Evening has come after a long day. Maybe it’s been a great day, and you just sit back and say “Wow! I accomplished a lot, and things went so well today.” Or maybe you can’t wait for the day to end, because you’ve dealt with one mini-crisis (or full-blown crisis) after another. Either way, before you go to bed, it’s important to spend some time, even just a few minutes, with our dear Lord, who has blessed you with another day of life.
During your prayer time you can thank God for all the good things that happened–and for all the not-so-good things, too! God has a plan for your life, and He works even through the hardships and the unpleasant things that happen..
Spending time with God before you go to sleep gives you a chance to offer your sleep as a prayer to God for your own good and the good of others (see the prayer below by St. Alphonsus).
Your bedtime prayers can be in your own words, or you can use other’s words for this purpose as you praise God and pray for a restful, peaceful, good night.
Before you go to sleep, you should ask God for forgiveness for the sins committed during the day; you can do this in your own words or with the traditional Act of Contrition. Also, ask for the protection of your guardian angel. The Glory Be, praising the Holy Trinity–the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit–is another wonderful bedtime prayer. (You can find these and more prayers, including prayers for protection and help, on our prayer downloads page.) Another great nighttime prayer is the Magnificat, Our Lady’s song of praise.
It’s also a beautiful practice to pray a quick prayer when you wake up; it can be something as simple as “Jesus, I love You!” or “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
Below are a few evening prayers which you can make use of before you turn in for the night!
Evening Prayer by St. Augustine
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) was a North African who was converted from a sinful life through the prayers of his holy mother St. Monica. He became a great bishop, theologian, and preacher. The wall of his room bore the words “Here we do not speak evil of anyone.” His feast day is August 28, and he is the patron of theologians.
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, O Lord Christ.
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. Amen.
Evening Prayer by St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Alphonsus (1696-1787) founded the Redemptorist order of priests and was a great teacher of moral theology He was the bishop of Saint Agatha, Italy, and zealously reformed his diocese. A prolific writer, he penned about sixty books. He made a vow never to waste time and worked tirelessly for the good of the Church. He died in his 91st year.
My Lord and God Jesus Christ! I adore Thee and give Thee thanks for all the graces which Thou hast granted me today. I offer up to Thee my rest and every moment of this night, and implore Thee to preserve me from all sin. Therefore I place myself into the wound of Thy sacred side and beneath the protecting mantle of my Mother Mary. May Thy holy angels assist me and watch over my peace, and may Thy holy blessing remain with me.
Hear us, Lord (Exaudi Nos, Domine)
Hear us, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God; and graciously send Your holy angel from Heaven to watch over, to cherish, to protect, to abide with, and to defend all who dwell in this house. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Visit, We Beg You, O Lord (Visita, Quaesumus, Domine)
Visit, we beg You, O Lord, this dwelling, and drive from it all snares of the enemy; let Your holy Angels dwell herein, to keep us in peace; and let Your blessing be always upon us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Short Evening Aspirations
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.