Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Father Sophrony's Morning Prayer

Father Sophrony was born 1896 in Moscow. From 1926 to 1947 he lived as a monk at Mount Athos in Greece. A disciple of Saint Silouan the Athonite, he founded the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England. 

Father Sophrony sent this morning prayer to his spiritual children around the world promising that if they prayed the prayer each morning they'd have a good day. Father Sophrony seems to have composed the prayer employing the thoughts of many Athonite monks before him. An American might call that plagiarism, but the saints don't worry about that - they only want us to pray. I've adapted the prayer only changing a word or two so as to make it more accessible to people today.

Eternal God, Holy King,
maker of heaven and earth,
Jesus Christ, Son without beginning of
the Father without beginning,
who with incomprehensible goodness
has called me from non-being to this life,
who has granted to me the blessing of baptism
and heavenly rebirth
and has set the seal of Thy Holy Spirit
on the members of my body,
as Thou has kindled the desire to seek after Thee,
the only one true God, hear now my prayer.

Neither life nor light nor joy have I,
neither wisdom nor strength except Thee, O God.
I am not worthy to look upon Thee, 
for the multitude of my sins.
But as Thou has said to Thy disciples,
"Whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive,"
and, "If you ask anything in my name, I will do it,"
in daring I call to Thee.
Cleanse me of every impurity of flesh and spirit
and teach me how to pray to Thee worthily.

Bless this day which Thou has given me,
Thy unworthy servant, and with the power
of Thy blessing, permit me at all times,
and in every place, with pure heart, 
to speak and act unto Thy glory,
with patience, wise humility and love,
in the spirit of peace, meekness, magnanimity
and wisdom, and to regard Thee before my own needs.
Make known to me, O Lord, the way of Thy will, 
according to Thy boundless goodness, 
and grant me to walk blamelessly before Thy face.

Thou, King of Peace, see into the depths
of hearts and innermost parts.
Thou knowest my poverty and mindlessness.
Thou knowest my blindness and ignorance,
but Thou seest my heart's desire 
and my soul's sickness and sorrow are not
hidden from Thee.
Hearken then unto my prayer, 
and by Thy Holy Spirit direct me to the true land.
Whenever my corrupt will should lead me
along strange paths, then I pray Thee,
spare me not, but by constraint bring me back to
the path of Thy Holy Commandments. 
By the power of Thy love, let me follow in Thy
footsteps, wherever Thou goest. 

Protect me from every soul-destroying
word and deed, from every agitation of 
heart and mind which may sorrow Thy Holy Spirit
or grieve my brother or sister.
Teach me what it is fitting to say
and how fittingly to say it.
If it be Thy will that I keep silent,
give me the sense to keep silent in the spirit of peace,
not like those who outrage or trouble my neighbor.
Order me in the ways of Thy statutes and even
until my last breath do not let me deviate
from the light of Thy commandments,
so that Thy commandments shall be the sole law
of all my being, both now and ever.

My blessed maker, be merciful to me,
Thy fallen creature, be generous with me 
in my humility and sorrow, 
and hide not from me the way of Thy salvation.
Many and great things I ask of Thee, O my God,
but forget not my corruption and uselessness.
Therefore, have mercy on me, and turn not Thy
face from me, on account of my audacity,
but all the more, increase in me the holy audacity,
and make me worthy, most wretched of all,
to love Thee, as Thou has commanded us,
with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind
and all my strength. 
With all my being, may I love Thee.

O Lord King, by Thy Holy Spirit,
teach me prudence and wisdom.
Grant me to know Thy truth before I 
descend into my grave.
Prolong my days in this world so that I may
bring to Thee the worthy fruits of repentance.
Do not carry me off in the midst of my days,
nor in the darkness of my mind.
But when Thou mercifully permittest the end of 
my life, warn me, so that my soul will be 
prepared to see Thee.
On that great day, at that final hour, 
be with me, O Lord, and grant me ineffable joy.
Cleanse me of my hidden things and
from all unlawfulness lurking in me,
and grant me to bring a good defense at
Thy judgment.

Yes Lord, according to Thy great mercy
and Thy immeasurable love for humankind,
hear my prayer. Amen.


  1. Thank you Father. I have been reading your blog for some time now and I am grateful for the prayers you share with us and your own reflections. It is a comfort to have this spiritual guidance always available.

  2. I send a blessing as a new liturgical year approaches!

  3. I think this is one of the most beautiful prayers I have read. It is a cry of complete surrender, so humble, so wanting to be pleasing to God. His thoughts and words are awesome.

  4. I don't know if praying this will indeed promise me a good day, but it will certainly help to get me off in the right frame of mind. The hardest thing to do is to surrender to God's will, and to let things be. To love God with all my heart and trust in Him. A simple but most difficult goal for my life.

  5. Sounds good to me! "A good beginning makes for a good ending." Bless your day