Prayer to the Teacher

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Be gracious, O Instructor, to us your children,
Father, Charioteer of Israel, Son and Father, both in One, O Lord.
Grant to us who obey your precepts,
that we may perfect the likeness of the image,
and with all our power know him who is the good God
and not a harsh judge.
And make all of us who live all our lives in your peace,
who have been translated into your commonwealth,
having sailed tranquilly over the waves of sin,
may be blown into calm waters by your Holy Spirit,
by the ineffable wisdom, by night and day to the perfect day.
As we give thanks, may we praise, and praising thank you alone,
Father and Son, Son and Father, the Son, Instructor and Teacher,
with the Holy Spirit, all in One, in whom is all, for whom all is One,
for whom is eternity, whose members we all are,
whose glory endures through the ages;
for the all-good, all-lovely, all-wise, all-just One.
To you be glory both now and forever. Amen.

Source: Clement of Alexandria, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

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For Stewardship

O Lord God Almighty,
you have built your Church on the foundation of the Apostles,
under Christ, the head corner-stone,
and to this end you blessed your holy apostle St. Barnabas
with the singular gift of the Holy Spirit;
leave me not destitute, I pray,
of your many gifts and talents,
nor of the grace to make a right use of them
always without any goals to serve self,
but to your honor and glory;
that making a due improvement of all those gifts
you graciously entrust me with,
I may be able to give a good account of my stewardship
when the great Judge will appear;
the Lord Jesus Christ,
who reigns with you and the Eternal Spirit,
one God, blessed forever. Amen.

Source: Attributed to Barnabas, Second Century, most likely from a liturgy commemorating Barnabas.

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

A Prayer for the Privilege of Martyrdom

In your prayers, ask only this for me,
that the Lord may give me strength
that I may not only be called, but proved to be a Christian.
Then I will be seen faithful when the world no longer sees me,
for nothing that is seen is eternal.
The things perceived are temporal,
but the things not seen are eternal.
I write to the churches and charge you all
that I die willingly for Christ,
if you do not prevent me.
I ask that your love for me be at the right time.
Allow me to be devoured by wild beasts,
through whom I may rise to God.
I am the grain of God ground between the teeth of wild beasts,
that I may be found to be the pure bread of Christ.
Then indeed will I be the true disciple of Christ
when the world will no longer see my body.

Not as Peter and Paul do I command you.
They were apostles,
I am the least of them;
they were free,
but I am a slave even to this day,
but, if you wish,
I will be the freedman of Jesus Christ,
and in him I will rise again and be free. Amen.

Source: Ignatius of Antioch, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

A Dying Prayer of Polycarp, the Martyr

O Father of your well-beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ,
through whom we have known you.
O God of the angels and powers and of every living creature,
and of all sorts of righteous people which live in your presence,
I thank you that you have graciously provided
this day and this hour
to allot me a portion among the number of martyrs,
among the people of Christ
to the resurrection of eternal life,
both of body and soul,
in the incorruption of the Holy Spirit.
Among them I will be received in your sight this day
as a fruitful and acceptable sacrifice,
you have already prepared,
often revealed and now fulfilled.
You are the most faithful God who cannot lie.
For all these things I praise you,
I bless you, I glorify you;
through the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ,
your well-beloved Son,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all glory,
now and forever. Amen.

Source: Polycarp of Smyrna, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Intercession

May God the Father,
and the eternal High Priest Jesus Christ,
build us up in faith and truth and love,
and grant us our portion among the saints
with all those who believe on our Lord Jesus Christ.
We pray for all saints,
for kings and rulers,
for the enemies of the Cross of Christ,
and for ourselves,
we pray that our fruit may abound
and that we may be made perfect in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Source: Polycarp of Smyrna, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Your Words Are Channels of Grace into Our Hearts

Lord,
inspire us to read your Scriptures
and to meditate upon them day and night.
We beg you to give us real understanding of what we need,
that we in turn may put its precepts into practice.
Yet we know that understanding and good intentions are worthless,
unless rooted in your graceful love.
So we ask that the words of Scriptures
may also be not just signs on a page,
but channels of grace into our hearts.

Source: Origen (ca. 185-254)

Source of this version: https://shadowsofaugustine.blogspot.com/2008/11/prayer-before-reading-scripture.html

A Canticle of Christ (2)

Born as a Son,
led forth as a lamb,
sacrificed as a sheep,
buried as a man,
he rose from the dead as a God,
for he was by nature God and man.

He is all things:
he judges, and so he is law;
he teaches, and so he is wisdom;
he saves, and so he is grace;
he is begotten, and so he is Son;
he suffers, and so he is sacrifice;
he is buried, and so he is man;
he rises again, and so he is God.
This is Jesus Christ,
to whom belongs glory for all ages.

Source: Melito of Sardis, d. 189

Modified from http://www.catholicdoors.com/prayers/english/p00395.htm

A line was omitted after “he saves, and so he is grace” because of possible doctrinal confusion.