An Eastern Lenten Prayer: Do not by sinning make the fast worthless

From our archives, originally posted in Feb. 2006

An Eastern Lenten Prayer

Filed under: Prayers & Prayer Themes, Purification, Fasting, Lent 2006, Lent Prayers — Karen B.

More of an exhortation really than a prayer — a challenge we need to pose to our souls. It reminds me of the Isaiah 58 passage on true fasting. It’s so easy to become “satisfied” with outward forms of abstinence and not do the harder work of fasting from sin…

Eastern Lenten Prayer

If thou dost fast from food, O my soul,
yet dost not cleanse thyself from passions,
thou dost rejoice in vain over thy abstinence.
For if thy purpose
is not turned towards amendment of life,
as a liar thou art hateful in God’s sight,
and thou doest resemble the evil demons
who never eat at all.
Do not by sinning make the fast worthless,
but firmly resist all wicked impulses.
Picture to thyself
that thou art standing beside the crucified Saviour,
or rather, that thou art thyself crucified with Him
Who was crucified for thee;
and cry out to Him:
“Remember me, O Lord,
when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom.”


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