Short Prayers

Although some people think "written prayers" have no place in a fresh, spontaneous spiritual life, the testimony of the Church for centuries suggests otherwise. The earliest Christians were devoted to "the prayers" (Acts 2:42 - translation from original Greek NT manuscripts). Many of these prayers and comments are adapted from the chapter "Short Prayers" in The Law of God by Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy published by Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, NY). The language of some of the prayers has been updated to reflect contemporary English.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  • This prayer is sometimes called the beginning prayer because we say it before all other prayers when we begin to pray. In this prayer we ask God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit to bless us by His name for whatever work is before us.
  • "In the name" means by the name, to the honor, to the glory
  • "Amen" means truly or yes or let it be so.

Bless, Lord!

  • We say this prayer at the beginning of all our work.

Thank you, Lord.

Your will be done.

Glory to You, our God, thank you for all things.

Glory to You, our God, Glory to you.

  • "Glory" - means praise
  • In this prayer we don't ask God for anything, but only glorify Him. We can also say the shorter prayer: GLORY TO GOD.
  • We say this prayer at the end of work, as a sign of our thankfulness to God for His mercy to us.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

  • The Jesus Prayer contains the whole message of Christianity.
  • The Jesus Prayer is directed to our Savior Jesus Christ.
  • The Jesus Prayer acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God.
  • In the Jesus Prayer we humbly ask His mercy upon us.
  • For centuries Orthodox saints have tried to repeat this prayer at all times for it brings great benefit to the soul.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, through the prayers of Your most pure Mother and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.

  • Realizing our own sinfulness, we do not rely on the power of our own prayers.
  • We ask the Mother of God and all the saints for their prayers.*

O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who are everywhere present and fill all things; Treasurer of Blessings and Giver of life, come and dwell within us, and cleanse us from every blemish, and save our souls, O blessed One!

  • In this prayer we pray to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity.
  • This prayer to the Holy Spirit is prayed by Orthodox Christians at the beginning of most formal prayers (morning prayers, evening prayers, prayers of the hours, etc.).
  • We recognize that we have no life, no wisdom, and no strength without the Holy Spirit.
  • Saint Seraphim of Sarov affirmed that the acquisition of the Holy Spirit is the goal of the Christian life.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.

  • This prayer is rooted in the angelic hymn to the Most Holy Trinity (Isaiah and The Apocalypse).
  • It is often called "The Trisagion."

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

  • In this prayer we do not ask God for anything, but only glorify Him who appears in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • This prayer is sometimes called the Doxology of the Holy Trinity.

O most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, cleanse us of our sins; O Master, forgive our transgressions; O Holy One, come to us and heal our infirmities, for Your Name's sake.

  • This prayer of petition is a prayer to the Most-Holy Trinity.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

  • This prayer is called the Lord's Prayer because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself gave it to His disciples when they asked Him to teach them how to pray.
  • The church fathers affirm that this is THE prayer of the Christian. Everything we need to pray is in this prayer. All other legitimate prayers are either an abbreviation or an elaboration of the Lord's Prayer. Prayer is not informing God about things He already knows and then telling Him what to do about it. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need before we ask. We can leave "all the rest" to Him and focus on the realities contained in this prayer.

Rejoice, Mary, full of grace, O Virgin Birth-giver of God, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have given birth to Christ, the Savior and deliverer of our souls.

  • This prayer is sometimes called the angelic greeting because in it are the words of the Archangel Gabriel: Rejoice, Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women.
  • This prayer also contains spoken to Mary by the righteous Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist: Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

You are truly deserving of glory, O Birthgiver of God, the ever blessed and most pure Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim, who as a virgin gave birth to God the Word. True Birthgiver of God, we magnify you.

  • This prayer reflects the Scriptures mentioned above, as well as the Church's recognition of the special place the Mother of God has in God's redemptive plan.
  • In many icons, Mary's hand is pointing towards her Son, Jesus Christ. Mary is special because Christ is special. To diminish the special place of Mary in God's redemptive plan is to diminish the uniqueness of God's Son. The Orthodox Church zealously defends Mary's role as the "Theotokos" ("Birthgiver of God").

Other Short Prayers

Prayer for the Living

Save, Lord, and have mercy on (Names).

Prayer for the Reposed

Give rest, Lord, to the souls of your servants who have fallen asleep (NAMES), and forgive them all their sins, both voluntary and involuntary, and grant them Your heavenly kingdom.

Prayers Before Eating

The eyes of all look to You with hope, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand and fill every living thing with Your favor (Psalm 144:16-17).

Christ our God, bless the food and drink of Your servants, for You are holy, always now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer After Eating

We thank You, Christ our God, for You have satisfied us with Your earthly gifts. Do not deprive us of Your heavenly kingdom, but as You came among Your disciples and gave them peace, come to us and save us.

Morning Prayer

Having risen from sleep, I hurry to You, Master and Lover of mankind, and by Your love and kindness, I strive to do Your work. I pray to You: Help me at all times, in everything, and deliver me from every worldly, evil thing, and every impulse of the devil. Save me, and lead me into Your eternal kingdom. For You are my Creator, and the giver and provider of everything good. All my hope is in You, and to You I send up glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Evening Prayer

Lord our God, as You are good and the lover of mankind, forgive me the sins which I have committed today in thought, word, and deed. Give me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Your guardian angel to protect and keep me from all evil. For You are the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to You we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

*Note: Orthodox Christians do not technically pray to saints, at least not in the sense that many think of when using the word prayer. Rather, they ask saints for their prayers. Just as Christians naturally ask godly people on earth to pray for them, so Orthodox Christians ask glorified saints to pray for them. The saints are alive in Christ and make intercession before the throne of God. In addition, only God ultimately “saves” a person from sin, death, and destruction. However, God chooses to use human instruments in the ongoing process of salvation. See 1 Corinthians 9:22; 1 Timothy 4:16; Jude 23. When Orthodox Christians ask Mary, the Birthgiver of God, to “save” them, they are referring to Mary’s intercessions being a means which God uses in the ongoing process of salvation – similar to the human instrumentality mentioned in the texts listed above.