This book, written in 1921-1922 by Saint Nocholai of Ohrid and Zhicha (1880-1956) who has been called the “New Chrysostom” for his theological depth and golden tongued eloquence, is a true treasure of Orthodox Christianity. Along with his many other attributes, this Serbian hierarch is regarded, with good reason, as an Enlightener of the Americans. His ardent desire was for the whole world to recognize the Orthodox salvific truth of the resurrected God-man Christ, Who is revealed and glorified in His Saints.
Bishop Nicholai was entirely a man of prayer, of service, and a fervent celebrant of the Divine Liturgy. He wrote numerous prayers and church services, including the renowned Prayers by the Lake, a book that is upon you.
In these prayers- vibrant in their lyrical mood and characterized by a Christian view of the cosmos- the ascetic of Ohrid, inflamed by divine eros, expresses reverently and poetically his longing for Christ.
"This world is a sick man, whom sin has made sick, for sin is a sickness and to scorn sinners is to scorn the sick. With prayer our healer walks around the grievously sick patient, with prayer he walks and with prayer he heals and makes whole. Do not scorn sinners but pray for them. Feel pity and compassion for every creature, but do not condemn. Expand and deepen your soul with prayer and you will begin to cry over the mystery of the world bitterly and vehemently....." Father Justin Popvic (pp.4-5)
Author: St Nikolai Velimirovich of Ochrid