Through the night

‘Save us Lord, while we are awake’

Prayers for wakers and workers and worriers through the night.

Opening Verse

O God, + come to our aid. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Psalm

Psalm 42

As the deer longs for the water brooks : so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God : when shall I come before the presence of God?

My tears have been my bread day and night : while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’

Now when I think on these things, I pour out my soul :how I went with the multitude and led the procession to the house of God,

With the voice of praise and thanksgiving : among those who kept holy day.

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul : and why are you so disquieted within me?

O put your trust in God : for I will yet give him thanks, who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

My soul is heavy within me : therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan, and from Hermon and the hill of Mizar.

Deep calls to deep in the thunder • of your waterfalls : all your breakers and waves have gone over me.

The Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the daytime : through the night his song will be with me, a prayer • to the God of my life.

I say to God my rock, ‘Why have you forgotten me : and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresses me?’

As they crush my bones, my enemies mock me : while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’

Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul : and why are you so disquieted within me?

O put your trust in God : for I will yet give him thanks, who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Bible Reading

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.  There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” (Genesis 28, 10-17)

Response

Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ and rest with him in peace.

Prayers

I cast my care upon you, Lord Jesus, for you call all who are weary and tired to come to you for rest.

As I watch through the night and wait for dawn and seek the sleep you give to your beloved, I pray for those watching and waiting this night at the bedside of a loved one.

For those who work through the dark hours to keep us safe and attend to the urgency of our lives, who bring calm to the distressed, and hope to the suffering.

For those who are awake now with anxiety, for whom the night time is long and endless, and whose minds are filled with a circle of thoughts.

For those who toil and sweat in hard labour through the night, whose work is hidden from the public mind.

For those whose sleep is disturbed by pain and disability, by sickness and discomfort.

For myself… (name your concerns, worries, needs)

As the night watch looks for the morning, so do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick ones, rest the weary ones, bless the dying ones, soothe the suffering ones, pity the afflicted ones, protect the joyous ones, and all for your love’s sake. Amen.

Blessing

The Lord bless us and watch over us; the Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us; the Lord look kindly on us [and all for whom we pray] and give us his peace.

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Salve Regina

Hail! Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy; Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope; to thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!

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Other Prayers

During times of restlessness, when sleep evades us, our minds can often turn over and over the same thought or worry which prevents us from relaxing into our tiredness. Some people find that such prayers as the Jesus Prayer or the Hail Mary or some other short sentence of Scripture repeated slowly, over and over, with a gentle rhythm which stills our breath can sometimes help lull us into sleep.

Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art though among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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