Prayer of Azariah

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Azariah (Abednego) prayed this prayer from within the burning, fiery furnace, where he and his two companions were experiencing a miraculous preservation from the hands of their enemies, the Babylonians. See Daniel 3 for more details.

Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
and glorious forever is your name.
For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless,
all your ways right, and all your judgments proper.

You have executed proper judgments in all that you have brought upon us
and upon Jerusalem, the holy city of our fathers.
By a proper judgment you have done all this because of our sins;
For we have sinned and transgressed by departing from you,
and we have done every kind of evil.

Your commandments we have not heeded or observed,
nor have we done as you ordered us for our good.
Therefore all you have brought upon us, all you have done to us,
you have done by a proper judgment.

You have handed us over to our enemies, lawless and hateful rebels;
to an unjust king, the worst in all the world.
Now we cannot open our mouths; we, your servants, who revere you,
have become a shame and a reproach.

For your name's sake, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.

For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.

But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received;
As though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.

And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord:
Let all those be routed who inflict evils on your servants;
Let them be shamed and powerless, and their strength broken;
Let them know that you alone are the Lord God,
glorious over the whole world.

An adaptation of the Prayer of Azariah

I shortened the prayer to make it suitable for use on WLOF during the Year of the Priest. I think all of the faithful, including priests, need to pray to God in reparation for the sins of priests. Azariah acted in a priestly fashion when he confessed the sins of his people and asked God for mercy on their behalf. I think we should follow the example he gives us and ask God to forgive all of the sins of His People, especially the sins of priests which have given so much scandal in recent years.

Blessed are you, and praiseworthy, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
and glorious forever is your name.
For you are just in all you have done; all your deeds are faultless,
...

We have sinned and transgressed by departing from you,
and we have done every kind of evil.

Your commandments we have not heeded or observed,
nor have we done as you ordered us for our good ...

You have handed us over to our enemies ...
we, your servants, who revere you,
have become a shame and a reproach.

For your name's sake, do not deliver us up forever,
...
Do not take away your mercy from us ...

For we are reduced, O Lord, ...
brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. ...

But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; ...
let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly;
...

[We want to] follow you with our whole heart,
we [honor] you and we pray to you.

Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.

Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord:
Let all ... know that you alone are the Lord God,
glorious over the whole world.