A Dying Prayer of Polycarp, the Martyr

O Father of your well-beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ,
through whom we have known you.
O God of the angels and powers and of every living creature,
and of all sorts of righteous people which live in your presence,
I thank you that you have graciously provided
this day and this hour
to allot me a portion among the number of martyrs,
among the people of Christ
to the resurrection of eternal life,
both of body and soul,
in the incorruption of the Holy Spirit.
Among them I will be received in your sight this day
as a fruitful and acceptable sacrifice,
you have already prepared,
often revealed and now fulfilled.
You are the most faithful God who cannot lie.
For all these things I praise you,
I bless you, I glorify you;
through the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ,
your well-beloved Son,
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit, be all glory,
now and forever. Amen.

Source: Polycarp of Smyrna, Second Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953



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Lutheran pastor and musician serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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