Memorize Monday: Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian

In addition to memorizing scripture it is also fruitful to memorize prayers, especially ancient prayers that have played a significant role in the church.  The prayer of St. Ephrem is such a prayer.  Likely composed in St. Ephrem’s name around 373, the prayer of St. Ephrem is a penitential prayer and is used as a the essential prayer of Lent by the Eastern Orthodox Church.  It is a beautiful prayer that in a few sentences helps name the sins that so many of us wrestle with day in and day out.  Memorize this prayer and call it to mind to re-collect yourself in the way of Christ.

Prayer of Saint Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, despair, lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity (integrity), humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

About Ragan Sutterfield

Ragan Sutterfield is a writer and Episcopal seminarian sojourning from his native Arkansas in Alexandria, Virginia. He is the author of Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us, Farming as a Spiritual Discipline and a contributor to the book Sacred Acts: How churches are working to protect the Earth’s climate. Ragan’s articles and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines including Triathlete, The Oxford American, and Books & Culture. He works to live the good life with his wife Emily and daughter Lillian.


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