By St. Ephrem the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter (c. 350 AD)
Stretch forth, O Lord, Thy hand to me who lie in the dust and help me. For I want to get up, but cannot. The burden of sin has crushed me; evil habits hold me chained to the earth, and I am altogether like the paralytic. I vow to change my ways and I fast, but everything remains the same. I am zealous to glorify Thee with my lips, but I have no zeal to please Thee with deeds.
How dare I ask forgiveness of my former sins when I have made no attempt to abandon my former love of sin? Or how shall I shed the old man, when I have not cut off my desire for sinful seductions?
O Lord, raise up me, a paralytic; rouse me who sleep; resurrect me, deadened by sin! Save my miserable soul from death, O Lord who hast authority over life and death!
Before the end comes, exterminate all sin in me; and grant, O Love of mankind, that I might shed heartfelt tears for the cleansing of the stains of my soul all through my short life, that then I might be saved under the shelter of Thine omnipotent hand, when every soul shudders before Thine awesome glory.
O Master, hearken unto me and accept the supplication of Thy sinful and unworthy servant. Save me freely, according to Thy grace, for Thou art a kindhearted and man-befriending God, and to Thee do we send up glory, thanks and adoration, to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.