Life’s lessons

Prayers that St. Ephraim the Syrian offered up to God.

Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian 

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust for power and idle talk. (full prostration) But grant unto me, Your servant, a spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love. (full prostration) Thus, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to judge my brothers and sisters. For You are blessed unto the ages of ages. Amen. (full prostration) O God, cleanse me, a sinner (12 times, with bows from the waist) (Read the entire prayer through once more from the beginning, followed by a full prostration)


28 Life’s lessons

Do you wish to lead a proper life? Exercise humility, for without it it is impossible to lead a proper life. 

Do all your work in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, and thus shall your fruits be carried up to heaven. 

A man begins to go astray when he withdraws from humility. He who has abandoned God does the evil spirit oppress, as he did Saul. 

The enemy's snares are smeared with honey. He who is attracted by the sweetness of honey becomes caught in the snares and filled with all manner of woe. 

Arrogance is like a very tall but rotten tree. All of its branches are brittle and if someone climbs upon it, he immediately falls from the height he has attained. 

Blessed is he who is enriched with good hopes and illuminated with good thoughts: his glory is great and everlasting. 

Let us strive for sober attention, that we might recognize our sins and be constantly humbled, that we might not nurture, like the serpent, a high opinion of ourselves or wickedness. 

Let us love sobriety, that we might have a pure heart and that we might preserve the temple entrusted to us undefiled by sinful corruption. 

Wondrous is prayer accompanied by signs and tears, especially if the tears are shed in secret. 

He who prays in his mind with faith beholds the Lord before himself. For in Him do we live, move and exist. 

If your heart has been hardened, weep before the Lord, that He might shine upon you the illumination of knowledge and grant that with an ardent heart you might be carried up to Him.

Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian


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