I have sinned against Thee, O Savior, as did the Prodigal Son; accept me in repentance, O Father, and have mercy on me, O God.
I cry unto Thee, O Christ our Savior, with the voice of the Publican: be Thou gracious unto me, as Thou wast unto him, and have mercy on me O God.
Prayer to the Most-Holy Theotokos
Do thou show thy protection and speedy help to us, and thy mercy upon all thy faithful servants, and becalm, O Most Pure One, every stormy wave of all vain and futile thoughts; and do thou resurrect my fallen soul, O blessed Theotokos, for I know, yea, I know, O blessed Virgin, that thou canst do whatsoever thou dost will.
More Penitential Prayers
As he who fell among the thieves and was sorely wounded, I too have fallen because of mine own sins, and my soul is gravely wounded. Unto Whom shall I flee for refuge, I who have brought this upon myself, except unto Thee, the compassionate healer of souls. Pour out upon me, O God, Thy great mercy.
I have come unto Thee, O Compassionate One, as did the Prodigal Son. Receive me, as I fall down before Thee, as one of Thy hired servants, O God, and have mercy on me.
Having fallen among the thieves of mine own thoughts, my mind hath been stripped from me, the miserable one; and all my soul is terribly wounded, and I lie there in the path of life naked of any virtue. The priest, seeing me in the agony of mine unhealable wounds, looks past me and doth not attend unto me. And again, the Levite, unable to bear my soul-destroying pain—he too, seeing doth not attend unto me. But Thou, Who in Thy good will wast incarnate, not from Samaria, but from Maria, O Christ God, in Thy man-befriending manner, grant me healing, pouring upon me Thy great mercy.
I bring to mind that fearful day, and I mourn for my evil actions. How shall I render an account to the immortal King? With what boldness shall I, the prodigal, look unto the Judge? O merciful Father, Only-begotten Son, and Holy Spirit, have mercy on me.
In that valley of tears, in that place which Thou hast ordained, when thou sittest, O Merciful One, to make that just judgment, do not make public all of my hidden deeds, nor shame me before the Angels; but spare me, O God, and have mercy on me. It is I who am that unfruitful tree, O Lord, bearing no fruit of compunction at all; I fear being cut down at my very roots, and I cringe at that fire that is never quenched. Wherefore I beseech Thee: Before that violent moment, give me repentance and save me.
Thou art the good hope of the world, O Virgin Theotokos; Thy fearsome protection only do I seek. Have compassion upon me, the sinner, and entreat the merciful God to save my soul from every threat, thou only blessed One.
A Prayer by the Monk Mark
O undefiled, pure, all-merciful Lord, Who in taking on Thy humanity didst free our nature from corruption; and by uniting it with that which is superior didst totally sanctify it; Thou Who unto those who confidently believe in Thee, the only true One, dost grant richly of Thy grace; Thou Who hast shamed that ancient and arrogant one who tripped us up in the weakness of the flesh: do Thou, the same beneficent Lord, cleanse me, the passionate and sin-loving one, who hast been defiled by mine imaginings during sleep, of every impurity of body and soul. Account this not unto me as a sin, whether I was defiled by a dream borne of the malice of that unnamed and good-hating demon, or whether by immoderation in hurtful things, or whether by evil habit and overbearing presumption. From this time forward, strengthen me against his sinister rage by Thine all-powerful grace and preserve me above his various evil plans, maintaining the lamp of my chastity undimmed unto the end, so that being rescued from the ticklings of abominable passions and from the fearsome gloom of nighttime fantasies by Thy power, I may meditate day and night upon the luminous vision of Thy judgments, which are sweeter and more to be desired than honey and honey-comb; and with purity of conscience, I may be deemed worthy to participate in Thy life-giving and immortal Mysteries: through the intercessions of Her who bore Thee without corruption, our most-pure Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, and all of the Saints. Amen.
A Prayer by Saint Basil
O all-merciful, incorrupt, pure, undefiled, only sinless Lord, cleanse me, Thy useless servant, from all defilement of body and soul, and from this impurity which hath happened to me because of my carelessness and indifference, together with mine other iniquities. Purify me of every stain by the grace of Thy Christ; sanctify me by sending down Thy Holy Spirit, so that rising up from the fog of mine impurities and the fantasies of the devil and from every diabolical defilement, I might be made worthy in pure conscience to open my foul and polluted mouth to praise Thine all-holy Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and thereby to participate guiltlessly and uncondemned in the most pure, immortal, most holy and life-giving Mysteries of Thine only-begotten Son, our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ; with Whom Thou art blessed, together with Thine all holy, and good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
A prayer by either Saint Basil or Saint Martinianos
Again have I the wretched one been tripped up in my mind by serving my evil and sinful habits. Again I am dragged as a captive by the prince of darkness and the father of passionate pleasure; and as a slave, humiliated by his will, he forces me to serve the desires of the flesh. And what am I to do, O Lord, redeemer and defender of all who hope in Thee, but to turn again to Thee and sigh and beg forgiveness for the things which I have done. But I fear and tremble that perhaps even though I confess daily and try to avoid harmful things, yet still I cease not to sin every hour, and fail to render my prayer to Thee, my God, I might yet incite Thy patience unto wrath. And who can bear Thine anger, O Lord? Wherefore, knowing the multitude of Thy compassions and the abyss of Thy love for mankind, again I throw myself upon Thy mercy, and I cry unto Thee, saying: I have sinned, O Lord; have mercy upon me, the fallen one. Grant unto me Thy hand in help, who am sunk in the pit of pleasures, and do not abandon me, O Lord, Thy servant, to be destroyed by mine iniquities and my sins. Rather, in Thy usual goodness, deliver me from the pollution and the stain of my flesh and from my passionate thoughts which in every way defile my miserable soul. Behold, O Lord my God, there is not even one place in it that is clean, but it is altogether leprous; my body is itself one great wound. Let Thou Thyself, therefore, as the healer of souls and the wellspring of life, cleanse my soul with tears which Thou shalt pour out upon me abundantly. Grant me healing and cleansing, and turn not Thy face from me, lest the darkness of despair consume me as fire. But as Thou Thyself, the all-true God, hast said that there is joy in heaven at the return of a sinner, close not the ears of Thy compassion against the prayer of my repentance, but open them unto me and direct my prayer before Thee as incense. Thou, the Creator, knowest the weakness of our nature, how easily we slip in our youth; yet Thou overlookest the sins and Thou acceptest the repentance of those who confess to Thee in truth. For Thou alone art sinless, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.