Yesterday was the feast day to commemorate the death great Syrian theologian, St. Ephrem (June 9, 373). He is best known for his tremendous literary output, writing many influential hymns, commentaries, and other works. That is particularly impressive given that he lived through the turbulent fourth century marked by the theological dissension that followed the Council of Nicea and the constant warfare between the Roman and Persian empires.
In his honor, today’s prayers come from him (or, at least, they are commonly attributed to him). The first a famous lenten prayer still used widely in Eastern Orthodox churches. And the second is just another prayer I found that I really liked.
Lord and Master of my life,
keep from me the spirit of indifference and discouragement,
lust of power and idle chatter.
Instead, grant to me,
the spirit of wholeness of being, humble-mindedness, patience, and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me the grace to be aware of my sins
and not to judge my brother;
for You are blessed now and ever and forever.
Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings, Who hast power over life and death, Thou knowest what is secret and hidden, neither our thoughts nor our feelings are concealed from Thee. Cure me of duplicity; I have done evil before Thee.
Now my life declines from day to day, and my sins do but increase. O Lord, God of souls and bodies, Thou knowest the extreme frailty of my soul and my flesh. Grant me strength in my weakness, O Lord, and sustain me in my misery.
Give me a grateful soul, that I may never cease to recall Thy benefits, O Lord most bountiful. Be not mindful of my many sins, but forgive me all my misdeeds. O Lord, disdain not my prayer–the prayer of a wretched sinner; sustain me with Thy grace until the end, that it may protect me as in the past. It is Thy grace which has taught me wisdom; blessed are they who follow her ways, for they shall receive the crown of glory. In spite of my unworthiness, I praise Thee and I glorify Thee, O Lord, for Thy mercy to me is without limit. Thou hast been my help and my protection. May the name of Thy majesty be praised forever. To Thee, our God, be glory.