Circle of Prayer - Nightime Prayers
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"Dear Lord we ask you to cover us with Your protection against all harm and evil and to bind every spirit that may come against us. Into Your hands Dear Lord I commend my body, mind, soul and spirit. St Michael the Archangel pray for us"

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As a teenager in the '60s I loved listening to Radio Luxemburg, a very popular pirate radio station. At the end of their broadcast each night they always signed off with a lovely hymn/song, the first words of which were. "At  the end of the day just kneel and say 'Thank You Lord for Your Love today'. Oh how far we have progressed backwards in such a short period of time where we no longer hear such lovely closures. Sad!

Children's prayers are so simple yet beautiful and one lovely one that's been said for years and years is the one to our guardian angel.

"O, Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God's love commits me here. Ever this night be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide me. Amen"

I believe we all have a guardian angel and scriptures place much emphasis on the role of angels in heaven and here with us on earth. The Annunciation that Mary was to be the Mother of God came from an angel, Saint Joseph was warned of the dangers to his family by an angel, the birth of Jesus was announced to the humble shepherds by angels. They were, and still are I believe, the messengers of God.

There are 115 references to angels in the Old Testament and almost 200 references to angels in the New Testament. But there are also many references to Satan's angels, the followers of the 'Fallen Angel - Lucifer'.

"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven." Revelation 12. 7-8 RSV

Saint Michael the Archangel is often invoked for his protection of us against Satan and his wiles. A lovely prayer to Saint Michael before going to sleep is:

"Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, cast down to hell Satan and all his wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls"

Childlike simplicity is often the most effective way to pray. Our children are taught this beautiful simple prayer of contrition in school and it's a fitting one for the end of the day:

"Oh my God, I thank You for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for not loving others and not loving You. Help me to live like Jesus and not to sin again."

Here's their night time prayer:

"God our Father I come to say, 'Thank You for Your Love Today; Thank You for my family and all the friends You give to me. Guard me in the dark of night and in the morning send Your light"

We need to be able to hand back the day to the Lord, in thanksgiving and in surrender and this is a nice way to do so:

"Into Your hands this night O Lord I commend my spirit. Into Your ears I pour out all my troubles. Into Your loving heart I humbly confide my sins and failings. Watch over me during this night, that tomorrow I may serve and praise You. Amen"

Saint Augustine left us this lovely night prayer:

"Watch O Lord with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your Angels and Saints charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, dear Lord, rest Your weary ones, bless Your dying ones, soothe Your suffering ones, pity Your afflicted ones, shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your Love's sake."

Here's another nice one to say before going to sleep:

Night is falling Dear Mother and the long day is o're. And before your beloved image we are kneeling once more to thank-you for keeping us safe through this day and to ask thee this night to keep all evil away. Many times have I fallen today Mother dear, many graces negelected, since last I knelt here. Oh look down out of pity my own Mother mild and ask Jesus to pardon the sins of your child. I am going to rest now for the long day is ore, its hours and its moments have passed one by one. The God that will judge us has counted each fall and has numbered each fault in his book, they are written against the last day, Oh Mother ask Jesus to wash them away from one drop of his blood in itself is sufficent to cleanse the whole world from its sins. And if ever at dawn I should draw my last breath and the sleep that I take be the long sleep of rest. Oh! Be near me dear mother, for Jesus' dear sake, when our souls on life's eternities shores shall awake. 

This lovely prayer by Cardinal Newman is a gentle closure for 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."

Moytura has several other sites with a 'Christian flavour'. Prayerful Thoughts & Thoughtful Prayers is a little collection of prayers and thought-provoking stories, and a few links to some other really nice websites. Reflections for Lent offers a daily meditation for the 40 days of lent and the week leading into Easter. As part of my Journey section of the website join me to learn a little of the Early Christian Church in Ireland by visiting Clonmacnoise, founded by St. Ciaran on the banks of the River Shannon in the 6th. Century. Read about Saint Brendan the Navigator who started a Monastic settlement in the tiny village of Clonfert in the 6th century, located on the Galway/Offaly/Tipperary border. Travel on my journeys to two of Canada's most famous Catholic Shrines - Saint Anne de Beaupré and Cap de la Madeleine, both on the shores of the Saint Lawrence river in Quebec. Finally I welcome you to come with me to see a little of Medugorje, a peaceful haven in a war-torn country - Bosnia-Herzogovina. Please also pay a visit to  Moytura's Irish Bookshop where you can find books on the history of Christianity in IrelandIrish Prayers and Celtic Christianity

Below are some of the other areas of Moytura's web site.

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