The Underground Church


Prayers of the ancient church

A prayer of St. Augustine

O Lord my God, I believe in you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Insofar as I can, insofar as you have given me the power, I have sought you. I became weary and I labored. O Lord my God, my sole hope, help me to believe and never to cease seeking you. Grant that I may always and ardently seek out your countenance. Give me the strength to seek you, for you help me to find you and you have more and more given me the hope of finding you. Here I am before you with my firmness and my infirmity. Preserve the first and heal the second. Here I am before you with my strength and my ignorance. Where you have opened the door to me, welcome me at the entrance; where you have closed the door to me, open to my cry; enable me to remember you, to understand you, and to love you. Amen.

(St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430)
A prayer of St. Augustine

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know Thee, And desire nothing save only Thee.
Let me hate myself and love Thee.
Let me do everything for the sake of Thee.
Let me humble myself and exalt Thee.
Let me think nothing except Thee.
Let me die to myself and live in Thee.
Let me accept whatever happens as from Thee.
Let me banish self and follow Thee, and ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me fly from myself and take refuge in Thee,
that I may deserve to be defended by Thee.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear Thee, and let me be among those who are chosen by Thee.
Let me distrust myself and put my trust in Thee.
Let me be willing to obey for the sake of Thee.
Let me cling to nothing save only to Thee, and let me be poor because of Thee.
Look upon me, that I may love Thee.
Call me that I may see Thee, And forever enjoy Thee.

(St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430; found here )

The day is past and over

The day is past and over;
All thanks, O Lord, to Thee!
We pray Thee that offenseless
The hours of dark may be.
O Jesus, keep us in Thy sight,
And guard us through the coming night.

The joys of day are over;
We lift our hearts to Thee,
And call on Thee that sinless
The hours of dark may be.
O Jesus, make their darkness light,
And guard us through the coming night.

Lord, that in death I sleep not,
And lest my foe should say,
“I have prevailed against him,”
Lighten mine eyes, I pray:
O Jesus, keep me in Thy sight,
And guard me through the coming night.

The toils of day are over;
We raise our hymn to Thee,
And ask that free from peril
The hours of dark may be.
O Jesus, keep us in Thy sight,
And guard us through the coming night.

Be Thou our souls’ Preserver,
O God, for Thou dost know
How many are the perils
Through which we have to go.
Lord Jesus Christ, O hear our call
And guard and save us from them all.

(Anatolius, 6th century)

A prayer of St. Chrysostom

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us grace at this with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests; Fulfill now O Lord the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be most expedient for them granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

(St John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople 347-407)
A prayer of Origen

Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.

—Origen (c. 185–254)

A prayer of St. Clement of Alexandria

O Educator, be gracious to thy children, O Educator, Father, Guide of Israel, Son and Father, both one, Lord. Give to us, who follow thy command, to fulfill the likeness of thy image, and to see, according to our strength, the God who is both a good God and a Judge who is not harsh. Do thou thyself bestow all things on us who dwell in thy peace, who have been placed in thy city, who sail the sea of sin unruffled, that we may be made tranquil and supported by the Holy Spirit, the unutterable Wisdom, by night and day, unto the perfect day, to sing eternal thanksgiving to the one only Father and Son, Son and Father, Educator and Teacher with the Holy Spirit.

—Clement of Alexandria (c. 150–215)

Clement of Rome

We ask you, Master, be our helper and defender. Rescue those of our number in distress; raise up the fallen; assist the needy; heal the sick; turn back those of your people who stray; feed the hungry; release our captives; revive the weak; encourage those who lose heart. Let all the nations realize that you are the only God, that Jesus Christ is your Child, and that we are your people and the sheep of your pasture.

—1 Clement (c. 96)

Clement of Rome, for blessings

May God, who sees all things, and who is the Ruler of all spirits and the Lord of all flesh - who chose our Lord Jesus Christ and us through Him to be a peculiar people - grant to every soul that calls upon His glorious and holy Name, faith, peace, patience, long-suffering, self-control, purity, and sobriety, to the well-pleasing of His Name, through our High Priest and Protector, Jesus Christ, by whom be to Him glory, and majesty, and power, and honor, both now and forevermore. AMEN.

(Clement of Rome, bishop, died in A.D. 99 or 101).
For All Kings and Rulers

Grant unto all Kings and Rulers, O Lord, health, peace, concord, and stability, that they may administer the government which You have given them without failure. For You, O heavenly Master, King of the Ages, gives to the sons of men glory and honor, and power over all things that are upon the earth. Do, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well pleasing in Your sight, that administering in peace and gentleness, with godliness, the power which You have given them, they may obtain Your favor. O You Who alone are able to do these things, and things far more exceeding good than these, for us, we praise You, through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls, Jesus Christ; through Whom be the glory and the majesty, unto You, both now and for all generations, and forever and ever. AMEN.

(Clement of Rome)

A Morning Prayer

O God, Who are the unsearchable abyss of peace, the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings, and the bestower of affection, Who sends peace to those that receive it; open to us this day the sea of Your love, and water us with the plenteous streams from the riches of Your grace. Make us children of quietness, and heirs of peace. Kindle in us the fire of Your love; sow in us Your fear; strengthen our weakness by Your power; bind us closely to You and to each other in one firm bond of unity; for the sake of Jesus Christ. AMEN.

(Syrian Clementine Liturgy)

For Rulers and Governors

To our rulers and governors on the earth - to them You, Lord, gave the power of the kingdom by Your glorious and ineffable might, to the end that we may know the glory and honor given to them by You and be subject to them, in nought resisting Your will; to them, Lord, give health, peace, concord, stability, that they may exercise the authority given to them without offense. For You, O heavenly Lord and King eternal, gives to the sons of men glory and honor and power over the things that are on the earth; may You, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well-pleasing in Your sight, that, devoutly in peace and meekness exercising the power given them by You, they may find You propitious, O You, who only has power to do these things and more abundant good with us, we paraise You through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls Jesus Christ, through who m be glory and majesty to You both now and from generation to generation and forevermore. AMEN.

(Clement of Rome)

For Forgiveness

You did make to appear the enduring fabric of the world by the works of Your hand; You, Lord, did create the earth on which we dwell, - You, who are faithful in all generations, just in judgments, wonderful in strength and majesty, with wisdom creating and with understanding fixing the things which were made, who are good among them that are being saved and faithful among them whose trust is in You; O merciful and Compassionate One, forgive us our iniquities and offenses and transgressions and trespasses. Reckon not every sin of Your servants and handmaids, but You will purify us with the purification of Your truth; and direct our steps that we may walk in holiness of heart and do what is good and well-pleasing in Your sight and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, make Your face to shine upon us for good in peace, that we may be shielded by Your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by Your uplifted arm. and deliver us from those who hate us wrongfully. Give concord and peace to us and all who dewll upon the earth, even as You gave to our fathers, when they called upon You in faith and truth, submissive as we are to Your almighty and all-excellent Name. AMEN

(Clement of Rome)
Prayer Before Partaking of the Holy Sacrament

O God, who are great, great in name and counsel, powerful in Your works, the God and Father of Your Holy Son Jesus, our Savior, look upon us, Your flock, which You have chosen through Him to the glory of Your Name; Sanctify us in body and soul, and grant that we, being purified from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, may partake of the mystic blessings now going before You, and Judge none of us unworthy of the, but be our Supporter, our Helper, and Defender, through Your Christ, with whom glory, honor, laud, praise, thanksgiving be to You and the Holy Spirit forever. AMEN

(The Clementine Liturgy)

A Pure Heart

O God Almighty, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son, give me a body unstained, a pure heart, a watchful mind, and an upright understanding, and the presence of Your Holy Spirit, that I may obtain and ever hold fast to an unshaken faith in Your Truth, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord; through whom be glory to You in the Holy Spirit, forever and ever. AMEN.

(The Clementine Liturgy)

For Joy and Gladness

Blessed are You, O Lord, who has nourished me from my youth up, who gives food to all flesh. Fill our hearts with joy and gladness. that we, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom to You be glory, honor, might, majesty, and dominion, forever and ever. AMEN.

(The Clementine Liturgy. This and most of the preceding prayers were discovered on "Radiant Times" Blog, available here .)

A Prayer of St. Ambrose

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore thee, a heart to delight in thee, to follow and to enjoy thee, for Christ’s sake.

(St. Ambrose of Milan, c. 339-397; discovered on this blog)

An intercession

Almighty God, we beseech You to hear our prayers for all who sin against You, or neglect to serve You, all who forget You, all who leave You out of their lives. O Lord, have mercy upon them; bestow upon us all true repentance and an earnest longing for Yourself. Promise, we ask You, O Lord, to strengthen and confirm all Your faithful people, and to lift up the light of Your Face upon them, giving them continually heavenly desires; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

(An Ancient Collect. This and the following five 5th century prayers were found on this blog).

An Evening Thanksgiving

Accept, we beseech You, our evening thanksgiving, O You Fountain of all good, who has led us in safety through the length of the day; Who daily blesses us with so many temporal mercies and has given us the hope of resurrection to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

(An Ancient Collect)

For Blessing

Bless all who worship You, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same. Of Your goodness, give us; with Your love, inspire us, by Your spirit guide us; by Your power, protect us; in Your mercy receive us now and always. AMEN

(An Ancient Collect)

For Communicants

Hear us, O merciful Father, we most humbly beseech You, and grant to all communicants of your Church this day, true repentance and living faith. And we pray that all those who shall from time to time receive Your creatures of bread and wine, according to Your Son our Savior Jesus Christ’s Holy institution, in remembrance of His Death and Passion, may be partakers of His most blessed Body and Blood; to Whom with You and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, world without end. AMEN

(An Ancient Liturgy)

For Right Living

Grant to us, Lord, We ask You, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, who cannot do anything that is good without You, may by You be enabled to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

(Leonine Sacramentary)

For Heavenly-Mindedness

Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away , to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Leonine Sacramentary)

The Jesus Prayer

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner."

(Desert Fathers, 5th century Egypt; see Wikipedia article).
A prayer of Basil of Caesarea

Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace.

(Basil of Caesarea, 329-379; found here.)

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