Prayers in time of Invasion by the Nations
PRAYERS IN TIME OF INVASION
BY THE NATIONS
By Makarios of Philadelphia
FIRST PRAYER IN TIME OF INVASION BY THE NATIONS
Deacon: Let us entreat the Lord.
Choir: Lord, have mercy.
Priest: O Master Lord, our God, who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord our God? What
god is as great as our God, manifesting his power in mercy and his goodness in
strength, to console us and to save us? O God, remain not silent nor allay the
retribution which Thou owest to the prideful, for behold, thine enemies are strong,
and them that hate Thee raise their head, against thy people have they woven their
plots, they have taken measures against thy faithful. They said: “Come, let us destroy
them, that their name Israel be remembered no more.” The nations have come into
thine inheritance, they have defiled thy holy temple, they have made a ruin of
Jerusalem. They have delivered over the corpses of thy servants as food for the birds
of heaven, the flesh of thy faithful to the beasts of the earth. They shed blood as water
around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
How long, O Lord, shalt thine anger burn as a fire, how long shalt Thou turn thy face
far from us, how long shall sinners boast, how long shall injustice have power, how
long shall the staff of the impious rise up against the inheritance of them that are
consecrated to Thee? Alas, our humiliation is complete, and we have been reduced
to little in comparison with all the nations. Alas, them that afflict us are full of
strength, and our wound is become resistant to care. But Thou, O Lord, great and
strong, how long shalt Thou have mercy on Jerusalem?
For I could lament bitterly, as Jeremias, over our disaster, for we are blown away like
leaves because of our iniquities, we are counted among the dead with them in hades.
But as Zacharias I shall hope in Thee, O Lord, who wishest mercy, for Thou art a
compassionate God, who destroys the plots of the strong and who accepts the prayer
of the humble. Why therefore have we become the disgrace of them that are near
and of them that are far, to know them that draw aside from the way of justice by
neglecting precepts and of them that break with it and once and for all fall into
impiety; who, ignoring the design of thine all-wise providence, refuse on principle our
visit. They must hear the words from the holy Scriptures where it is said that, if the
Lord reprimands us, it is for our instruction, so that we not be condemned with the
world; to understand these maxims of common wisdom, according to which neither
the dead nor the dying deserve the cares of medicine, but must be sick and living to
enjoy the attention of the healers; realize, at last, that every sorrow
experienced in this world changes into gladness in the next. But they have not seen
nor understood and for that treat us as infidels and accuse with drunkenness our
confidence in Thee, the true God. And, since to proclaim Thee, the only-begotten
Son of the unoriginate Father, co-essential with thy Father and the all-holy Spirit,
while worshiping the one nature, one essence, one power, one godhead and
kingdom, they understand that we are suffering this because of our impiety, and do
think the insane, that the calamity of our captivity is a punishment for our sins. But,
while this, ridiculing thy patience, they outrage thy godhead and make ridiculous
thine economy for this cosmos. But pardon, O Lord, remit, O philanthropic God,
compassionate and sympathetic and merciful Master, do not reprimand us further in
thy fury, do not crush us; do not punish us in thy wrath, that we not return to initial
non-being, to the nothingness which preceded our existence. But be for us a
powerful helper in contest, for nothing prevents Thee from giving victory, which can
be more or less numerous. But strengthen us, O Lord our God, for in Thee we hope
and in thy name we have placed our confidence. And let the word pronounced in
our regard, O Lord, according to which Thou shall be with us always be borne out,
until the end of the world. Exalt the horn of Christians and confound them that
persecute us, let them be terrified that wish to intimidate us, that they be driven back
and vanish, that their strength be broken, that their power disappear; and that
everywhere be known that thy name is Lord.
For Thou alone art Most High over all the earth, and thine is the kingdom and the
power and the glory, and it is Thee that we must worship, the true God and our
Savior, together with thine unoriginate Father and thine all-holy and good and life-
creating Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.
SECOND PRAYER IN TIME OF INVASION BY THE NATIONS
Priest: O Master Lord, Our God, we entreat Thee and we supplicate Thee, we sinners and
unworthy servants, to look upon our entreaty of guilty and useless servants, and have
mercy on us; for our sins and our iniquities have surpassed our head, we have become
the disgrace of the nations, an object of ridicule and of mockery for the sons of Hagar
who surround us; we are humiliated unto death because of our sins, and lawlessness
and blasphemies. Who would not cry for us in such a situation, who would not
lament on seeing us reduced to captivity? For all this comes to us because of our sins,
our lawlessness and our blasphemies. Therefore, we the precious sons of Sion do not
reckon ourselves more than oyster shells; therefore the pure gold has been changed
into base lead; therefore we the disciples of the Nazarene, who should shine brighter
than snow, have become burned faces; we who were whiter than milk have become
darker than ink; we who were in wool from the time we were nursed, now are
clothed in our nakedness; for the number of our sins surpasses those of Sodom;
wherefore, from the sons of the light and of the day, we have become those of the
darkness and the night; from sons of the kingdom, the slaves of iniquitous enemies, of
the faithless nations; for we have sinned, we have committed iniquity,
unrighteousness, we have transgressed the commandments of the Lord our God.
But abandon us not to the end, for the glory of thy holy name; break not thy
covenant, nor remove thy mercy from us, by reason of thy clemency, our Father who
art in the heavens, with the compassion of thine only begotten Son and the mercy of
thy Holy Spirit; remember not our lawlessness, but quickly let thy compassions come
upon us, O Lord, for we are reduced to extreme wretchedness. Come to our aid, O
God our Savior, for the glory of thy name. Accept our confession from sinful and
useless servants, through the precious and holy blood of thy Son, our Lord Jesus
Christ, shed for the life of the world; through thy holy apostles and martyrs who have
contested for thy name even unto the shedding of their blood; through the holy
prophets and fathers and patriarchs who have been well-pleasing to thy holy name.
Disdain not our entreaty, O Lord, nor abandon us until the end. Most certainly we
do not found our hope on our own righteousness, but upon thy mercy, upon which
our humanity is surrounded. Therefore, we implore and supplicate thy goodness;
reject us not far from thy face, be not disgusted by our unworthiness; but have mercy
on us, according to thy great mercy, according to the fullness of thy compassion,
overlook our transgressions and our sins. Yea, O all-powerful Master, hear the voice
of the entreaty of us sinners, and help thy people, and strengthen our army in the
hour of war, and give strength and steadiness to it, as Thou hast given strength to
Jesus of Navi and to David thy prophet, against enemies. Yea, O Lord, our God,
grant strength and come to the help of thy people, to them that invoke thy name; for
we know no other God than Thee, and upon thy name have we called. For Thou
hast worked all in all, and it is thy help which we seek. Never, from the ages, have our
eyes turned to another god. Look down from heaven, O Lord, and see from the
house of thy holy glory. Where is thy zeal and thy strength? Where is the fullness of
thy mercy and compassion? For Thou art God and thy name is upon us. Return, O
Lord, for the sake of thy servants, of thy holy Church, of the saints from all ages. For
our enemies have trampled under foot thy holiness; we have become again what we
were at the beginning, before Thou wast our ruler; we are all like impure beings and
our righteousness is like dirty rags; as leaves we have been carried away because of
our lawlessness, and there is no one to call upon thy name; to remember to follow
Thee; for Thou hast hidden thy face from us because of our sins, lawlessness and
blasphemies, to the proud and arrogant enemies, to the faithless nations.
And now, O Lord, our God, be not wrathful to this stage; but, if Thou openest the
heaven, thy fear shall seize the mountains and they shall melt, fire shall consume our
enemies, our godless adversaries, thy name shall be feared by thine enemies. Look
down from heaven and save us for the glory of thy name, deliver us from our godless
enemies; draw us from the nets and snares that they have prepared against us; remove
not thy powerful help from us, for we are not capable of conquering our assailants;
but Thou art capable of saving us from our enemies and unfaithful adversaries.
Strengthen thy people and our army, empower and steady them, confer on them thy
strength at this time of combat. Reverse, destroy, make to disappear the faithless and
godless barbarians and our enemies, the Hagarenes. And send up glory to thy holy
name, so that the nations cannot say: Where is their God? By the intercessions of the
all-blessed Lady, Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, and all thy saints.
For Thou art our help and our strength, and to Thee do we send up glory, to the
unoriginate Father, together with thine only-begotten Son, and thine all-holy and
good and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye not be troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and
kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…. But he that shall endure
unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Matthew 24:6-8, 13
When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies,and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
Note: This English-language translation has not been approved by any liturgical commission. As it does not appear in the English-language Book of Needs but is in the Grand Euchologe, p. 454, it is being offered simply for scholarly studies from the works of Schema-Archimandrite John (Lewis +2007).
Notes on the second prayer:
1.”…to look upon our entreaty of guilty and useless servants, and for having mercy on us…”, reworded to “…to look upon our entreaty of guilty and useless servants, and have mercy on us…”.
2.”…we who were in wool from the time we were nursed, now are clothed in our nakedness”, this had read “…we who were in wood…”,which appeared to be a typographical error.