Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.
For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.
Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
“But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
“so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Timothy the Righteous; John III, Patriarch of Constantinople; Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch; Zachariah, Patriarch of Jerusalem