Joyful Noise: The Morning Prayers of St. Philaret

I’d like to share with you two of my favorite prayers of late, both from St. Philaret of Moscow. In my walk as a mother and a Christian, there are often days when I’m at a loss for words. I find that reverting to simple pleas with God, the Jesus prayer can help, but then there are these two that so fully encapsulate both modes of being for me–preparing for the day ahead (which I usually say in the evening rather than the morning), and acknowledging my own lack of understanding, humbling myself before God.

Prayer for the Beginning of the Day (St. Philaret of Moscow)

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace, help me in all things to rely upon your holy will. In every hour of the day reveal your will to me. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach me to treat all that comes to throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that your will governs all. In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you. Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray. And you, yourself, pray in me. Amen.

Another Prayer for the Beginning of the Day (St. Philaret of Moscow)

My Lord, I know not what I ought to ask of Thee.
Thou and Thou alone knowest my needs.
Thou lovest me more than I am able to love Thee.
O Father, grant unto me, Thy servant, all which I cannot ask.
For a cross I dare not ask, nor for consolation;
I dare only to stand in Thy presence.
My heart is open to Thee.
Thou seest my needs of which I myself am unaware.
Behold and lift me up!
In Thy presence I stand,
awed and silenced by Thy will and Thy judgments,
into which my mind cannot penetrate.
To Thee I offer myself as a sacrifice.
No other desire is mine but to fulfill Thy will.
Teach me how to pray.
Do Thyself pray within me.
Amen.

Like the resourceful (if irritating) mosquitos who breed in even the smallest puddles, or the tenacious weeds that can grow tall in the smallest cracks of pavement, we too can help our prayers flourish in the small patches of time if we are persistent in finding them.

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