An Evening Prayer

O God,
you are without beginning and without end,
Maker of the whole world by Christ,
and Provider of all,
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Lord of the Spirit,
and the King of intelligible and sensible beings.
You have made the day for the works of light,
and the night for the refreshment of our weakness.
“Yours is the day, yours also is the night.
You set the moon and sun in place,”
Now, O Lord,
Lover of mankind,
Fountain of all good,
mercifully accept our evening thanksgiving.
You have brought us through this day,
and have brought us to the beginning of the night.
Preserve us by your Christ.
Grant us a peaceful evening,
and a night free from sin,
and bring us to eternal life by your Christ;
through him be glory, honor, and worship
to you in the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

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Thanks for Your Mercies

We give you thanks for all things,
O Lord Almighty,
that you have not taken away your mercies and your compassions from us.
In every succeeding generation you save, deliver, help, and protect.
You helped your people
in the days of Enosh and Enoch,
in the days of Moses and Joshua,
in the days of the judges,
in the days of Samuel and of Elijah and of the prophets,
in the days of David and of the kings,
in the days of Esther and Mordecai,
and in these last days
you have helped us
by your great High Priest, Jesus Christ your Son.
For he has delivered us from the sword,
and has freed us from famine,
and sustained us.
He has delivered us from sickness,
and preserved us from an evil tongue.
For all your blessings we give you thanks through Christ,
who has given us a clear voice to confess,
and a suitable tongue as an instrument to sing your praise,
and a proper taste,
and a suitable touch,
and a sight for contemplation,
and the hearing of sounds,
and the smelling of vapors,
and hands for work,
and feet for walking.
You have instructed us by your laws,
and improved us by your statutes.
Although you allow trouble for a while,
you have promised a resurrection.
Therefore, what life is sufficient,
what length of ages will be long enough,
for people to be thankful?
To do it worthily it is impossible,
but to do it according to our ability is good and right.
You have delivered us from error and ignorance.
You have sent Christ among us as a man,
being the only God.
You have made the Counselor to dwell within us.
You have set angels over us.
You have put the devil to shame.
You have brought us into being when we were not.
You take care of us when we were made.
You measure out life to us.
You give us food.
You have promised repentance.
Glory and worship be to you for all these things;
through Jesus Christ,
now and ever,
and through all ages. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For the First-Fruits

We give thanks to you,
Lord Almighty,
Creator of the whole world,
Preserver of all,
through your only Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
for the first-fruits which are offered to you,
not because we must, but as we are able.
For who can worthily give you thanks
for all you have given?
You are the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob,
and of all the saints.
You made all things fruitful by your Word,
and commanded the earth to bring forth various fruits
for our food and our enjoyment.
You have given your lesser creatures
grass to those that eat grass,
and to some meat, to others seeds,
but to us grain, as good and proper food,
and many other things—
some for our needs,
some for our health,
and some for our pleasure.
For all of these,
you are worthy of exalted hymns of praise
for your blessings through Christ,
through him be glory, honor, and worship to you,
in the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen.

Source: Apostolic Constitutions

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

A Prayer about Mothers

Our Father in heaven,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth
receives its name,
you describe your tender comfort
as being like a mother’s comfort.
We give thanks for mothers,
who comfort,
who teach,
who nurture,
who feed,
who love.
Continue to give them patience and strength.
Receive the cares they cast on you.
We pray for children;
open their eyes
to their mothers’ open arms,
to their mothers’ love,
to their mothers’ sacrifices
of time and effort.
We pray for those who weep
when they think of their mothers,
and mothers who weep
when they think of their children.
With your love
heal broken hearts,
and guide us with your love
to remove the walls we often build
between ourselves
and those who should be closest.
Fill the void of loss
with friends, family,
and with your own assurance
of your tender care;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

© 2017 Paul C. Stratman

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A Prayer about Mothers by Paul C. Stratman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please contact for any commercial usage.

“from whom…” is a reference to Ephesians 3:15.

“You describe…” is a reference to Isaiah 66:13

“Receive the cares…” is a reference to 1 Peter 5:7

The last section “We pray for those who weep…” is in part a reflection on Psalm 27:10.

See also “A Prayer about Fathers.”

The painting The Madonna of the Pinks, Raphael, probably before 1507 was chosen simply to be a depiction of a mother with a child.

Our Hope and Our Heart’s Delight

littlemoreO God,
you are life, wisdom, truth,
bounty, and blessedness,
the eternal, the only true good,
our God and our Lord,
our hope and our heart’s delight,
we acknowledge with thanksgiving
that you have made us in your image,
and that we may direct our thoughts to you.
Lord, make us to know you aright,
that we may love, enjoy, and possess you
more and more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source of this version: Freely modified from A Book of Prayers: Together with Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern, Ed. Charles Leffingwell, Morehouse Publishing Company, 1921, p. 70 #3

Evening Thanksgiving

Accept our evening thanksgiving,
Fountain of every blessing,
for you have led us in safety through the length of the day.
You daily bless us with so many temporal mercies,
and have given us the hope of resurrection to eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Souce: An Ancient Collect.

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

Thanks after Food

CelticCapital30Thanks to you, O God,
praise be to you, O God,
reverence to you, O God,
for all you have given me.

As you have given life corporeal
to earn me my worldly food,
so grant me life eternal
to show forth your glory.

Grant me grace throughout my life,
grant me life at the hour of my death;
be with me, O God, in casting off my breath,
O God, be with me in the deep currents.

O! in the parting of the breath,
O! be with my soul in the deep currents.
O God, be with my soul in crossing the river,
in passing through the deep floods.

Source: Malcolm Macmillan, merchant, Balvannich, Benbecula in  Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations…, Vol. III,p. 317. English translation modified.

Graphic is from Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations…, Vol. III, p. 194

“O God, be with my soul in crossing the river, / in passing through the deep floods.” in the original is “O God, be with my soul in sounding the fords, / in crossing the deep floods.”