Almost the entire community of the faithful is well aware of the power of the Jericho prayer which is oriented towards the destruction of enemies and gaining victory over their possessions. In our times we are in need of another type of prayer called the Damascus Prayer based on the event that happened in Damascus. Saul, the known notorious enemy of the then Church and Christians, went to Damascus with an intention to kill and destroy all Christians and their churches. The Church and the believers in Damascus prayed fervently to Jesus for protection and safety. Jesus took action without much delay. Saul had an experience of being slain in the Spirit before he reached his destination in Damascus. Taking example from the Damascus episode, the present Church and its believers can pray fervently for the protection of Christians and their churches everywhere in the world irrespective of Christian denominations. Through this prayer all the enemies of the Christians such as terrorists, militants, extremists, Zealots and others will have an experience of being slain in the Spirit before they reach their expected destinations. Three days later they shall also have an experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands, so that they may preach the word of God through out the world as St. Paul did. This type of prayer is called Damascus prayer.
How to do Damascus Prayer?
First of all, please do a small invocation prayer for the blessing of the enemies thus:
“Bless my enemies and their families oh Lord more than you bless me and my family. Fill them with your Holy Spirit, and let them stand always in favour of me from today onwards.”
On big beads of the Rosary
“Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”
(Then commence the decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet thus:)
“For the sake of Jesus’ sorrowful passion Abba Father have mercy on us and on the whole world and on my enemies.”
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One have mercy on us and on the whole world - (3).
Then please repeat the above prayers for other decades in the Rosary.
After five decades of the Divine Mercy Chaplet according to this format conclude with “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us and on the whole world (3 times) and concluding prayer.”
Recite the Concluding Prayer as well:
“Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to your Holy Will which is Love and Mercy itself.”
This prayer has been given Imprimateur by Archbishop of Bangalore His Grace Bernard Moras in 2015 (Ref: Infilling of the Holy Spirit Pg 25 written by Rev. Dr. Jose Vettiyankal V.C. This prayer book is also known as Logos Prayer Book).
I recommend you to do this prayer with due modifications and adaptations without affecting the theological content of it. If you prefer please pray thus:
“For the sake of Jesus’ sorrowful passion, Abba Father have mercy on us and on the whole world and all enemies of Christians.”
Rest of the prayers same as above without any change.
Ms. Tessy Jose, St Joseph Church, Babusapalaya, Bangalore came and told me that their house contractor turned as an enemy. He had taken lot of money as advance payment and yet did not complete the project. She and her family filed a court case against him but it was not working in their favour. I told them, ‘continue the court case without hatred towards him but firmly stand for justice and offer the prayer intended for enemies.’ They prayed the above prayer (Damascus Prayer) every day. Then the court case turned for their favour and the enemy compensated everything within a short span of time. The same lady had also shared another testimony of a non-christian girl whose marriage was broken and going to end in a divorce. Ms. Tessy suggested the same prayer (Damascus Prayer with due modifications such as “For the sake of Jesus’ sorrowful passion, Abba Father have mercy on us and on the whole world and on my husband.”) to the girl and asked her to pray for her husband. Just after nine days the non-catholic girl gave a wonderful testimony that her husband had abandoned the intention to divorce and accepted her unconditionally as his wife. That girl considered this as a great miracle through Jesus.
What is the effect of Damascus Prayer?
It's a biblical prayer to transform personal enemies or common enemies into benevolent witnesses of Christians and Churches just like the transformation of St. Paul. We are called to inherit a blessing by blessing our enemies (1 Pt. 3:9). In order to inherit a blessing and not a curse, we have to bless all our enemies and pray for their welfare and wellness. We pray not for the destruction of our enemies but for their transformation and salvation of souls.
Prayers Similar to Damascus Prayer in the Bible
Jericho Prayer (Joshua 6:1-27) - Joshua and his army could not conquer the city of Jericho but they had a right to occupy it because God has promised it. Therefore, Joshua stood for the fulfilment of the promise of God Almighty. Joshua felt that by his power and might it was totally impossible. Therefore, he sought the interaction of God in this matter. And he got a good result for his prayers. In Jericho prayer the enemies were not transformed but were destroyed. Whereas in Damascus Prayer enemies are transformed spiritually.
Prayer of Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-30) - Three enemy kingdoms and their kings together with their armies marched against King Jehoshaphat. He had a very small army and he came to know that he would not get victory through human might and power. Therefore, he consulted the priests and prophet of that time. They all suggested that only through the interaction of ‘Yahweh’ was there a possibility of having victory. They suggested that he praise God and worship Him and go against their enemies. Instead of waging a war, Jehoshapat and his army conducted praise and worship on the war front. Then God created a confusion in the enemy camp. The enemies thought that the one close-by was their enemy and started fighting and killing each other until the last one. Therefore Jehoshapat got victory due to him, only through divine interaction. Jehoshapat had right of self protection. Therefore, he did not do any injustice to his enemies. Here also we see the destruction of enemies and not their transformation. Whereas in Damascus prayer the enmity is destroyed and the enemy is transformed as a benevolent and holy individual.
Prayer of Jesus (Luke 23:34)
Jesus prayed for his enemies and forgave them (Lk. 23:34) unconditionally. Therefore, God restored everything in the life of Jesus. Through this prayer for the benefit of his enemies Jesus gained back the grace of peace and submission contrasting his tumultuous state in Gethsamane and he regained and resumed what his enemies destroyed.
A boy named Jeevan (St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Bangalore) came to Logos for his residential retreat. He told me that he has lost one of his eyes irrevocably. He consulted many super-speciality hospitals and doctors. But all of them said that he would not get back his eye-sight because his optic nerves were cut-off. Frustrated he wanted to take revenge upon his enemy who poked his eye with a compass when they were studying in class IV. When Jeevan reached class X, he wanted to take revenge on his enemy. He bought a base-ball bat to damage his enemy’s eye and destroy at least one. I told him, ‘If you forgive and pray for his welfare, Jesus will restore your sight.’ On Wednesday he got the grace to forgive his enemy and during adoration he got back his sight.
Due to the Damascus prayer we have not seen the destruction of the enemies but their complete transformation and evolution into benevolent supporters of Christians.
In our times, christians are attacked, killed or terrorised by enemies. The news of terrorist attacks and destruction of Churches imply that all the believers should pray the Damascus prayer for the transformation of the persecutors. If all the Christian communities do this prayer, I believe that there is much hope for all Christians to have victory according to the mind of Christ after the model of the Damascus episode. Enemies will be transformed or transferred when we pray for our enemies without hatred in our heart but with a sense of justice. Forgiveness and prayer for the benefit of the enemies should not be considered as the weakness of the afflicted, instead it is a means to attain divine grace and restoration of the deprivations caused by the enemies. Damascus prayer or prayer for enemies doesn’t mean that the afflicted party may forfeit his or her due justice. The afflicted party, if it is needed or prefers, shall seek justice through legal measures without hatred or revenge in the heart.