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O Lord, send me strength

O Lord, send also strength. Con­vert me, that I might live in sanc­ti­ty, accord­ing to Thy holy will. Sanc­ti­fy my heart that has become a den and dwelling-place of demons. I am unwor­thy to ask for­give­ness for myself, O Lord, for many times have I promised to repent and proved myself a liar by not ful­fill­ing my promise. Thou hast picked me up many times already, but every time I freely chose to fall again. There­fore I con­demn myself and admit that I deserve all man­ner of pun­ish­ment and tor­ture. How many times hast Thou enlight­ened my dark­ened mind; yet every time I return again to base thoughts! My whole body trem­bles when I con­tem­plate this; yet every time sin­ful sen­su­al­i­ty recon­quers me. How shall I recount all the gifts of Thy grace, O Lord, that I the piti­ful one have received? Yet I have reduced them all to noth­ing by my apa­thy — and I con­tin­ue on in this man­ner. Thou has bestowed upon me thou­sands of gifts, yet mis­er­able me, I offer in return things repul­sive to Thee. Yet Thou, O Lord, inas­much as Thou con­tainest a sea of long­suf­fer­ing and an abyss of kind­ness, do not allow me to be felled as a fruit­less fig tree; and do not let me be burned with­out hav­ing ripened on the field of life. Snatch me not away unpre­pared; seize not me who have not yet lit my lamp; take not away me who have no wed­ding gar­ment; but, because Thou art good and the lover of mankind, have mer­cy on me. Give me time to repent, and place not my soul stripped naked before Thy ter­ri­ble and unwa­ver­ing throne as a piti­ful spec­ta­cle of infamy. If a right­eous man can bare­ly be saved, then where will I end up, I who am law­less and sin­ful? If the path that leads to life is strait and nar­row, then how can I be vouch­safed such good things, I who live a life of lux­u­ry, indulging in my own plea­sures and dis­si­pa­tion? But Thou, O Lord, my Sav­iour, Son of the true God, as Thou know­est and desirest it, by Thy grace alone, freely turn me away from the sin that abides in me and save me from ruin. From A Spir­i­tu­al Psalter by our Holy Father St Ephraim of Edessa, the Syr­i­an; excerpt­ed and arranged by Bish­op Theo­phan the Recluse accord­ing to the man­ner of the psalter of the Old Tes­ta­ment.

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