Yesterday in the third week of our class on Revelation we studied the letter to Smyrna in chapter two. Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna lived during the second century and suffered persecution and death at the hands of the Romans. Considering that Polycarp may have been present for the initial reading of Revelation to Smyrna and how it contains warning of the coming persecution, this was an excellent time to look at Polycarp's prayer before his martyrdom.
"O Lord God Almighty, Father of thy beloved and blessed Child, Jesus Christ, through Whom we have received full knowledge of thee, the God of Angels and powers, and of all creation, and of the whole family of the righteous, who live before thee! 2 I bless thee, that Thou hast granted me this day and hour, that I may share, among the number of the martyrs, in the cup of thy Christ, for the Resurrection to everlasting life, both of soul and body in the immortality of the Holy Spirit. And may I, to-day, be received among them before Thee, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice, as Thou, the God who lies not and is truth, hast prepared beforehand, and shown forth, and fulfilled. 3 For this reason I also praise Thee for all things, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee through the everlasting and heavenly high Priest, Jesus Christ, thy beloved Child, through whom be glory to Thee with him and the Holy Spirit, both now and for the ages that are to come, Amen."