MY HELP comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:2-4

KEEP WATCH, dear Lord, with those who work or watch or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ, give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous—and all for your love's sake. Amen.
Attributed to Augustine, Book of Common Prayer

I AM PLACING my soul and my body in Thy safe keeping this night,
O God,
in Thy safe keeping, O Jesus Christ,
in Thy safe keeping, O Spirit of
perfect truth.
The Three who would defend my cause
by keeping me this night from harm.
Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Reading from the Northumbria Community

"HOW WAS YOUR DAY?" … A mother I know has a different way of asking the same question. As she tucks her children into bed each night, … she asks them a question: "Where did you meet God today?" And they tell her, one by one: A teacher helped me; there was a homeless person in the park; I saw a tree with lots of flowers in it. She tells them where she met God, too. Before the children drop off to sleep, the stuff of the day has become the substance of their prayer.
Dorothy C. Bass, Receiving the Day

VOLUNTARY SLEEP requires a confidence that life is cared for when our ego is asleep at the wheel. The more we believe that life is safe and real only when we're awake and guarding and acting, the harder it is for us to let go into sleep.
Tilden Edwards, Living Simply Through the Day

MAY [GOD] SUPPORT US all the day long,
till the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes
and the busy world is hushed
and the fever of life is over
and our work is done—
then in his mercy—
may he give us a safe lodging
and a holy rest and peace at the last.
Attributed to Cardinal John Henry Newman, Prayer in All Things

HERE WE WATCH our brother's
watch with us, but do not weep;
watch with us through dead of
but expect the morning light.
Attributed to William Drennan, The Celtic Way of Prayer

IT IS NIGHT after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not
been done;
let it be.
Evening prayer from Sing the Journey

CHRIST with me sleeping,
Christ with me waking,
Christ with me watching,
every day and night,
every day and night.
Celtic prayer from Carmina Gadelica

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Related Elsewhere:

Psalm 121:2-4 is available from

Books of Common Prayer from around the world are available online from the Anglican Resource Collection.

Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Reading from the Northumbria Community, Receiving the Day, Living Simply Through the Day, Prayer in All Things, The Celtic Way of Prayer, and Carmina Gadelica, are available from and other book retailers.

Sing the Journey is available from the Mennonite Publishing Network.

Past Reflections columns include:

Hope (Jan. 16, 2006)
Christmas (Dec. 19, 2005)
Poetry (Dec. 12, 2005)
Grace that Surprises (Oct. 3, 2005)
Friendship (August 31, 2005)
Wisdom That Sticks (August 8, 2005)
His Body, His Blood (June 08, 2005)
On Baptism (April 25, 2005)
Discovering God (April 07, 2005)
Welcoming the Stranger (Feb. 22, 2005)
The Church and Mission (Feb. 02, 2005)
The Church (Jan. 11, 2005)
Word Made Flesh (Dec. 20, 2004)
The Way of Salvation (Nov. 08, 2004)
Sin and Evil (Oct. 18, 2004)
Teaching and Learning (Sept. 15, 2004)
Wisdom for the Road (Aug. 02, 2004)
Discipleship (July 13, 2004
Conversion (June 09, 2004)
The Outpoured Spirit (May 03, 2004)
He Is Risen (April 08, 2004)
Jesus' Cross (March 15, 2004)
Lenten Inventory (Feb. 25, 2004)

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