Another example of arrow prayers in the Eastern Orthodox tradition is this series of 24 prayers traditionally attributed to St John Chrysostom, one for each hour of the day and night. (These prayers, in the translation below, are set to music in Arvo Pärt’s stunning choral work, Litany.)
- O Lord, of Thy heavenly bounties, deprive me not.
- O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments.
- O Lord, forgive me if I have sinned in my mind or my thought, whether in word or in deed.
- O Lord, free me from all ignorance and forgetfulness, from despondency and stony insensibility.
- O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
- O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desires have darkened.
- O Lord, as a man have I sinned, have Thou mercy on me, as the God full of compassion, seeing the feebleness of my soul.
- O Lord, send down Thy grace to help me, that I may glorify Thy name.
- O Lord Jesus Christ, write me down in the book of life and grant unto me a good end.
- O Lord my God, even if I had not done anything good before Thee, do Thou help me, in Thy grace, to make a good beginning.
- O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace.
- O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me, Thy sinful servant, full of shame and impurity, in Thy kingdom. Amen.
- O Lord, receive me in penitence.
- O Lord, forsake me not.
- O Lord, lead me not into misfortune.
- O Lord, quicken in me a good thought.
- O Lord, give me tears and remembrance of death, and contrition.
- O Lord, make me solicitous of confessing my sins.
- O Lord, give me humility, chastity, and obedience.
- O Lord, give me patience, magnanimity, and meekness.
- O Lord, implant in me the root of all good – Thy fear in my heart.
- O Lord, vouchsafe that I may love thee from all my soul and mind and in everything do Thy will.
- O Lord, shelter me from certain men, from demons and passions, and from any other unbecoming thing.
- O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou dost as Thou willest, let then Thy will be done in me, sinner, for blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.
I’ve prepared a small pocket version of these prayers, with the hours numbered starting from 7 am and 7 pm respectively (if anyone knows what the starting hours should be, then please let me know – I’m guessing 7 am isn’t a very “monastic” definition for the start of the day!). These are available as a PDF here: if you are printing on A4, they should match up back to back. Failing that, you can just stick the two halves together.