The Prayer of Manasseh

Edits, corrections and cross references by The Firmament

The Prayer of Manasseh is contained in a group of books called Apocrypha (hidden or secret), which were once in the canonical Bible between the old and new testaments. This prayer purports to be the prayer which 2 Chronicles 33:9-19 asserts was recorded “in the books of the kings of Israel.” (cf. 2 Kings 21:8-16 and 2 Baruch 64-65)

Almighty Lord, God of our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of their righteous seed.
You who have made the heaven and the earth with all their system;
Who have fettered the sea with your word of command;
Who have shut up the great deep, and sealed it with your awesome, glorious name;
Before whom all things shudder, and tremble before your power,
For the majesty of your glory is unbearable,
And the anger of your threatening against sinners is unendurable, Immeasurable and unsearchable is the mercy you promise,
For you are the Lord Most High, Tender-hearted, long-suffering, and most merciful,
And regretful of the wickedness of men.
You therefore, Lord God of the upright,
Have not ordained repentance for the upright,
For Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who did not sin against you;
You have ordained repentance for a sinner like me,
For my sins are more numerous than the sands of the sea,
My transgressions are multiplied, Lord, they are multiplied!
I am unworthy to look up and see the height of heaven,
For the multitude of my iniquities.
I am weighed down with many an iron fetter,
So that I bend beneath my sins,
And I have no relief,
Because I have provoked your anger,
And done what is wrong in your sight,
Setting up abominations and multiplying offenses.
Now therefore I bend the knee of my heart, begging you for kindness.
I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned,
And I know my transgressions.
I earnestly beseech you, Forgive me, Lord, forgive me!
Do not destroy me in the midst of my transgressions!
Do not be angry with me forever and lay up evil for me,
Or condemn me to the lowest parts of the earth.
For you, Lord, are the God of those who repent,
And you will manifest your goodness toward me,
For unworthy as I am, you will save me in the abundance of your mercy,
And I will praise you continually as long as I live,
For all the host of heaven sings your praise,
And yours is the glory forever. Amen.

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