The Prayer Rule of St. Seraphim of Sarov
St. Seraphim of Sarov taught everyone the following rule of prayer: “Let any Christian, upon arising from sleep stand before the holy icons, and read the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) thrice, in honor of the Most-holy Trinity, then the Hymn to the Theotokos (O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice...) three times as well, and finally, the Symbol of Our Faith once. Having completed this rule, let each one attend to the tasks to which he was appointed or to which he is called.
"During work, at home or while traveling somewhere, let him quietly read “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” If there are others in his vicinity while he is working, let him silently repeat “Lord have mercy,” until supper. “After supper, upon completing his tasks, let him quietly read “Most Holy Theotokos, save me a sinner,” and let him repeat this until falling asleep.
“Going to bed, let any Christian again read the above-mentioned morning rule. Thereafter, let him go to sleep, having protected himself with the sign of the Cross
Fr. Seraphim said, “Keeping this rule, it is possible, to reach Christian perfection, for the three prayers indicated are the foundation of Christianity. The first, as the payer given [to us] by Christ Himself, is the model for all prayers. The second was brought from Heaven by the Archangel to greet the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord. The Symbol [of our faith] contains in brief all of the salvific dogmas of the Christian Faith.”
To those who for whatever reason could not complete this little rule, Venerable St. Seraphim recommended reading it under whatever circumstance: during lessons, while walking, and even in bed. He based this advise on the words of the Scriptures “whosoever should call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved…”
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in the heavens, 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
Hymn to the Most-Holy Theotokos
O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with Thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.
The Symbol of our Faith
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light; true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures; And ascended into the heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father; And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead; Whose kingdom shall have no end. And in the Holy spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spake by the prophets. In One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the age to come. Amen.
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