A PRAYER OF 
A LAY APOSTLE

his prayer, called simply a Prayer of a Lay Apostle, comes from The Prayer Book, published in the 1950’s. Its repentant tone is similar to that found in the Prayer For Daily Neglects, in very straightforward language:

Thanks, my God, for the day that is ending, thanks for the coming night. Bring sleep to the weary, bring repose to those I love, and give me rest until tomorrow.

All was not fine, perfect and beautiful today. Give me strength to do better tomorrow.

In this day that is ending I have not been what I should have been. Make me better, my God, less harsh towards others, more gentle, more patient. Make me too, more determined, more demanding of myself, more truthful in speaking, more faithful in my promises, more active in my work, more obedient and more submissive; let me be cheerful, too, and may tomorrow be a finer, fuller day than this.

Thanks, my God, for the day that is ending, thanks for the coming night. Bring sleep to the weary, bring repose to those I love, and give me rest until tomorrow.

(The first two sentences are repeated at the end of the prayer in the book, like a refrain from a song or a psalm.)

This Prayer of a Lay Apostle reminds us to keep God in our Lives every day, especially when nothing is going right. The authors of this prayer show quite a graceful attitude about their own lack of graciousness during the day. Rather than blaming God for their troubles, they in effect offer them up, asking Him for help and grace for the next day in a truly humble, grateful and loving spirit.

Remember that God knows better than any of us just how much strife and sorrow there is in this world. All you need to do is look at a crucifix to see immediately that He knows quite well how “harsh” people can be!

The important thing is not to hesitate to turn to our Creator in bad times or when you stumble and seek His help and forgiveness. Don’t feel you have to do everything on your own. You weren’t meant to! Ask our Lord for his grace to be more charitable, and yes, cheerful! As St. Paul once wrote “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7).

The Prayer of a Lay Apostle by its title suggests that we are all called to be apostles for our faith one way or another. You can proclaim the Gospel in part in how you live your life, much as St. Therese suggested, in doingyour tasks out of love for God and for others.

By being patient, generous and forgiving, people can see Christ’s love in us. And by becoming more knowledgeable about our faith in reading scripture and writings on its teachings, we then can better explain how it gives us peace of mind!


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