The Prayer of Judith

In the LXX (Septuagint) translation of the Bible, the Deuterocanonical Book of Judith is found after the completion of the Book of Tobit, after the Book of Nehemiah.

To understand the depth of this prayer, consider the allegorical interpretation that the Assyrians are demons trying to defile you who are the sanctuary (temple) of the Holy Spirit.

 

     Then Judith prostrated herself, put ashes upon her head, and uncovered the sackcloth which she had put on. And at the time of the evening incense being offered in the house of God in Jerusalem,

Judith cried out to the Lord with a loud voice and prayed: “…O God, my God, hear me also, a widow!

     For You did those things and the things that occurred before and those that followed after; and You have planned the ones present, and the ones for the future. And the things You have determined present themselves and say, ‘Behold, we are here’; for all Your ways are prepared beforehand, and Your judgment is by foreknowledge.

     For behold, the Assyrians are multiplied in their strength. They are exalted with horses and riders. They glory in the strength of their infantry; they hope in shield and spear, in bow and sling, but they do not know that You the Lord crush wars; the Lord is Your name. Break their might by Your might, and tear down their power in Your anger; for they intend to defile Your sanctuary and desecrate the tent where

Your glorious name rests, and to cut off the horns of Your altar with the sword. Behold their arrogance. Send Your wrath upon their heads. Grant to the hand of the widow to do what I plan. By the deceit of my lips, strike down the slave with the ruler and the ruler with his servant. Crush their pride by the hand of a woman.

     For Your might is not in numbers, nor Your power in men who are strong, but You are the God of the lowly; You are the helper of the oppressed, the defender of the weak, the protector of those who are forsaken, the savior of those without hope. Yes, O God of my father and God of the inheritance of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all Your creation, attend to my prayer! Cause my deceitful words to be their wound and a bruise to those who planned cruelty against Your covenant, and Your holy house, and Mount Zion, and against the house Your sons possess. Make Your entire nation and every tribe to know and understand that You are God, the God of all power and might, that there is none other who protects the people of Israel but You only.

     When she had ceased crying to the God of Israel and had completed all her words, she arose from where she had prostrated herself… (Judith 9:1; 9:4-10:2, SAAS)

 

See also Prostration on pgs. 45-54 in The Spirituality of the Rites of the Holy Liturgy by H.G. Bishop Mettaous