Saint Ephraim the Syrian (sometimes spelled Ephrem) was a fourth century deacon from the Syrian city of Nisibis. He is also, not coincidentally from the point of view of why this post is appearing, the name-saint I chose for my recent Chrismation.
The holy fathers, who loved God and became accomplished in sufferings and temptations, received from the Heavenly King imperishable crowns with glory and praise.
But I, who am miserable, sin without any temptation; I irritate and embitter my Master.
However, having learned through experience of Thy vast and unutterable compassion, 0 Lord, I beseech the greatness of Thy grace. Save me and grant Thy servant his heart’s request, from the treasures of Thy loving-kindness, that Thy grace might ceaselessly stream forth in my heart and lips like a river; that my heart might, through Thy grace, become a pure and undefiled temple that receives in itself the heavenly King; that the finger of grace might set my tongue perpetually in motion, like the string of a lyre, to the service of Thy glory, 0 Lover of mankind; and that I may ceaselessly, throughout the days of my life, glorify and bless Thee with love with both heart and lips.
O Christ the Savior! Grant me my heart’s request, that my tongue might become like unto a sweet-sounding flute; that by comforting, enlightening and educating others I might payoff a small portion of my great debt and, protected by Thy mercy, I might be saved when every soul is set trembling before Thy terrifying glory.
Verily, 0 Master, only-begotten Son of God, hearken unto me and accept the petition of Thy servant as an offering. I, a sinner, am saved by Thy grace. To Thee Who savest a sinner by Thy compassion, is due all glory unto the ages.
It seems to me the middle (longer) paragraphs are especially applicable for the task at hand. That before putting our heart, mind, and more importantly before putting our fingers to key we might offer this prayer as he suggested.
This little prayer was taken from Spiritual Psalter or Reflections on God from the Works of our Holy Father St. Ephraim the Syrian, Arranged in the Manner of the Psalms of David, Together with the Life of St. Ephrem
It seems to me this little book should be a best seller. I find it hard to understand how it’s not on almost every bookshelf.