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Orthodox Prayers

Courage to Pray

Courage to Pray by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

Prayer is the search for God, encounter with God, and going beyond this encounter in communion.

...our first steps in prayer take the form of astonishing reverent fear and a sense of sadness. We are astonished at the discovery of ourselves which is also the beginning of knowledge of God; we are astonished to see the world open out towards God�s infinity. We are afraid, glad and terrified when we come into the presence of God�s holiness and beauty. We are also sad, both for ourselves and the world. It is sad to be blind, it is sad to be unable to live the fulness of our vocation, to be trapped again and again in our own limitations. It is sad to see our world without God, vacillating between life and death and unable to choose life once and for all or to escape once and for al from death.

It is always a mutual encounter. It is always a discovery not only of the other but of ourselves...

At the start, any man seeking this encounter is alone and must learn to recognize the existence of the other. And this recognition must take place in a relationship and not in isolation.... we must be prepared to set ourselves aside to some extent, to go beyond ourselves and to admit the other�s needs and his rights to independence and freedom outside of us....there remains a central mystery that we cannot solve.

If we could become detached from ourselves and gain the inner freedom which the Fathers called apathy, that is to say the absence of passion , we could see things more and more luminously. We could also see the splendor of God�s presence in this dark add opaque world. We could see grace active everywhere and in all things.

Hearing means bowing our heads in humility which is capable of accepting what the other person is sowing on the ground of our mind and heart....We must listen in order to hear and profit by what we hear. This is the proper attitude to God, total attention because we must hear him, and the desire, determination to receive his message and profit by it, that is to say be transformed, changed, to stop being what we are and to become what we are called to be.

We must love... for we only see what we love. We think we see what we hate, but really in our hatred we see only deformed images, caricatures.

We must also have a pure heart capable of finding God beyond the darkness which hides him.

...if we want to pray with a free heart, we must make our peace with God, our conscience, our neighbor and even the things about us.

We must want to obey with all our heart, like a son, like children of the kingdom who truly want what they pray when they say �Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.�

...let us be careful not to seek mystical experience when we should be seeking repentance and conversion. That is the beginning of our cry to God. �Lord make me what I should be, change me whatever the cost.�

We must try and discover the real person we are, the secret person, the core of the person to come, and the only eternal reality which is already in us...God cannot save the imaginary person that we try to present to him, or to others or ourselves.

It is important that before we start to pray we should take time to recollect ourselves, to reflect and become aware of the real state in which we present ourselves to the Lord....We have to become aware of the different states in which we pray. Otherwise our prayer will not even contain the truth of the moment.

...when we stand before him, we should leave all this knowledge of him behind, however true and rich it may be. We should stand before the unknown God, the mystery, the divine darkness, we should be ready to meet God as he wishes to reveal himself to us today.

When we cannot feel the presence we must be able to wait with awe and reverence.... God�s apparent absence s usually caused by our won blindness.

Are we prepared to find God as he is, even if this encounter condemns us and upsets al the values which have hitherto been dear to us?

An encounter with God is a free act where God is in control and it is only when we are humble, as well as beginning to love God, that we are able to support his absence, to be enriched even by his absence.

Instead of seeking to share God�s serenity, we ask God to share our tumult.

Let us rise in the morning and offer ourselves to God... Let us ask the Lord to bless this day and bless us in it. ... Every encounter is an encounter in God and in his sight. We are sent everyone we meet on our way, either to give or to receive, sometimes without even knowing it.

It is for us o be Christ�s presence on earth, sometimes victorious and sometimes crucified.

We must be able to be quiet and meditative, look calmly at all the things that puzzle us, for we will not be able to understand everything until we see God�s whole plan... Human wisdom must give way to the capacity to contemplate the mystery before us, to try and discern the invisible hand of God whose wisdom is so different from human wisdom. But his wisdom is in the human heart.... We must learn to wait till we understand.

We must try and discern God�s plan by attentive prayer and silent meditation.... We must try to do this gradually, starting with a few hours or less, because if we force ourselves to strenuously and for too long to pay attention in this way, we will find it beyond our strength and we will collapse.... Then gradually, as our will becomes trained and the concentration of our heart and mind improves, we will be able to spend whole days in prayer.

When spontaneity and enthusiasm is lacking, we force ourselves to pray.

We are not primarily seeking the joy of an encounter with God but the deep transformation that God alone can work in us.

Our prayer should be sober, attentive and humble. It should express the reality of its own poverty as well as our firm convictions and desire. In dreary times we can start from a scripture text.

When God seems absent, the heavens empty and the void immense, we should direct or prayer not to him but talk to ourselves. We should address each word of our prayer to our own depressed and dormant soul. We must treat our soul like a mother taking a naughty child onto her lap and telling him a story.

We must not straightjacket our will, but let it lie comfortably at rest... We should be able to let ourselves go, be supple, not passive but in an attitude of surrender.

We have to learn to discern two kinds of silence. God�s silence and our own inner silence.

An encounter does not become deep and full until the two parties to it are capable of being silent with one another...When our silence is deep enough, we can begin to speak from its depths, but carefully and cautiously so as not to break it by the noisy disorder of our words. Then our thought is contemplative.

The Creed

I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages.

Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father, through whom all things were made.

For us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and He suffered and was buried.

On the third day He rose according to the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. His Kingdom will have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father, who together with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who spoke through the prophets.

In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

I expect the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the age to come. Amen.

Prayer to Your Guardian Angel

O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me of everything I have done to offend you every day, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the evil one. May I never offend God by my sin. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Most Blessed Theotokos, and of all the Saints. Amen.

Prayers to Your Patron Saint

Saint (Name), Holy Mother of God and all the saints, who have pleased God in Your lives; pray to Christ my Lord that I might live this day in peace love and humility.

Pray unto God for me, O Holy Saint (Name), well-pleasing to God: for I turn to you, who are a speedy helper and intercessor for my soul.

Mealtime Prayers

Various Prayers Before Meals

Christ our God, bless us Your servants, our home, the food and drink before us for You are the Source of all blessings, now and forever and ever. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ our God, You blessed the five loaves in the wilderness and fed the multitudes of men, women and children. Bless also these Your gifts and increase them for the hungry people in the world. You are the One who blesses and sanctifies all things and to You we give glory forever. Amen.

The hungry shall eat and shall be satisfied. Those who seek the Lord shall praise Him; their hearts shall live forever. Bless us Lord and Your gifts which we are about to receive. You are blessed and glorified forever. Amen.

Various Prayers After Meals

We thank you, Christ our God, for providing us with Your earthly gifts. Deprive us not of Your heavenly Kingdom. Lord, as you entered among Your disciples to give them peace, enter among us, give us Your peace and save us. Amen.

Glory to You, Lord and King! You have gladdened our hearts through Your earthly gifts. Fill us also with the gift of Your Holy Spirit, that we may abound in every good work to the glory of Your name. Amen.

We thank You Lord, Giver of all good things, for these Your gifts and all Your mercies, and we bless Your holy name forever. Amen.

Prayers at Church

Prayer Upon Entering a Church

I will come into Your house in the greatness of Your mercy: and in fear I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before me, that with a clear mind I may glorify You forever, One Divine Power worshiped in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer upon Leaving a Church

Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the presence of all people; a light to enlighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel. Prayer at the Icon of Christ

We reverence Your spotless icon, O gracious Lord, and ask forgiveness of our transgressions, O Christ our God. Because of Your own good will You ascended the Cross in the flesh, that You might deliver those who You had created from the bondage of the enemy. We cry aloud unto You: You have filled all things with joy, O our Savior, for You came to save the world. Amen. Prayer at the Icon of the Theotokos

Tenderness springs forth from you, O Theotokos, make us worthy of compassion. Look upon sinful people, reveal your power for ever as we hope in you and cry aloud: Hail! as did the Archangel Gabriel, Chief Captain of the Bodiless Powers. Amen.

Prayers in Time of Illness

Prayer of a Sick Person

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, You became man and died on the cross for our salvation. You healed people of sickness and affliction through Your love and compassion. Visit me, Lord and grant me strength to bear this sickness with which I am afflicted, with patience, submission to Your will and trust in Your loving care. I pray that You will bless the means used for my recovery and those who administer them. Grant that my sickness may be to my spiritual benefit and that I may live the rest of my life more faithfully according to Your will. For You are the source of life and healing and to You I give praise and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Heavenly Father, physician of our souls and bodies, Who have sent Your only-begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness and infirmity, visit and heal also Your servant (name) from all physical and spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ. Grant him (her) patience in this sickness, strength of body and spirit, and recovery of health. Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed. I pray, heal Your servant (name) and grant to him (her) the gift of complete health. For You are the source of healing and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

O Lord our God, Who by a word alone did heal all diseases, Who did cure the kinswoman of Peter, You Who chastise with pity and heal according to Your goodness; Who are able to put aside every sickness and infirmity, do You Yourself, the same Lord, grant aid to Your servant (name) and cure him (her) of every sickness of which he (she) is grieved; and send down upon him (her) Your great mercy, and if it be Your will, give to him (her) health and a complete recovery; for You are the Physician of our souls and bodies, and to You do we send up Glory: to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Both now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen. Thanksgiving after Recovery

Almighty God and heavenly Father, You are the fountain of life and healing. I bless Your holy name and offer to You thanks for having delivered me from sickness and restored me to health. Grant me Your eternal grace, I pray, that I may live a new life in true obedience to You. Guide me to do Your will in all things devoting my life to Your service. Thus living for You may I be found worthy of Your kingdom, where You dwell in glory with Your Son and Your Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

O Lord God Jesus Christ, the Life and strength of all that put their hope in You, Whose mercies are numberless, and the treasury goodness that is infinite, we give thanks to You for the blessings which You have bestowed., and we humbly beseech You to continue Your goodness toward us. As You have been well pleased to restore us to our bodily health, so do imbue our souls with all the heavenly graces, perseverance in good works, and prepare us by Your blessings in this life for the enjoyment of eternal happiness in the Life to come. For to You are due all glory, honor, and worship, as also to Your Eternal Father and Your All-holy Good and Life-creating Spirit, both now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer for the Terminally Ill

Lord, Jesus Christ, Who suffered and died for our sins that we may live, if during our life we have sinned in word, deed or thought forgive us in Your goodness and love. All our hope we put in You; protect your servant (name) from all evil. We submit to Your will and into Your hands we commend our souls and bodies. For a Christian end to our lives, peaceful, without shame and suffering, and for a good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ, we pray to you O Lord. Bless us, be merciful to us and grant us life eternal. Amen.

Prayers in Time of Trouble

Lord of the Powers be with us, for in times of distress we have no other help but You.

Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.

Prayers in Time of Need

Almighty God, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, come to my help and deliver me from this difficulty that besets me. I believe Lord, that all trials of life are under Your care and that all things work for the good of those who love You. Take away from me fear, anxiety and distress. Help me to face and endure my difficulty with faith, courage and wisdom. Grant that this trial may bring me closer to You for You are my rock and refuge, my comfort and hope, my delight and joy. I trust in Your love and compassion. Blessed is Your name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

O God, our help in time of need, Who are just and merciful, and Who inclines to the supplications of His people. Look down upon me and have mercy on me and deliver me from the trouble that now besets me. Deal with us not according to our iniquities, but according to Your manifold mercies, for we are the works of Your hands, and You know our weaknesses. I pray to you to grant me Your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my hardships with complete submission to Your Will. Only You know our misery and sufferings, and to You, our only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort, trusting in Your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when You know best, You will deliver me from this trouble, and turn my distress into comfort. We then shall rejoice in Your mercy, and exalt and praise Your Holy Name, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen

Prayer Against Demonic Influence

Almighty God, Who delivered Your people from the bondage of the adversary, and through Your Son cast down Satan like lightning, deliver me also from every influence of unclean spirits. Command Satan to depart far from me by the power of Your only begotten Son. Rescue me from demonic imaginings and darkness. Fill me with the light of the Holy Spirit that I may be guarded against all snares of crafty demons. Grant that an angel will always go before me and lead me to the path of righteousness all the days of my life, to the honor of Your glorious Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen. Prayer for Our Enemies

Lord Jesus Christ, in Your great mercy You prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified You, and You taught us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. Lord, I pray that You forgive those who treat me unjustly and speak out against me, and that You bless them and guide them according to Your will. Take away any bitterness I may have in my heart against them. Lord, may Your forgiveness, goodness and love be revealed in all of us, to Your praise and glory. Amen.

Prayer for Peace

Almighty God and Creator, You are the Father of all people on the earth. Guide, I pray, all the nations and their leaders in the ways of justice and peace. Protect us from the evils of injustice, prejudice, exploitation, conflict and war. Help us to put away mistrust, bitterness and hatred. Teach us to cease the storing and using of implements of war. Lead us to find peace, respect and freedom. Unite us in the making and sharing of tools of peace against ignorance, poverty, disease and oppression. Grant that we may grow in harmony and friendship as brothers and sisters created in Your image, to Your honor and praise. Amen. Thanksgiving After Trouble

Almighty and merciful God, I most humbly and heartily thank Your divine majesty for Your loving kindness and tender mercies, that You have heard my humble prayer, and graciously granted me deliverance from my trouble and misery. I pray to you to continue granting Your helping grace, that I may lead a life pleasing to You, that I may continually offer to You a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers Before or After Any Task

Prayers Before Any Task

Lord Jesus Christ, my God, You have said, "Apart from me You can do nothing." In faith I embrace Your words, Lord, and I entreat Your goodness. Help me to carry out the work I am about to begin, and to bring it to completion. To You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, our Help and Refuge, who knows that we can do nothing right without Your guidance and help; direct me by Your wisdom and power, that I may accomplish this task and, whatever I do according to Your divine will, so that it may be beneficial to me and others and to the glory of Your holy Name. Amen.

My Lord and Savior, You became man and labored with Your hands until the time of Your ministry. Bless me as I begin this work. Help me to bring it to completion. Lord, enlighten my mind and strengthen my body, that I may accomplish my task according to Your will. Guide me to bring about works of goodness to Your service and glory. Amen.

Prayer After Any Task

Thank You, Lord, for Your strength and guidance in my work. You are the fulfillment of all good things. Fill also my soul with joy and gladness, that I may praise You always. Amen.

Prayer Toward the Unknown

 O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea, if you are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armor of the Holy Spirit to protect me and guide me to do Your will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I follow You to a life in Christ. Amen

Prayers Before Travel

Lord Jesus Christ my God, be my Companion, guide and protector during my journey. Keep me from all danger, misfortune and temptation. By Your divine power grant me a peaceful and successful journey and safe arrival. In You I place my hope and trust and You I praise, honor and glorify, together with Your Father and Holy Spirit now and forever and ever. Amen. Lord Jesus, You traveled with the two disciples after the resurrection and set their hearts on fire with Your grace. Travel also with me and gladden my heart with Your presence. I know, Lord, that I am a pilgrim on this earth, seeking the citizenship which is in heaven. During my journey surround me with Your holy angels and keep me safe from seen and unseen dangers. Grant that I may carry out my plans and fulfill my expectations according to Your will. Help me to see the beauty of creation and to comprehend the wonder of Your truth in all things. For You are the way, the truth and the life, and to You I give thanks, praise and glory forever. Amen

 

Prayers for Repentance

God, my good and loving Lord, I acknowledge all the sins which I have committed every day in my life, whether in thought, word or deed. I ask for forgiveness from the depths of my heart for offending You and others and repent of my old ways. Help me by Your grace to change, to sin no more and to walk in the way of righteousness and to praise and glorify Your Name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

O Lord my God, I confess that I have sinned against You in thought, word and deed. I have also omitted to do what Your holy law requires of me. But now with repentance and contrition I turn again to Your love and mercy. I entreat You to forgive me all my transgressions and to cleanse me from all my sins. Lord, fill my heart with the light of Your truth. Strengthen my will by Your grace. Teach me both to desire and to do only what pleases You. Amen. Prayer for Love

Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen.

Lenten Prayers

Almighty Master, who created all things in wisdom, by Your providence and great goodness, you have led us to this lenten season for purification of our souls and bodies, and for control of our passions in the hope of the resurrection; You, who after forty days gave Moses the tablets of the law inscribed by Your divine hand, grant to us the strength to fight the good fight, to fast, to keep the faith, to crush under foot all evil demons, and to become victorious over sin and to celebrate Your holy Resurrection. For blessed and glorified is Your most honored and majestic name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

Lord and Master of my life, deliver me from the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and gossip.

Give me, Your servant, the spirit of prudence, humility, patience and love.

Lord and King, grant that I may see my sins and faults and not judge my brother, for You are blessed forever and ever. Amen. Prayer for Acceptance of God's Will

Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You know better than me what my needs are. You love more than I know how to love. Help me to see clearly my real needs which I do not see. I open my heart to You. Examine and reveal to me my faults and sins. I put all trust in You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me how to pray. Pray in me. Amen.

 

Prayers for Study

Prayer of a Student

Christ my Lord, the Giver of light and wisdom, who opened the eyes of the blind man and transformed the fishermen into wise heralds and teachers of the gospel through the coming of the Holy Spirit, shine also in my mind the light of the grace of the Holy Spirit. Grant me discernment, understanding and wisdom in learning. Enable me to complete my assignments and to abound in every good work, for to You I give honor and glory. Amen.

Prayers Before Study

Most blessed Lord, send the grace of Your Holy Spirit on me to strengthen me that I may learn well the subject I am about to study and by it become a better person for Your glory, the comfort of my family and the benefit of Your Church and our Nation. Amen

Christ, the true light, who enlightens and sanctifies every person coming into the world, let the light of Your countenance shine upon me (us) that I (we) may see Your unapproachable light; and guide my (our) steps in the way of Your commandments, through the intercessions of Your all-holy Mother and of all the Saints. Amen.

Prayer After Study

I thank You, Lord our God, that again on this occasion You have opened my eyes to the light of Your wisdom. You have gladdened my heart with the knowledge of truth. I entreat You, Lord, help me always to do Your will. Bless my soul and body, my words and deeds. Enable me to grow in grace, virtue and good habits, that Your name may be glorified, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Prayer Before Studying the Bible

Master who loves us, shine Your eternal light in our hearts that we may better know you. Help us to fully understand Your gospel message. Instill in us respect for Your holy commandments, that by overcoming our worldly desires we might life a spiritual life of thoughts and deeds which pleases You. We ask this of You, O Christ our god, for You are the light of our souls and bodies and You we glorify with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy good and life-giving Spirit now and forever. Amen.

Shine within my heart, loving Master, the pure light of Your divine knowledge, and open the eyes of my mind that I may understand Your teachings. Instill in me also reverence for Your blessed commandments, so that having conquered sinful desires I may pursue a spiritual way of life, thinking and doing all those things that are pleasing to You. For You, Christ my God, are my light, and to You I give glory together with Your Father and Your Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Prayers for the Dead

General Prayers for the Dead

Christ our eternal King and God, You have destroyed death and the devil by Your Cross and have restored man to life by Your Resurrection; give rest, Lord, to the soul of Your servant (name) who has fallen asleep, in Your Kingdom, where there is no pain, sorrow or suffering. In Your goodness and love for all men, pardon all the sins he (she) has committed in thought word or deed, for there is no man or woman who lives and sins not, You only are without sin.

For You are the Resurrection, the Life, and Repose of Your servant (name), departed this life, O Christ our God; and to You do we send up glory with Your Eternal Father and Your All-holy, Good and Life-creating Spirit; both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen Prayer for a Dead Child

O Lord who watches over children in the present life and in the world to come because of their simplicity and innocence of mind, abundantly satisfying them with a place in Abraham's bosom, bringing them to live in radiantly shining places where the spirits of the righteous dwell: receive in peace the soul of Your little servant (name), for You Yourself have said, "Let the little children come to Me, for such is the Kingdom of Heaven." Amen.

Prayer After a Miscarriage

O Sovereign Master, Lord our God, Who was born of the all-pure Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and as an infant was laid in a manger: do You Yourself, according to Your great mercy, have regard for this Your servant (Name) who has miscarried that which was conceived in her. Heal her suffering, granting to her, O Loving Lord, health and strength of body and soul. Guard her with a shining Angel from every assault of sickness and weakness and all inward torment. You who accept the innocence of infancy in Your Kingdom, comfort the mind of Your servant and bring her peace. Amen.

Acknowledgements

This Internet edition of the Orthodox Prayer Book was compiled for Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church, Lowell, Massachusetts by Father Peter Gregory.

Although some prayers included on this page are original, credit and acknowledgement must be given to the following sources- Daily Prayers for Orthodox Christians (Holy Cross Orthodox Press); The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Holy Cross Orthodox Press); My Orthodox Prayer Book (Archdiocese Department of Religious Education); Mikron Efhologion (Holy Cross Orthodox Press); A Pocket Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians (The Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese); Prayers for Eastern Orthodox Christians During Hospital Stay (Rev. Nicholas G. Paleologos); Prayers for Orthodox Christians (Rev. Alexander Leondis).

The prayers on this Web Page were drawn together from various sources as a fountain of inspiration for the faithful of Lowell and the Internet Community. This Web Page was prepared in love to be distributed free of charge, so that all may benefit from the Divine proceeds that come from a devoted prayer life.

My sincere gratitude to all who "fight the good fight" for the benefit of Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church- the Youth of Transfiguration, the Parish Council and all our parishioners. This Web Page is humbly offered as an encouragement and guide to our Orthodox Christians to pray and grow in prayer and to continue, in earnest, the work of our Lord. -Fr. Peter Gregory, January, 1995