker of our flesh, yet without sin, and inclines your ear with infinite loving-kindness unto those who bow the knee before you; who, also, was made the Propitiation for our sins. Wherefore, O Lord, grant your bounties unto they people. Hearken unto us from your Holy Heaven. Sanctify us by the saving might of your right hand. Cover us with the shelter of your wings; and despise not the work of your hands. Unto you alone have we sinned, but you alone do we serve.
"We know not to adore a strange god, neither have we stretched out our hand, O Lord, unto any other god. Pardon our iniquities, and accept this our prayer, which we make unto you on bended knees. Extend unto us all the hand of your aid. Receive the petitions of all people, as it were incense well-pleasing, acceptable before your all-blessed kingdom."
- This prayer can be found in the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church; compiled, translated, and arranged by Isabel Florence Hapgood; printed by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, 6th ed., 1983, p. 252.
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