Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbor, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace. Amen.
O Lord and Master, I am unworthy of both heaven and earth, because I have surrendered myself to sin, and become the slave of worldly pleasures. Yet, since you created me, and since you can shape me as you want, I do not despair of salvation; but made bold by your compassionate love, I come before you. Receive me, dear Lord, as you received the harlot, the thief, the tax collector, and even the prodigal son. Lift from me the heavy burden of sin. Amen.
–Basil of Caesarea, Greek Bishop (330-379)
Now that the sun has set,
I sit and rest and think of you, Lord.
Give my weary body peace.
Let my legs and arms stop aching,
Let my nose stop sneeezing,
Let my head stop thinking.
Let me rest in your arms.
There are men who hate me; let me love them.
There are men I have wronged; let them forgive me.
–Dinka people, South Sudan, Africa
GOING TO BED PRAYER:
As my head rests on my pillow, let me soul rest in your mercy.
As my limbs relax on my mattress, let my soul relax in your peace.
As my body finds warmth beneath the blankets, let my soul find warmth in your love.
As my mind is filled with dreams, let my soul be filled with visions of heaven.
–Johann Freylinghausen, German theologian (1670-1739)
Heavenly Father, after the turbulence of the day, thank you for sending the peacefulness of the night. Let me not dwell on the disagreeable scenes of the day. Let me not rehearse the injustices, bitterness, hard words, or coarse actions. Being mindful of your infinite patience with us, and goodness, we pray that you help us never to harbor a drop of hatred, or resentment, or bitterness against anyone. Fill us with your mercy.
–Helder Camara, Brazilian archbishop (1909-1999)
Shepherds search for their lost sheep, but for their own profit. Men seek their lost property, but out of self-interest. Politicians visit foreign countries, but only out of political calculation. But why have you searched for me, O Lord? Why have you sought me out? Why have you visited this hostile world where I live? Why have you ransomed me with your blood? I am not worthy of such effort. Indeed, in my sin I have willfully tried to escape from you, so you would not find me. I have wanted to become a god unto myself, deciding for myself what is good and bad according to my own whims and lusts. I have provoked you and insulted you. Why do you bother with me?
–Tychon of Zadonsk, Russian peasant monk (1724-1783)
In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good.
What am I to do, Lord?