Finding What is Pleasing to the Lord

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For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. . . .  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:8-10, 17) 

St Sophrony offers a prayer – appropriate for the Day of the Holy Spirit – regarding finding what is pleasing to God and what the will of the Lord is:

“O Lord, unto Whom all hearts be open,

Thou knowest what things I have need of.

Thou art acquainted with my blindness and my ignorance,

Thou knowest my infirmity and my soul’s corruption;

But neither are my pain and anguish hid from Thee.

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Wherefore I beseech Thee, hear my prayer

And by the Holy Spirit teach me the way wherein I should walk;

And when my perverted will would lead me down other paths

Spare me not, O Lord, but force me back to Thee.

By the power of Thy love, grant me to hold fast to that which is good.

Preserve me from every word or deed that corrupts the soul;

From every impulse unpleasing in Thy sight

And hurtful to my brother-man.

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Teach me what I should say and how I should speak.

If it be Thy will that I make no answer,

Inspire me to keep silent in a spirit of peace

That causeth neither sorrow nor hurt to my fellow.

Establish me in the path of Thy Commandments

And to my last breath let me not stray from the light of Thine ordinances,

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That Thy commandments may become the sole law of my being

On this earth and in all eternity. 

 (ON PRAYER, pp 180-181)