Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Prayers for Our Enemies

In keeping with our promise, here are two (well, really three) prayers for our enemies. First, the Byzantine "Prayers for our Enemies":

Thou who didst pray for them that crucifed thee, O Lord, Lover of the souls of men, and who didst command thy servants to pray for their enemies, forgive those who hate and maltreat us, and turn our lives from all harm and evil to brotherly love and good works: for this we humbly bring our prayer, that with one accord and one heart we may glorify thee Who alone lovest mankind.


As thy first martyr Stephen prayed to thee for his murderers, O Lord, so we fall before thee and pray: forgive all who hate and maltreat us and let not one of them perish because of us, but all be saved by thy grace, O God the all-bountiful.

And from the Western tradition, here's one bit from a portion of Evening Prayer of the "Forms of Prayer to be Used in Families," which the Holy Synod of Russia decreed needed no changes on doctrinal grounds (although I would recommend adding invocation of the saints and angels to the prayers, even in the short forms):

Accept, O Lord, our intercessions for all mankind. Let the light of thy Gospel shine upon all nations; and may as many as have received it, live as becomes it. Be gracious unto thy Church; and grant that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may serve thee faithfully. Bless all in authority over us; and so rule their hearts and strengthen their hands, that they may punish wickedness and vice, and maintain thy true religion and virtue. Send down thy blessings, temporal and spiritual, upon all our relations, friends, and neighbours. Reward all who have done us good, and pardon all those who have done or wish us evil, and give them repentance and better minds. Be merciful to all who are in any trouble; and do thou, the God of pity, administer to them according to their several necessities; for his sake who went about doing good, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grant it, O Lord, grant it.

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