A prayer for a nation of peace, which has been thrust into war.
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In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Lord Jesus, our God and Savior: Please keep watch over your faithful people and the holy soil of Arstakh and Armenia. Grant our countrymen strength, and lead them through this time of trial to a victorious and just peace.
We call on you now in the name of the martyred hero of Armenian self-determination, and the sainted brotherhood of knights who stood with Saint Vartan in his holy, patriotic struggle.
We call on you in the terrible knowledge that at this very hour, our beloved countrymen are living that struggle—dying for that struggle: soldiers and civilians; men, women, and children alike.
We call on you as a nation of peace, which has never struck the first blow against another. But now, with war thrust upon us, we vow to see it through. And we will finish it.
Lord, this war is only a few weeks old, and we ask that you end it soon, in accordance with your will.
But in another sense—which you well understand, O Lord—this struggle has been going on for generations: extending back to the time of Artsakh’s independence; back to the time of the Genocide; further back to generations of which we, the living, are only dimly aware—but which you know, and remember, O Lord.
For all these generations, you have heard Armenian Christian voices calling out to you in our precious, holy mother tongue.
For all these generations, your Armenian children have never forsaken you, never denied you—even in the face of death.
For all these generations, the Armenian nation has placed its hope, its destiny, its trust in your all-powerful hands.
We turn to you now, Lord, as the proud inheritors of all that history. We know that the struggle of those earlier generations has always been with us, in our hearts. Now, with a new clarity of purpose, we accept it as our own.
In this struggle, Lord, we ask you for nothing less than victory. As your own victory over sin and death was a triumph in body as well as spirit, so do we pray that the outcome of this war will be both a moral victory and a material one.
We pray for the preservation of that small but precious homeland you have given us in Armenia and Artsakh.
We pray for relief from the constant tension of living among hostile enemies.
We pray that you will bring ruin upon any power that would threaten to take our God-given patrimony from us.
We ask you for such a victory without shame, without misgiving, without apology. If we cannot secure such a victory, then our nation would be lost, and our future along with it.
To deliver such an outcome, we place our confidence in you, O Lord. You are the Living God, the Lord who conquered Death and promises Life to all who call upon his holy name. In all the universe, there is no greater power than to invoke your support for the preservation of your loving, innocent people. Please God, attend to our heartfelt prayers today.
Grant strength to our Catholicos, and wisdom to our homeland’s leaders.
Inspire all of your children among us—all Armenians in the world—to stand in resolute solidarity with Armenia and Artsakh.
Remember every precious Armenian soul that has fallen, and will fall, in this struggle. Bestow your peace upon their loving families. Let it never be said that their heroic sacrifices were made in vain.
Above all, continue to bless, protect, and strengthen our sacred homeland, its peace-loving citizens, and its courageous defenders—now and always, and to the end of this age. Amen.
—Christopher H. Zakian