Prayer has always been such.
Demeter, Lady of Harvests, bless our fields, which have lain fallow past the dry summer’s ending twice now. Lady of grain and plenty, let my family have enough to eat, lead my children not into starvation. Please, Demeter, you know what it is to lose a child to Hades cold lands. Please save us.
The concerns of mortality and morality, the burden of a life lived hot and fast, for humans are such strange and furious creatures. Their lives are short, and for this they race, fitting as much in to the scant years granted them as they can bear. They push themselves to the edge of endurance and then past it, until their bodies give out beneath the weight of their dreams.
Hera, Goddess of wives and mothers, hear my plea. I was young, not long from the halls of Artemis when I wed my husband. He is kind, truly, honest and not like to beat me, but I have borne him three children, and two dead before they emerged. This is my twentieth summer, and I think I may not live to see another child. My limbs ache, my head swims, and I can scarce stand the thought of my husband’s touch. I beg you, Hera my goddess, end my suffering quickly, let me die before I carry another babe.
Humans, they never change, each generation has the same complaints, the same quarrels. The old say the same of the young that their elders said of them, the young echo the complaints of their parents from a time before they were born. The prayers of humans are like the striking of a string, a note that reverberates through time.
Hestia, I beg your guidance for I shalt kill my mother if she makes one more remark about my hair. Hearth-goddess, grant me some measure of the patience that lets you survive your family, that I may survive mine.
The weaknesses of humans remain the same. The art of cruelty has not come so far since their earliest days, the dark passions have never evolved. Prayers for protection, similarly, have not changed. There is no need to improve a shield if the spear which strikes it remains the same.
Athena, Great and Wise, hear the call of your priestess. I vowed to remain chaste, as chaste as thee, but that vow has now been broken by no action of my own. I seek your aid in my defense, make me as terrible as Medusa, that no man may want to touch me again. Make me a Gorgon, hideous and awful to behold, but let no man look on me in desire.
Humanity continues. Their prayers continue. Rising to the sky on hopeful lips, falling to the earth in bitter tears. The salt of ten thousand broken hearts weeping, has watered the fields where once grew forgiveness, and the prayers reflect the shattering of the sacred faith. Some violations are too far, some hearts cannot be mended, and the balm for pain is found in prevention, and retribution.
Persephone, Dark Goddess of deathly mysteries and vengeance, aid me in my hour of need, for I go to kill a man tonight. He has done me a terrible wrong, and my sister too, and I intend to send him to meet your husband before the sun has risen. I cannot stand by and let him do this again, and I know in my heart he will not stop unless he is stopped. I offer you my soul in servitude forever in death, should you but place him in Tartarus to suffer for the crimes he has committed. Give him the agony he has caused to me, to my sister, give to him the pain that he has caused so many women, and let him suffer it anew each time the sun rises. Punish him, Persephone, Wife of Death, Bringer of Fallow Seasons, Renewer of the Earth, I call on you to aid me with the chthonic darkness of the underworld, and ruin his soul for eternity.