I dare not do so myself, pray for me, O ye saints
Who will not lament for me, who have renounced the eternal kingdom for the sake of meagre pleasures, ignoring the eternal fire? Having surrendered myself to the passions, I have destroyed the integrity of my soul and become like the unreasoning beasts.
At one time I found myself rich with gifts, but now I have come to love the poverty of the passions. I have become a stranger to the virtues and departed for the distant land of corruption. I am half dead; I have only a tiny remnant of life in me.
Because I am this way by mine own free choice, I cannot even raise mine eyes to the kindhearted Lord.
Lament, O blessed and righteous ones, for me who am caught in the embrace of passions and sin.
Lament, O ascetics, for me who am a glutton and voluptuary.
Lament, O merciful and condescending ones, for me who am hardhearted and cause much grief.
Lament, O God-pleasers, for me who strive to please men.
Lament, O ye who have attained meekness, for me who am irritable and wrathful.
Lament, O humble ones, for me who am pompous and arrogant.
Lament, O ye who have attained the nonacquisitiveness of the apostles, for me who, burdened by my love for possessions, cling to material things.
Lament, O ye who have loved lamentation and hated laughter, for me who have loved laughter and hated lamentation.
Lament, ye who contemplate the judgement that will come after death, for me who affirm that I remember the judgement but act to the contrary.
Pray, O saints of God, for my soul which is convulsed by all manner of passions. Inasmuch as you are able, help me, O saints of God.
For I know that if you beseech God, the Lover of mankind, all will be granted you from the sea of His kindness. And, like our man-befriending God, so also when I, a sinner, beseech you, do not despise my supplication; for I have not the boldness to pray to Him myself because of the multitude of my sins.
Your role it is, O saints, to intercede for sinners, God’s role it is to have mercy on those who despair.
O saints of God, pray to the King on behalf of the prisoner. Pray to the Pastor on behalf of the sheep. Pray to Life on behalf of the corpse, that He might lend His hand to aid me and strengthen my humble soul in its feebleness.
St. Ephraim of Syria
This an excellent early example of our rich theology regarding the intercession of the Saints. St Ephrem is from early 4th century, hundreds of years before the heresies of the Reformation and all the confusion they engendered in good hearted people regarding Holy tradition. St Ephrem’s warm entreaties show the power of this “missing page” in the lives of many who confess Christ but have never been taught about the comfort of the intercession of the saints. There is deep theology in his prayer.
When we ask others to pray for us, how much more effectual is the prayer of the Righteous, who are members of the Church Triumphant!
O Saints of God, intercede in our behalf!
from Priest Seraphim Holland