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Prayer of St. Ephrem

The Prayer of St. Ephrem (the Syrian) is recited during the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts and in Vesper Services during Lent (The Great Fast).  It is also recommended to be recited daily as an additional prayer during Lent.¹

This prayer is a summary of the virtues and disciplines that Christians are encouraged to practice in their lives, especially during the Lenten period (the Great Fast) .

St. Ephrem was a deacon, hymn writer, and theologian born in the 4th century in what is now the country of Turkey.  He died in 373.  He wrote hundreds of hymns, poems, and homilies and is honored and revered by churches of both the East and West.   His writings were intended to counteract the many heresies in the history of the early church.

St. Ephrem the Syrian

Icon of St. Ephrem the Syrian (public domain image)


O Lord and Master of my life,
Spare me from the spirit of apathy and meddling,
Of idle chatter and love of power.

Instead, grant to me, Your servant,
The spirit of integrity and humility,
Of patience and love.

Yes, O Lord and God,
Grant me the grace to be aware of my sins
And not to judge others,

For You are blessed,
Now and forever.   Amen

O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.
O God, cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me.
O Lord, forgive me, for I have sinned without number



¹  Lent in the Byzantine Catholic Church begins always on a Monday (the Monday before what is known as Ash Wednesday in the Roman Catholic Church).   Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.  For more on the traditions of Lent in the Byzantine Catholic church, visit the pages under the Menu titled “Our Traditions”.