EVENING PRAYERS

Can you make some quiet time for God at the end of your day? Evening prayers can help you thank Him for the day’s blessings and ask for His forgiveness of your sins and protection during the night. It is an excellent time to take stock of your day’s activities in (hopefully!) a quiet atmosphere where, in His presence you can make an examination of conscience and then say a heartfelt Act of Contrition followed by prayers such as these:

I adore You, my God, and I love You with all my heart. I thank you for having created me, for having made me a Christian, and for having preserved me this day. Pardon me for the evil I have done today. If I have done anything good, be pleased to accept it. Protect me while I take my rest and deliver me from all dangers. May your grace be always with me. Amen.

Oh Lord, we pray you to visit this home and drive from it all snares of the enemy. Let Your holy angels dwell in it to preserve us in peace; and let Your blessing be always upon us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in his peace.

Other good evening prayers include the Prayer For Daily Neglects, Prayers For Protection, (including a famous prayer by St. Augustine), Prayers For Blessings (which includes another well known prayer by St. Alphonsus Liquori), a heartfelt Prayer Of A Lay Apostle, and the memorare. Evening prayers should be part of a special time at the end of your day where you take an honest look at your life with our Lord. Just as we offer God everything in our day in morning prayers, at night we reflect on our actions, asking Him for the grace to serve Him better the next day. If you find yourself pressed for time, take a moment at least, with help from the Holy Spirit, to think about your sins and your spiritual progress.

Remember though that humility is essential in this task. Otherwise you might not approach God with the honesty you need to try to see yourself as He sees you!

This time spent in prayer can help you listen to our Divine Physician (as our Lord referred to Himself in Mark 2:17) as He diagnoses your spiritual maladies to help you get to Confession when necessary for His cure: His forgiveness and His grace from the Sacrament of Penance.

This doesn’t mean that you should only dwell on your litany of sins, however! You can thank God for inspiring the good things you’re doing, for those times when your soul “magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46). It’s also a good idea, when you have more time to savor these moments with Him, to say some wonderful evening prayers found here taken from a four-volume set of prayers, psalms, readings and hymns known as the Liturgy of the Hours. These books constitute the official prayer of the Church for praising God and sanctifying each day. (The third prayer given above is just a sample of the spiritual treasure trove found there!)

Priests as well as religious (such as friars and nuns) who have professed solemn vows are required to recite excerpts from the Liturgy of the Hours daily. Lay people are encouraged to recite them as well, either individually or in groups. These prayers are also referred to in this context as Compline (from the Latin word meaning completion) and often called “Night Prayer.”

Remember our Lord would love to hear your own thoughts in addition to your evening prayers as long as you give Him heart service not lip service. Don't be afraid to ask Him to bless your night and to help you the following day as you strive to share Eternal Life with Him someday in the bliss of what St. Thomas Aquinas called “our true native land,” Heaven!  

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