Last year I shared something that I have come to value greatly, starting each day with as enthusiastic a ‘Deo Gratias’ as I can manage in my sleepy state, consciously greeting the Lord with the words that monks and nuns have used through the centuries. You will remember that we prepared a simple presentation as a means to help us prepare us to meet with Him and to receive His leading through the day: See Deo Gratis – ‘Thanks be to God’
That works well for the mornings and I have grown used to greeting the Lord by saying effectively, ‘Come Holy Spirit – direct every part of my life this day in every way.’ More recently I had started to feel the need for something equivalent at the end of the day to round things off and to prepare for the night ahead.
A close friend in Malvern heard that I was thinking along these lines and wrote to me to say that based on the understanding that we are body, soul and spirit, she likes to end the day by praying:
Bless my body to rest and heal, this night, Lord Jesus
Bless my soul this night with peace and balance
I commit my spirit, joined with Your Holy Spirit,
to worship, learn and observe all You have for me this night.
She also said that when she remembers to do this, she finds it very fruitful, and sometimes wakes with a revelation or a sense of the Lord’s presence gifting her with her ‘scroll’ and purpose for the day.
Enjoying languages as I do, I like to use the Latin form of Jesus’ words from the cross: ‘In manus tuas, Pater, commendo spiritum meum,’ (Into Your hands I commit my spirit). (Luke 23:46).
I have long found it helpful to carry out a time of self review, because it offers us a second bite of the cherry: a chance to pick up on leadings we may have missed, words we have said and attitudes we have struck that need putting right. God honours these times of review – whatever time of day we find works best for us to conduct them (and even if we fail to conduct one on anything like a daily basis)!
Who knows but that there is something particularly pleasing about those who make the effort to seek Him by night? That is certainly so much better than worrying about the things we haven’t done, or having imaginary conversations with ourselves about things that just possibly ‘might’ happen – although it is always useful to jot down reminders of things we need to do in the morning in case the night blows them away.
Lord I yield everything afresh to You – plans, position, possessions – along with everything that still needs to be put right and attended to.
‘In manus tuas, Pater, commendo spiritum meum.’
I found this lovely musical version from Taize. It has very much grown on me.
By the way, if you appreciate Taize music, as millions do, you will appreciate these offerings too: