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n your name, Almighty, I extend the shriveled arm of my soul so you will make it whole as before, as in the Garden of Eden, when it reached to pick fruit from the tree of life. The misery of my incorrigible soul, bound up, infirm, bent over, is like the stricken woman in the Gospel, bowed by sin, her gaze on the ground in Satanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tyrannical chains, kept from your heavenly blessing. Turn your ear toward me, last hope of mercy and raise this humbled, fallen, dried up, thinking piece of wood, to make it blossom in piety, as foretold in the words of the holy prophet. ike one without light, blind from birth, I do not have vision to look upon your face, O creator, almighty and compassionate, my only protector. If you turn the caring gaze of your immeasurable love upon my breathing speaking vessel, you could rekindle, out of nothing, the light of being within me. Like the wretched woman in the Gospels, afflicted by evils for twelve years, I bleed with rivers of infirmity. Look down upon me from on high cloaked in blinding light, where sewn clothing does not exist, but everything is covered in mighty miracles. Condemned as I am, I do not approach the soles of your life-giving feet to anoint them with oil or offer to wash them with my tear-drenched hair. But rather, a true believer, I kiss the earth, with pure faith, hands reaching up, sighing with streaming tears, begging for the healing of my soul, a soul wasted by shortcomings, dissipated by weakness.

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nd these two feet, means of motion, foundation of my bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s structure, now lame and unsteady, vanquished by evil, impede my ascent to the tree of life-giving fruit. May you again inhabit them, my only hope of cure. And the organ of glorification with which you endowed me, whose voice when moved by the magnanimity of your mercy used to turn back the breath of the Troublemaker, silencing him, may you miraculously restore your living word to me, so I might speak again without faltering, like the one you healed in the Gospel. I lie here on a cot struck down by evil, sinking in disease and torment, like the living dead yet able to speak. O kind Son of God, have compassion upon my misery. Hear the sobbing of my agitated voice. Bring me back to life with the dew of your blessed eyes as you brought back your friend from breathless death. n a dungeon of infirmities, I am captive, bitter and in doubt. Give me your hand, sun that casts no shadows, Son on high, and lift me into your radiant light. Like the pitiful, wailing voice of the widow Nain, mourning her only son, fingers trembling, chest heaving, tears streaming down her face paralyzed with grief, I beg with my last sighing breath: Grant me, who has lost hope, your comfort and pity. Teach me not to moan and protest like a prisoner, kind and praiseworthy creator of the universe, but rather, like the young man you brought back to life, who comforted his grieving mother, may I too receive from you a second chance for my condemned soul. You took pity, O Savior of all, even on demon-possessed brutes, and those unfortunates, stoned,

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beaten, and deformed, with their unkempt, knotted hair and their wild faces, raving in delirium. Like them, I petition you, turn back the legions of evil defiling your sanctuary within me so that when your Spirit arrives your goodness might dwell here and fill my body with your cleansing breath, bringing lucidity to my reeling mind. ike souls banished to hell, I am held captive by illness. Let your light dawn in radiant rays of mercy upon my torture to rescue me from the clutches of the sickness tearing me apart. The infirmities that cause disease traveling invisible paths, secretly lying in wait, straying from the ordained ways with malicious purposes – all torment my soul. Hidden from examination, the malignant growth proceeds with the poisonous work of the Evil-doer. With your strength which knows no equal, Son of God, heal me so that I might live. ith your almighty hand pluck out the harvest of destruction that the various mortal illnesses, each dressed in its own way, produce. Pluck out the evil roots sprouted upon the field of my unruly body with your mighty hand that plows and cultivates the plots of our souls so they may bear the fruit of the gospel of life. And because the torments of my infirmities surpass even these examples, which like a spreading cancer, have touched all the parts of my body, there is no salve as there was none for Israel, for my innumerable sores. Every part of my body from head to toe is unhealthy and beyond the help of physicians. But you, merciful, beneficent, blessed, long-suffering, immortal king, hear the prayers of my embattled heart for mercy, when I cry to you, “Lord,” in my time of need.

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ord, Lord filled with compassion, God of mercies, majestic name, awe-inspiring voice, severe summons, unbroken silence, thundering speech, shocking sound, hope of good deeds and all merciful sweetness, before which all creatures quake in fear. Before your awesome wrath, the seraphim take to flight and the cherubim huddle together. he choirs of angels hide their faces, all the principalities of heaven shake in amazement, and all of them rejoice with great trembling in jubilant celebration. The demons are frightened away and the evil bands recoil, the spirits of darkness are exiled and the angels of the banished one are condemned to the abyss. he attacks of the aggressors are held in check by the sign of your cross, and the vengeful Amalekites are locked away in their infernal prison. The enemy forces are bound with undoable knots. The legions of the warriors of death are jailed in prisons from which there is no escape. he demonic hordes are arrested as in irons by your command. The instigators of mutiny are silenced. The mobs of evil spirits are tied up and waste away. The emissaries of the Antichrist are locked in unbreakable chains. n this midnight silence I lift my hand toward you to make the blessed sign of your cross, source of sight, who never dims in the darkness of ignorance, but eternally dwells in unapproachable light. With a grateful heart I implore that this grieving soul be taken under the protection of your almighty wing. Save me from the onrush of external illusion. Endow

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my heartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye with pure light. Strengthen me with your cross, the wood of life, against nightmares. Consecrate the boundaries of my cell with drops of your life-giving blood. Sanctify my threshold with the water and blood from your side. ay the roof of my dwelling bear the shape of your Cross. May the miracle of your sacrifice for our salvation appear as a vision before my raised eyes. May the instrument of your torment be fixed upon my door. May my faith and hope hang upon your blessed tree. ith your cross, Lord, stop the slayer of souls. Let the protector of light enter. Ease the severity of my pains and lighten the burden of my guilt. In the silent chamber where my mind collects itself upon the cushion of my bed, recalling the bitter fruits of despair, I confess to you, all-knowing God, my innumerable deeds of wicked iniquity in all their forms. ive me rest. I am exhausted from the multitude of cares and toil. Remove the turmoil of doubt from my broken spirit, the bitterness along with the grief, the sighing along with the misery, the anxiety along with the wretchedness, the cries along with the destruction, the brokenness along with the stupor, the delirium along with the folly, the imprudence along with the stupidity, the cooling of love along with the feverish passion for luxury. ome to my aid, for I am weak with grief and poor in spirit. With your right hand of beneficial grace, with your finger of renewal, with your ever-radiant glory, with your eternal, incorruptible presence, with your cheerful countenance, with the essence of your venerable being, with your greatness worthy of worship, relieve this labored sighing that is suffocating me.

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top the new tricks of evil and the old deceptions of the Troublemaker, the alienating impulses of the teacher of death, the unfitting imaginings prompted by the one who kills us daily, the mirages caused by the treacherous demon, the enchanting sorcererâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fiery breath. Protect my place of rest in the tranquility resembling death, from hidden thoughts and new errors, from great misdeeds and small missteps, from the evil machinations of idleness. anish from my senses, wayward servant that I am, inappropriate thoughts and base passions, blameworthy conduct and unbecoming ambitions, erring actions, ridiculous illusions, vile thoughts, and despicable babble. rm me, for I have taken refuge in you, arm me with an unerring heart and undefiled body, against winds, the violent blows, the battering of the storm, the pouncing of the tempest, the attacks of beasts. hen I close my eyes, do not let my heart-vision grow dark, rather let it awaken, become bright and splendid to shine with you, Lord Jesus Christ, with the burning of the inextinguishable light. ith your word, cleanse my bedchamber of cunning and distractions, of memories distasteful to you and thoughts hostile to heaven, of criminal follies and ingratitude toward your Lordship, and heresies against God. tand guard over me with your heavenly host, the principalities and dominions, and invincible powers, pure ministers of your holy Godhead, the apostles with the tidings of your Gospel, the prophets with their testaments, and the

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righteous with their prayers offered at the end of their lives, that I might fall asleep in mourning pleasing to you and awaken anew with the grace of your joy. hough I sleep with trepidation, may I arise again in spiritual bliss. Though I go to bed in sinfulness, may I get up with a clear conscience and spotless purity. ear the sighing of my voice in prayer, you who alone are most compassionate, through the intercession of your Holy Mother, and all the righteous and the chosen martyrs. o you glory from all people, which I offer up to you, along with the choirs of immortal Holy Angels, in praise of your ather, our od, and the oly pirit, the creator and renewer of everything, forever and ever. men.

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Armenian Church Pastorate of Ethiopia Addis-Ababa, 2005

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