This last month, while venturing hither (vacationing in the Okanagan Valley) and yon (working in Sydney, Australia), I have been paging slowly through a splendid collection of the spiritual writings of Alexander Men (1935-1990), the astonishing Russian Orthodox pastor, teacher, and martyr, translated fluently by Christa Belyaeva and edited sensitively by one of our alumnae, April French.
Here is a prayer he composed for Lent (what the Orthodox call “Great Lent”), but it’s a fine prayer for any and every day:
I believe, Lord;
Establish my faith.
I hope in you, Lord;
Strengthen my hope.
I have loved you, Lord;
Purify my love and kindle it.
I am broken, Lord;
But increase my repentance.
I honour You, Lord, my Creator;
I groan for you and call on you.
Direct me by Your wisdom;
Protect me and strengthen me.
I surrender my intentions to You, my God;
May they come from You.
May my deeds be done in your name
And my desires in your will.
Enlighten my mind, strengthen my will;
Purify my body, sanctify my soul.
May I see my transgressions,
That I may not stumble in pride;
Help me to overcome temptation.
May I glorify You
All the days of this life you have given to me.