Prayerful Endings

Tuesday 21st March
Psalm 141:2
My prayer is like incense before you, an evening offering
May the Lord grant to us a quiet night and a perfect end
– from the service of Compline
Yesterday I wrote of the importance of beginning the day well,
beginning it prayerfully.
How we end each day is just has important.
How often do we go to bed with the days cares and worries
whirling about in our heads?
How often do we have trouble going to sleep
because our minds are racing as we go over and over again
conversations, incidents, regrets, or perceived injustices for that day?
Ending the day well is important.
Ending the day calmly and peacefully makes a big difference.
Ending the day prayerfully,
allowing it to flow into God’s keeping, is a good habit to get into.
In monastic life the final prayers of the day are called Compline
and compline means: to make the day complete.
Ending the day prayerfully,
allowing both the days troubles and blessings to flow into God,
prepares us for a good night’s sleep
so we can be restored for whatever lies ahead.
Try having a fixed time at the end of the day to relax and wind down.
Get off the computer, stop checking e-mails or other social media,
and allow the mind a break.
Then end the day with some familiar prayers
that places everything into the hands of God.
I go to sleep repeating my mantra
which I find carries me nicely into sleep.


 Some prayers to end the day

Visit, we beseech thee, O Lord, dwelling
and the dwellings of all our loved ones.
Drive far from them all the snares of the enemy.
Let thy holy angels dwell within them to preserve us in peace,
And may thy blessing be upon us evermore.
Be present, O merciful God,
and protect us through the silent hours of this night;
so that we who are fatigued
by the changes and chances of this fleeting world
May repose upon thy eternal changelessness;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessed are you, O God, upholder of all life;
Creator of both day and night.
At this holy hour we ask that you may give rest to the weary;
renew the strength of those who are spent;
and bestow your evening blessing upon all hearts.
As you have walked with us throughout the course of this day;
so may your presence abide with us for this coming night.
May we take our rest secure in your steadfast love;
and be renewed in the silent hours of this night.
Grant to us, O Lord, this night
Compassion in our hearts
Stillness in our minds
Rest in our bodies
Peacefulness in our spirits
And trust in your abiding presence
This night and always.

God of all mercy
Take our lips and silence them
Take our minds and still them
Take our hands and hold them
Take our hearts and rest in them
Take our eyes and close them
And restore us this coming night for all that lies ahead.