Prayer of St. John Chrysostom Before the the Reading of Scripture

I found this beautiful prayer of St. John Chrysostom (“John the golden mouth”). St. John (4th cent.) was a prince among preachers, with a passion for building up Christians on the Word of God. He became Bishop of Constantinople, but was exiled because the empress disapprove of his prophetic and convicting sermons. In the icon below he is depicted with a larger than usual head, as an homage to his superior intellect!


Here’s a good prayer for before opening God’s Word, or listening to a sermon:

“O Lord Jesus Christ, open  the eyes of my heart, that I may hear your word and understand and do your will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not your commandments from me, but open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of your law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of your wisdom. On You  I set my hope, O my God, that You will enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of your knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For You are the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from You comes every good deed and every gift. Amen.”

By Carlos Colon

Composer, liturgist of global sacred music

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