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Prayer 35

Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart

A

And now, Lord of hosts,
awesome majesty, unwavering vision,
all expansive will, undiminishing bounty,
how can our dances and songs of joy
do honor to even one drop of your goodness?
You earnestly strive to prepare for my salvation,1
but let me write what is greater, that it might be
told in the future.
You have not been called “angel lover,”
although the founder of their kingdom.
And of the heavens with their luminaries,
all your handiwork,
never have you been described as loving them.
Rather to your greater honor and praise,
you preferred the love of mankind.
For this reason you doubly magnified your name
beyond telling,
with frightening mystery.
You called the heavenly host dressed in light,
your servants and stewards of special missions,2
and us mortals, born below,
you adorned with your worshipful, lordly and
godly name,3
exceeding again all bounds of measure and weight,
by the flow of your power and exceeding goodness,
you inspired endless praise.
And by becoming man, you, one of “the One who is,”
your gifts of life, diverse talents,
splendid divine work and miracles,
poured down abundantly upon some who
asked for themselves, and others who
asked blessings for others.4
Moved by the faith of his nurses,
you cured the cripple,5
though he was lacking in faith.
How much more able, then, is your mighty word
to cleanse the disease from the bodies of those
who cry out to you in prayer?
For truly, Lord, it is a greater miracle
to keep a washed image pure,
and protected against the attack of unruly diseases,
than to cleanse a corrupt soul,
from the first, with the favor of the grace of
the baptismal font,
you exalt the glory of the Father.

B

It is you, Lord, who cleanses us,
as you did first with your chosen, Moses.6
It is you, who looked over the tribe of Jacob
in their sin and lawlessness,
as they became accustomed to the dark pagan ways
of the land of Egypt.
It is you, who, in the words of the Psalmist David,
teaches the sinner to walk in the law of righteousness.7
It is you who replaces the stubborn, hardness of
stony hearts,
with the obedient softness of flesh, receptive to
the Word.8
It is you who can guide hearts to a single way,
respecting you with their full lives.9
It is you who instill respect, fear and faith,
to heed you, according to the voice of the Prophet.10

C

Like a key to the doors of my hearing,
may you sprinkle life-giving divine rain
from your blessed lips that created the world.
May you remove the poison of the cunning serpent,
that troublemaker Satan, and heal me.11
And with your almighty hand guide
my tongue and strengthen my voice,
which you have freely given to all,
that it might speak boldly,
and teach fittingly,
neither depriving me of hope or betraying me
into nonsense,
by speaking impudently like our forefather Adam.12
Illumine again the light of my soul’s darkened eye
with the touch of your life-giving right hand,
so the lamp of my boldness may not be extinguished
by the serpent’s breath and be hidden under a bushel.13
Lift away my sins, Lord, and cast them into
the depths of the sea,
seas so small in comparison to your greatness that
in the words of the prophet:
they can swallow up my evil.14
Restore confidence to my wrecked soul,15
so that a monument of disappointment not be erected to my hidden faults.16
Open, almighty and merciful, the handbook of
life-giving cures,
so that the seeds sown and cultivated by
the Destroyer here below
might be cut down and uprooted with the sickle
of your will.

D

In the manner of Peter, seeking to follow you,
God of all,17
I was swallowed by the waves of the sea of my sinful life.
Extend your life-giving right hand to help me, for I am foundering.
In the voice the Canaanite women, I pray from
the bottom of my heart,
like a starving dog yelping, wretched and anxious,
begging for scraps,
a few crumbs of the bread of life
from your bountiful table.
Save my physical altar, Son of bitterness,
who came to rescue me when I was lost.
For yours is majesty, victory and power.
And you are atonement and healing, renewal and bliss.
To you all glory and praise forever.
Amen.
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Notes
  1 ...... Is. 5:4.

  2 ...... Heb. 1:14.

  3 ...... Gen. 1:26-28.

  4 ...... Mt. 8:2-3, 5:13.

  5 ...... Mt. 9:2, Lk. 5:18-20.

  6 ...... Lev. 10:8, Ex. 4:6-7.

  7 ...... Ps. 25:8, 23:3.

  8 ...... Ezek. 11:19, 36:26.

  9 ...... Jer. 32:39.

  10 ...... Jer. 32:40, Mal. 2:5.

  11 ...... Mk. 7:33-35.

  12 ...... Gen. 3:9-11.

  13 ...... Mt. 5:15.

  14 ...... Mic. 7:18-19.

  15 ...... Ezek. 9:4.

  16 ...... Ezek. 16:31.

  17 ...... Mt. 12:30-31.