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The first disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ asked Him to teach them to pray, so that they might share in His communion with the Father (see Luke 11.1-13).
For many of us, however, prayer is not something that comes easily. We have to practice drawing near to God. Thankfully, the Orthodox Church has many treasures of wisdom – prayers that have been passed down through the ages – that teach and support us in our life of prayer. The Biblical Psalms were the first “Prayer Book” of the early Church, for they capture the full range of human experience and emotions, lifting them up to God.
These “written” prayers of the Church do not quench the spontaneous outpouring of the human soul to God. Rather, by praying them, our hearts kindled with an attitude of humble reverence and love for Him.
For Orthodox believers, all prayer begins with what are sometimes called the “Trisagion Prayers”:
The Trisagion Prayers are a set of ancient prayers that begin each service of the Daily Cycle. They are also commonly used to begin one’s private prayers.
+Glory to Thee, our God, Glory to Thee.
O Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of Blessings and Giver of life: Come, and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.
+Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us. (3 times)
+Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Most-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. Lord, cleanse us from our sins. Master, pardon our iniquities. Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake.
Lord, have mercy. (3 times)
+Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, of the +Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God have mercy on us and save us!
Here are some other prayer resources to help you draw near to God:
- Basic Prayers for Orthodox Christians
- Service for Sunday Absence (if you cannot attend Divine Services)
- Prayers by the Lake (written by St. Nikolai of Zhitsa)