Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, August 15, 2015
Praying, Giving My Cares to God
As I finish praying the Evening Prayers tonight, I come to this antiphon (or, conclusion for this part of the service). “Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.” This antiphon is repeated twice, near the end of the Evening Prayers.
One thing I’ve noticed over the past couple of decades of bible reading and study: if any word, phrase or sentence is repeated, it’s usually important to someone, for something in particular.
Okay. I went to what is quickly becoming my go-to source for finding out more about Evening Prayer (or, Compline): the website for the Church of England (see below, in the footnote). Behold!
“The service concludes with
¶ a calling on God for protection through the coming night
¶ a simple blessing “ 
So, my part in this antiphon is as follows. First, I pray that, when awake, I may watch with Christ. I wouldn’t want to get caught sleeping, like the three disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Then, I need to watch with Christ. Watch like a watchman on the city walls or at the gates.
Second, when I sleep (NOT if, but WHEN), I am to rest peacefully. That’s quietly. “Rest in peace.” That is what is commonly said about people, after they die. In all truthfulness, people are often tied in knots of worry, anxiety and despair. But, Jesus says this is not the way to deal with life. Or, rather, to hide from life. Instead, we are to trust God to take away our worry, anxiety and despair. Jesus can handle it
Thanks, Lord, for this deep, heartfelt reminder. Help me to follow You, on a regular basis. And, not just when my tendency is to ignore You. Alleluia, amen!
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Visit the website http://dailyoffice.org/ to find out more about Morning and Evening Prayer!