A prayer that perfectly summarizes the spirit of Lent

This is a prayer that many Christians around the world pray every day of Lent. For some Christians, the liturgical season of Lent is practiced throughout with the ancient prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian.

Ephrem was an innocent and devoted hermit who lived in the 4th century and he composed a variety of prayers and hymns to God. One of his prayers has been used by Orthodox and Byzantine Christians for many centuries during penitential liturgies. Precisely, it is used during weekday liturgical services of Lent, and many believe it perfectly summarizes the spirit of Lent.

The prayer starts by asking God to take away various sins, and replace them with corresponding virtues. Lent is not only a season that is entirely focused on purging oneself of sins but a season that should also bring a person closer to practicing virtue.

Below is a popular English translation of St. Ephrem prayer for Lent, which was originally written in the Syriac language.

“O Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give me rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord, and King allow me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages”. Amen.

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