Tag Archives: Prayer

Prayer Rope Guide Updated!

Way back in 2010, having been Orthodox for a mere two years, I undertook the task of creating a guide on how to make an Orthodox prayer rope (komboskini or chotki in Greek and Russian, respectively).

At the time there were very few guides online, and the ones that could be found were, to be honest, not of the best quality.

Since the time that I first created my guide I have made many, many prayer ropes, some for myself, but mostly for others.

Since that time, I have also been ordained as a priest into the Holy Orthodox Church, under the omophorion of Metropolitan Alexios in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

A lot has changed, but my love for the beautiful practice of the prayer rope has not, and so I have finally gotten around to updating my guide! I have taken all new pictures, and have corrected and clarified different spots in the instructions.

You can find the updated guide by clicking the link to the Prayer Rope at the top of my page.

I hope that you will find it useful in your prayer life, and that God will have mercy on us all!

With fear and trembling…

With spring now here I’ve started to become increasingly aware of the fact that I leave for Holy Cross in only about four more months. This is much more than just another move to a new apartment, this means a trip from the bottom of the US to the top, and to add to the mix, with a (will be then) eleven month old baby.

This in itself is pretty scary. I am uprooting my family from the relative comfortableness of our current life and trusting that everything will work out once we’re there. But ah! Once we’re there!

It is here that my thinking usually shifts to the reason I am going to the school in the first place; I seek to dedicate my life to God and His people as one of His priests. The closer the time comes to officially start down this path, the more nervous I get. This is even scarier than moving my family across the country.

When I think about being a priest, my mind immediately recalls how unworthy of such a duty I am. Growing up, I always viewed preachers and priests as almost “other” than myself. They were holy men who prayed frequently, effortlessly dispensed advice and seemed destined to do what they were doing. With my own journey however I’ve come to see priests differently, as real people, just like myself, with their own fears, problems, stresses and desires.  Again, just like myself, with my own fears, problems, stresses and desires.  I live far from what I would consider a holy life; I pray far more infrequently than I should, I’m often confused myself as to the best course of action, and I still have a lot to work on in taming the various passions which sometimes drive me.

All of this is possible, and the first step is always the same: we must recognize and then acknowledge our failings. I thank God that I have found myself in a position where I have to do this starting now, where there is no more time to “get to it later.”  The fact that I am scared at the thought of the responsibility I seek to take on drives me to examine and seek to better myself, to do what I can to try and prove myself worthy of that responsibility.

You don’t have to take such a drastic step to awaken your own self to this however. We all have responsibilities, whether or our spouse, kids, co-workers or what have you. Strive to be a good example to who ever it is that depends on you or who you really care about. Live your life in such a way that those around you honestly want to know what it is that you have that they seem not to. In our times it is no longer expected that someone is a Christian. It is much more common to be agnostic, or unconcerned, or even lukewarm to the point of being insincere. The upright Christian is becoming rarer to find and hence more valuable.

We are all called to the priesthood in our lives, to tell the World of the Good News and to teach, guide and help each other. It is my prayer that God, seeing us striving to overcome ourselves and reaching out to Him, in fear and trembling, will grant us grace and mercy and draw us closer to Him. Amen.


Short Prayers for the iPhone

I’ve added for your downloading convenience, a .zip file containing .pdf compilations of morning prayers, evening prayers, and then a few miscellaneous prayers. I’ve also included the original .doc files for you to customize them to your liking.  The .pdf files are made to be added to iTunes for use in the new iBooks app.  Great for using when on the go, or away from home!

Click the picture below to download:

Nothing else did You ever desire or seek from me, and nothing else do You desire or seek from me now.

Almighty King of heaven and earth! Who made You enter my unworthy heart, when I am accursed, and poor, and blind, and naked? No one, of course, but Your immeasurable love for me. O uncreated love! O love most sweet! What do You want of me, beggar that I am? Nothing, as I see and understand, except my love for You; nothing, except that no other fire should burn on the altar of my heart but the fire of my love for You, which would consume all love and all desire other than that of bringing myself to You as a burnt offering and fragrant incense. Nothing else did You ever desire or seek from me, and nothing else do You desire or seek from me now. So hear now, O Lord, the vows of my heart! See, I combine my desire with Your desire; and as You have given the whole of Yourself to me, so I give the whole of myself to You, to be wholly in You. I know, O Lord, that this cannot be, unless I renounce myself wholly; it cannot be if any trace of self-love remains in me, if I harbor some sympathy or disposition towards a will of my own, thoughts of my own, or some self-pandering habits of my own. Therefore I desire and I strive from now onwards to oppose myself in all that is not acceptable to You,  even if everything in me and outside me should rebel against it. By myself, I have not strength enough to succeed in this. But since from now on You are with me, I daringly trust that You Yourself will accomplish in me all that is needed. I seek and strive that my heart may be as one with Your heart; and I trust that Your grace will grant me this. I seek and strive to see nothing and to hear nothing, to think of nothing and have sympathy with nothing, except that which Your will, determined by Your commandments, leads me to and shows, and I trust that it will be granted me by Your power working in me. I strive and I seek not to let attention stray from the heart, where You dwell, there to gaze at You unceasingly and be warmed by the rays of light issuing from You; and I trust that this will be given me by the touch and embrace of Your hands. I strive and seek for You alone to be henceforth my light, strength and joy; and I trust to be given this by Your saving action on my inner man. It is of this that I pray and shall always continue to pray. O merciful Lord, grant me this, grant me this.

This is prayer which the authors of Unseen Warfare recommend to be prayed after receiving Holy Communion, and what a powerful prayer it is!

In it we have the humble confession of the person praying it, acknowledging that they themselves have done nothing worthy of God entering into their very being.

In it we see just what it is that God wants us from us; He doesn’t demand anything outlandish, anything that would stoke the pride – He wants only our love, in return for the divine love which He is so eager to pour out on us.

In it we have a firm resolution to conform ourselves to God’s will and to do what it is that He wants from us, while acknowledging that in order to do so we must deny ourselves and not give any room to self-pandering.

In it we have a confession that this is not something we can do on our own, that it not something that we can do without help. In confessing this we we simultaneously deny the original sin of Adam and Even which was just this: the belief that we, as human beings, can make our own way without God and do not need to rely on Him.

And finally, in it we have a firm statement of faith and trust in God. This is perhaps the hardest part; to relinquish the control which we try to have over ourselves and our lives, and to trust that once we do so, and invite God’s eager help, that He will indeed provide for and take care of us.

This, in my opinion, is a very amazing prayer which can be said at any time. I hope that I – and whoever else might come across this prayer – can take it to heart, and once it’s there, pray it from the heart with all sincerity and surety of the love of God.


A Short, Printable Booklet of Morning Prayers

Click the image above to download a short prayer booklet I compiled. I don’t have a lot of time to say my morning prayers during the morning, so I thought I would it be helpful to put together a small collection of the the ones I use regularly. In order to print it correctly, set your printer to print duplex (both sides), in landscape, and with the duplex along the short edge. Cut or tear along the solid black line to put it down to size!

How to Tie an Orthodox Prayer Rope

Click the image above to download a guide I made on how to tie an Orthodox prayer rope. This guide can also be found in the Downloads section of this blog.

Orthodox Morning Prayers: to the Theotokos, and the Conclusion

*This is the sixth and final in a series of posts of Eastern Orthodox morning prayers. I say the prayers in the order that they will be posted, but feel free to rearrange and single out the prayers as you see fit! All Glory and Honor to the Holy Trinity!

To the Theotokos

O my most holy Lady, the Theotokos, by your holy and all-powerful prayers to the Lord our God, remove fro me, your humble and burdened servant, despair, forgetfulness, lack of understanding, and negligence, and take away all unclean, crafty and blameworthy thoughts from my smitten heart, and from my darkened mind; quench the flame of my passion, for I am poor and lost; deliver me from my cruel recollections and undertakings, and set me free from all evil actions; for you are blessed of all generations, and your most honorable name is glorifed unto the ages of ages. Amen.

It is truley right to call you blessed…

It is truley right to call you blessed, O Theotokos, ever blessed and most pure and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, who without corruption did bear God the Word, you, O Theotokos, we laud and magnify.

Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

O Lord Jesus Chris, the Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of your most pure Mother, of Saint (name of patron saint), of Saint (name of saint commemorated on this day), and of all your Saints, have mercy upon us, and save us, for you alone are a merciful God and loves all mankind. Amen.

Orthodox Morning Prayers: St. Basil, and to the Angel

*This is the fifth in a series of posts of Eastern Orthodox morning prayers. I say the prayers in the order that they will be posted, but feel free to rearrange and single out the prayers as you see fit! All Glory and Honor to the Holy Trinity!

A prayer by St. Basil

O Lord Almighty, God of Angelic hosts and of all flesh, that dwells in the highest, and cares for the humble, that searches the reins and the heart, and clearly discerns the hidden things of men, Light from eternity and ever-existent, with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning: O King Immortal receive our prayers which we, trusting in the multitude of your mercies, offer to you at this present time from our soiled lips; forgive us our transgressions which we have  committed knowingly  or unknowingly in thought or word or deed; and cleanse us from all stain of body or soul. Grant us to pass throu all the night of this present life with vigilant heart and sober thought, in expectancy of the coming of the bright and manifest day of your Only-begotten Son, our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ, in which shall with glory the Judgement of all men, when to each shall be given the reward of his works: may we not fall away into sloth, but take courage and, being roused to action, be found ready and enter intot he joy and the divine bride-chamber of his glory, where the voice of those that feast is never silent, and the delight of those that behold the inexpressible beauty of your countenance passes all telling; for you are the true Light that enlightens and sanctifies every manner of thing, and of you does every creatures sing. Amen.

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

O Holy Angel, that keeps guard over my despondent soul and passionate life, leave me not, a sinner, nor depart from me to my undoing; grant not a place to the crafty enemy to overcome me by the force of this mortal body; strengthen my weak and feeble hand, and set me on the path of salvation. Yes, holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my hopeless body and soul, forgive me everything wherein I have offended you every day of my life, and what I have done amiss this past night; protect me during the present day, and preserve me from every attempt of the enemy. May I not anger God by any sin. Pray for me the Lord, that he may establish me in his fear and prove me a servent worthy of His kindness. Amen.

Orthodox Morning Prayers: The Psalm and the Symbol

*This is the fourth in a series of posts of Eastern Orthodox morning prayers. I say the prayers in the order that they will be posted, but feel free to rearrange and single out the prayers as you see fit! All Glory and Honor to the Holy Trinity!

Psalm 50*

Have mercy upon me, O God,  according to Your lovingkindness;  according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—that You may be found just when You speak and blameless when You judge.  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,  and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Your praise. For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem. Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering; then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

The Symbol of Faith

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, true God of trueGod, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and on the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit the Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father; who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


(*) This number is according to the Septuagint. All other Bibles will have it as Psalm 51.

The Symbol of Faith, also known as the Nicene Creed was formulated over the course of a number of years in order to set down once and for all the essential beliefs of Christianity, as well as to combat various heresies. It is shared in common with the Roman Catholic Church, but the Orthodox Chruch omits a change that the Catholics made to it known as the filioque (lit. “and the Son”) that they placed after the line “…who proceeds from the Father.

Orthodox Morning Prayers: Hymns to the Holy Trinity

*This is the third in a series of posts of Eastern Orthodox morning prayers. I say the prayers in the order that they will be posted, but feel free to rearrange and single out the prayers as you see fit! All Glory and Honor to the Holy Trinity!

Arising from sleep, we fall down before you, O Blessed God, and sing to you, O Mighty One, the Angelic Hymn: Holy, holy, holy are you, O God. Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, have mercy upon us.
-Glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
You, O Lord, have aroused me from my bed and from sleep; enlighten my understanding and my heart, and open my lips, that I may sing of you, O Holy Trinity. Holy, holy, holy are you, O God. Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, have mercy upon us.
-Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Suddenly shall come the Judge, anad the deeds of every man be revealed; but with fear we cry to you in the morning: Holy, holy, holy are you, O God. Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, have mercy upon us.
– Lord, have mercy (x12)

Prayer by St. Basil the Great

Arising from sleep I thank you, O Holy Trinity, that, for the sake of your great kindness and long-suffereing, you have not had indignation against me, for I am slothful and sinful, neither have you destroyed me in my transgressions: but you have shown your customary love towards man, and have raised me up as I lay in heelessness, that I might sing my morning hymn and glorify your sovranty. Enlighten the eyes of my understanding , O Lord, open my  ears to receive your words and teach me your commandments. Help me to do your will, to sing to you, to confess you from my heart, and to extol your All-holy Name, of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
– O come, let us worship God, our King. (prostration)
– O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ, our King and our God. (prostration).
– O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ himself, our King and our God. (prostration)

Imagine that you are standing before Christ himself while saying the last part of this prayer. Imagine that you are standing before His throne and that He is arrayed in just like a King. Make your prostrations reverently, showing honor to our King and our God. While still prostrated after the third prostration, pray to God with your whole heart for your own personal petitions.

Once done, this is a good time to read the epistle and Gospel readings for the day.