Saturday, November 15, 2008

Second Century Prayers


May God the Father, and the Eternal High Priest Jesus Christ, build us up in faith and truth and love, and grant to us our portion among the saints with all those who believe on our Lord Jesus Christ. We pray for all saints, for kings and rulers, for the enemies of the Cross of Christ, and for ourselves we pray that our fruit may abound and we may be made perfect in Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN.


A Dying Prayer of Polycarp, the Martyr

O Father of Your well-beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom we have known You; O God of the angels and powers and of every living creature, and of all sorts of just men which live in Your presence, I thank You that You have graciously granted this day and this hour to allot me a portion among the numbers of martyrs, among the people of Christ unto the resurrection of the everlasting life, both of body and soul, in the incorruption of the Holy Spirit; among whom I shall be received in Your sight this day, as a fruitful and acceptable sacrifice, as You have heretofore prepared, often revealed and now fulfilled, most faithful God who can not lie. Wherefore for all things, I praise You, I bless You, I glorify You, through the everlasting High Priest, Jesus Christ, Your well-beloved Son, to whom with You and the Holy Spirit, be all glory, world without end. AMEN.

-The Martyrdom of Polycarp

A Prayer for the Privilege of Martyrdom

Ask for me this only in your prayers, that strength may be given me of the Lord that I may not be called but proved to be a Christian. Then shall I be seen to be faithful when the world no longer sees me. for nothing that appears is eternal. For the things which are perceived are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. I write to the Churches and garge you all that willingly I die for Christ, if you prevent me not. I ask of you that your love for me be not untimely; allow me to be devoured of wild beasts, through whom I may attain unto God. I am the grain of God ground between the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found to be the pure bread of Christ. Then indeed shall I be the true disciple of Christ when the world shall no longer behold my body. Beseech Christ on my behalf that through these means I may be found a perfect sacrifice. Not as Peter and Paul do I command you. They were apostles, I am the least of them: they were free, but I am a slave even unto this day, but, if you wish, I shall be the freedman of Jesus Christ, and in Him I shall rise again and be free. AMEN


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