The Prayer of Manasseh 

The Prayer of Manasseh is a short work of 15 verses recording a penitential prayer attributed to king Manasseh of Judah. The majority of scholars believe that the Prayer of Manasseh was written, in Greek, in the first or second century BC. The prayer is considered apocryphal by Jews, Catholics and Protestants. It was placed at the end of 2 Chronicles in the late 4th-century Vulgate. Over a millennium later, Martin Luther included the book in his 74-book translation of the Bible. It has more use in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The words and phrases of this prayer had an influence on the early prayers of the Christian Church. 

O Lord Almighty,
God of our ancestors,
of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob
and of their righteous offspring;
2 you who made heaven and earth
with all their order;
3 who shackled the sea by your word of command,
who confined the deep
and sealed it with your terrible and glorious name;
4 at whom all things shudder,
and tremble before your power,
5 for your glorious splendour cannot be borne,
and the wrath of your threat to sinners is unendurable;
6 yet immeasurable and unsearchable
is your promised mercy,
7 for you are the Lord Most High,
of great compassion, long-suffering, and very merciful,
and you relent at human suffering.
O Lord, according to your great goodness
you have promised repentance and forgiveness
to those who have sinned against you,
and in the multitude of your mercies
you have appointed repentance for sinners,
so that they may be saved.
8 Therefore you, O Lord, God of the righteous,
have not appointed repentance for the righteous,
for Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, who did not sin against you,
but you have appointed repentance for me, who am a sinner.

9 For the sins I have committed are more in number than the sand of the sea;
my transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied!
I am not worthy to look up and see the height of heaven
because of the multitude of my iniquities.
10 I am weighted down with many an iron fetter,
so that I am rejected because of my sins,
and I have no relief;
for I have provoked your wrath
and have done what is evil in your sight,
setting up abominations and multiplying offences.

11 And now I bend the knee of my heart,
imploring you for your kindness.
12 I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned,
and I acknowledge my transgressions.
13 I earnestly implore you,
forgive me, O Lord, forgive me!
Do not destroy me with my transgressions!
Do not be angry with me for ever or store up evil for me;
do not condemn me to the depths of the earth.
For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent,
14 and in me you will manifest your goodness;
for, unworthy as I am, you will save me according to your great mercy,
15 and I will praise you continually all the days of my life.
For all the host of heaven sings your praise,
and yours is the glory for ever. Amen.

Source: The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version.

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O God,
you are great in power,
unsearchable in understanding,
and wonderful in your plans for us.
Fill your servant with the gift of the Holy Spirit
that he may stand before your holy altar blameless,
to announce the gospel of your kingdom,
to administer the Word of your truth,
to offer gifts and spiritual sacrifices to you,
and to renew your people in the font of rebirth,
that when your only Son,
our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, comes again,
by your mercies he will receive your reward;
for your holy and majestic name is blessed and glorified.

Source: Eastern Church Liturgy, third century

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

Give Us Grace and Power

christ-898330_640Lord God of our salvation,
we thank you
for all good things you do in our lives.
Help us always look to you,
the Savior and Benefactor of our souls.
You have refreshed us in the past night,
raised us up from our beds,
and brought us to worship your glorious name.
Give us grace and power
that we may sing your praise with understanding,
pray to you without ceasing,
and continue to work out our salvation
with fear and trembling;
through the aid of your Christ.

Source: Daybreak Office of the Eastern Church, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 5.2

“that we may sing your praise with understanding” may be a reference to 1 Corinthians 14:15

“pray to you without ceasing” is a reference to 1 Thessalonians 5:17

“continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling” is a reference to Philippians 2:12

The New Ancient Collects : Completely Revised and Refreshed for Modern Usage. by [Stratman, Paul]

 

The New Ancient Collects is available from Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle.

 

Sanctify, Calm, Cleanse, Strengthen

christ-898330_640Lord God,
Father of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ,
your name is great,
your nature is wonderful,
your goodness is inexhaustible,
you are God and Master of all things,
and are blessed forever.
You sit between the cherubim,
and are glorified by the seraphim.
Before you stand thousands of thousands
and ten thousand times ten thousand,
the hosts of holy angels and archangels.
Sanctify our souls and bodies and spirits,
calm our fears
cleanse our consciences,
and drive out every evil thought,
every selfish desire,
envy, pride, hypocrisy,
falsehood, deceit, anxiety,
covetousness, arrogance, laziness,
malice, anger, grudges,
blasphemy, deeds or thoughts
that are contrary to your holy will.
O Lord, since you love us all,
give us the strength to boldly call on you
in the freedom of Christ,
without condemnation,
with a pure heart and a contrite soul,
with undivided attention
and with sanctified lips,
as our holy God and Father in heaven.

Source:  Liturgy of St. James, from Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 1#1.

“…in the freedom of Christ” was an addition for doctrinal reasons and for emphasis.

“between the cherubim” may be a reference to Exodus 25:22

“glorified by the seraphim” may be a reference to Isaiah 6:2

“ten thousand times ten thousand” may be a reference to Jude 1:14 or Revelation 5:11

“drive out every evil thought…” and what follows resembles Galatians 5:19-21

“pure heart” may be a reference to Psalm 24:42 Timothy 2:22 or Hebrews 10:22

“sanctified lips” may be a reference to Isaiah 6:7

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

 

You Are Life, Help, Hope and Cleansing

Coptic[1]
A Coptic Christian inscription.
O Lord our God,
you are great, eternal,
and wonderful in glory.

You keep your covenant and promises
for those who love you
with their whole heart.
You are the Life of all,
the Help of those who flee to you,
the Hope of those who cry to you.
Cleanse us from our sins,
secret and open,
and from every thought displeasing to your goodness.

Cleanse our bodies and souls,
our hearts and consciences,
that with a pure heart and a clear soul,
with perfect love and calm hope,
we may venture confidently
and fearlessly to pray to you;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen

Source: Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil, from Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 2#1.

Note:
“…through Jesus Christ our Lord” was added, both because it completes the prayer and it points to the source of the love, cleansing and fearlessness.

“You keep your covenant and promises” may be a reference to 1 Kings 8:23 or 2 Chronicles 6:14.

“Cleans us from our sins, secret…” may be a reference to Psalm 19:12.

“we may venture confidently” may be a reference to Ephesians 3:12.

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

 

Canticle: A Longer Sanctus

Image result for russia lutheran christus pantocrator
Christos Pantokrator, Russian Icon, 18th century

Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God almighty!
Heaven and earth
are full of your glory.

We worship you.
We give you thanks for your marvelous deeds,
Lord God, heavenly King,
God and Father, Almighty Lord.

Jesus Christ, only Son of the most high,
Holy Spirit, Spirit of peace, truth and grace,
to you, eternal God, be praise for all your works.

Your might is eternal,
and your love unwavering.
Look with mercy on your people
who gather in your sanctuary to worship you,
to thank you for all your benefits for body and soul,
to implore your grace
to enlighten us in knowledge of you
and to instruct our hearts,
that we may bring the holy offerings
of devout obedience to you.

Source: Agende für die Evangelisch-Lutherischen Gemeinden im Russischen Reiche, 1832, an alternative canticle to the Gloria in Excelsis, p. 6-7

This canticle seems to blend the Trisagion, an opening hymn in Eastern Orthodox worship, with the Gloria in Excelsis, along with some other elements.

Original in German:

Heiliger! Heiliger! Heiliger! HErr! Gott! Allmächtiger! Himmel und Erde sind Deiner Herrlichkeit voll; wir beten Dich an, wir danken Dir für Deine Wunder, HErr Gott! himmlischer König! Gott Vater! Allmächtiger HErr! eingeborner Sohn des Allerhöchsten! Jesus Christus! Heiliger Geist! Geist des Friedens, der Wahrheit und der Gnade! Dich, ewiger Gott, loben alle Deine Werke; ewig , wie  Du selbst, ist Deine Macht, unwandelbar Deine Liebe; blicke mit Milde herab auf Dein Volk, welches versammelt ist in Deinem Heiligthutne, Dich anzubeten, Dir zu danken für Deine Wohlhaten, und für sich, im Geistigen und Leiblichen, Deine Gnade zu erflehen ; erleuchte unsern Verstand zu Deiner Erkenntniss und lehre unsere Herzen, die heiligen Opfer eines ächten Gehorsams darzubringen!

Christ, You Are the True Light

christ-898330_640Christ,
you are the true Light,
who has come into the world
to enlighten and sanctify all people.
Let the light of your face shine on us,
that we may appear
in your unapproachable light;
and make our paths straight
so that we may walk in your commands.
Amen.

Source: Morning prayer, attributed to the Greek Church, found in Allgemeines evangelisches Gesang- und Gebetbuch zum Kirchen und Hausgebrauch, Hamburg, 1846, p. 706#3

From the German source:

Christe, du wahres Licht, das jeden Menschen, der in die Welt kommt, erleuchtet und heiliget, laß leuchten über uns das Licht deines Antlitzes, auf daß wir in ihm das Licht schauen, dahin niemand kommen kann; und mache richtig unsere Stege, auf daß wir in deinen Geboten wandeln. Amen.