[orthodox-synod] A Prayer For The Russian People by Bishop Nikolai [Velimirovich]
- A PRAYER FOR THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE by Bishop Nikolai [Velimirovich]
O All-wise God, Whose judgments are beyond questioning and Whose ways are
inscrutable, do Thou mercifully attend to and hear our prayer for Thy
Russian Orthodox people!
Thou hast permitted Thy most faithful servant to be subjected to intense
torments, in like manner as Thou didst allow Thy first apostles, prophets
and righteous ones to be distress'd. Bereft of garments and cover'd-o'er
with wounds is Thine servant -- and toss'd upon a dung-heap, as once had
been the righteous Iov, -- a laughing-stock for satan and an object of
derision for his neighbours. Fearsome are the torments, and man is weak: O
Lord, help! Lift up Thine servant and heal his wounds.
We know, O Lord our God, that according to Thine all-wise providence, Thou
dost permit Thy chosen ones to suffer, so that, like gold which is tried by
fire, they too might be cleansed of earthly dross and gleam forth ever the
more brightly. But, O God of mercy and love, do not allow satan long to
mock, nor hypocrites long to jeer at Thy cross-bearing Russian nation.
We know that Thou permittest misfortunes to befall even the most radiant of
souls for their greater glory and to bring fear and trembling upon the
unrighteous and the wicked. We know that Thy glorious Resurrection, O
Christ, also transpired after Thou wast mock'd, didst suffer torments upon
a cross, and didst die. Wherefore we, in the light of Thy suff'ring,
accept the dark gloom of the Russian [nation's] agony and await the glory
of its resurrection. As the paralytic at Bethesda had none to help him
until Thou camest, so also, today, the great Russian nation hath not a
person in the world that could aid it without Thee, our God and our Saviour.
Do not delay Thy succour, O good Lord, Thou Who art quick to help. Do not
put it off and do not refuse it, but do Thou, as did the merciful
Samaritan, turn to the Russian nation which hath fallen victim to attack
from brigands and hath been beaten severely; extend to it Thine hand and
heal its wounds; and return it to health and to the gleam of glory, so that
Thy most-faithful servant might glorify Thee in the future even more that
he glorified Thee in the past -- Thee, his Saviour, with the Father and the
Holy Spirit unto the ages of ages. Amen.
[This prayer was composed by the Serbian bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) of
Zhicha in April 1935. By that time, the bol'sheviks had already been fully
destroying Orthodox churches in Russia for almost two decades. Among those
who carried out these orders, the ignominious majority consisted of those
who, in the past, had been "persons of the Orthodox creed" -- the
establishment of the Russian Empire's populace. But the bishop prayed for
"the great Russian nation." _Vladyka_ knew well what had transpired in
Russia. But the sublime greatness of the fallen nation consisted of those
of its "cross-bearing" representatives who had not betrayed Christ. They
are the surety that the Lord will have mercy upon the spiritually ailing
nation and will bring it to a new glory through repentance. Bishop Nikolai
believed in this and bore witness to his belief by undergoing tortures
while spending time in the Nazi camp of Dachau. ("Vera-Eskom," No. 3, 1997)]
Translated into English by G. Spruksts from the Russian text of _"Molitva o
russkom narodye Episkopa Nikolaya"_, appearing in the July 1999 issue of
_"Pravoslavnaya zhizn'"_ [(the Russian edition of) "Orthodox Life"], Vol.
49, No. 7 (595), pp. 25 - 26. English-language translation copyright (c)
2000 by The Saint Stefan Of Perm' Guild, The Russian Cultural Heritage
Society, and the Translator. All rights reserved.