What is your energy like in the evening? More and more I find I am not good for much of anything at night? All I want is to get into my pajamas and watch something absorbing on television (Recent favorites include The Great British Baking Show and Home Fires) or curl up in the snuggery and read. I look forward to bedtime in a way I never did before.
I am a morning person, and I want to do everything in the morning, including my prayer and meditation time. At night as I close my eyes, I whisper a few words of gratitude and blessing, but that is about it. However, if I return to my garret at night I often sit quietly in my comfortable chair and think about the day I have been privileged to live, even when the day has not gone as planned.
Joyce Rupp in her classic, The Cup of My Life, A Guide for Spiritual Growth suggests the following questions as a way to let go of the day and move towards rest.
1. How open or aware was I to the presence of God in my day?
2. What kind of nourishment did I receive? What kind of nourishment did I give?
3. Does anything need to be emptied out in order for me to be at peace tonight?
4. For what do I thank God as I prepare to enter into sleep?
When I sit with these questions, I feel my body relax, not just from exhaustion, but because I let go of control and any worry preparing to perch on my pillow. Tomorrow, if I am so blessed, is another day, and I will have the chance to be the aware and nourishing person I truly want to be.
I whisper a closing prayer and turn out the lights.
Divine Companion, shelter me under your wings of love. Grant me a peaceful night and a restful sleep. Amen.
Two Evening Prayers by Marianne Williamson
Thank You for this day.
Thank You for my safety and the safety of my loved ones.
As I enter sleep, may these hours give me peace.
May they bring healing to my mind and body.
Where there is pain, where there are people who have no place to sleep, who suffer and who die, may Your angels come unto them and minister to their lives.
Please let the light stream in.
Please use my hours of sleep.
Please prepare me during these hours of rest for greater service to You.
May the light that surrounds me, tomorrow shine through me.
Soften my heart.
Thank you, Lord.
I surrender to You the day now over.
May only the love remain.
Take all else into the fire of Your transformative power.
Release me, release others, from any wrongdoing.
Return me to Your light.
As I now give to You who I am, what I did, who I loved, who I failed to love, please make all things right.
Take all things.
May I continue to grow in Your light and love.
Tomorrow may I be better.
What is your evening routine? Does it include time to review and bless the day? I would love to know.