Bedtime prayer
#1
So I was wondering what people do for bedtime prayer & if anyone had any suggestions. I work 3rd shift so I go to bed at 8:30AM & it seems that bedtime prayers I come across are for nighttime (compline, vespers, ect.). Does anyone have any suggestions for prayers before sleep instead of prayers at night? I want some kind of routine before bed that kinda prepares me for sleep but fits the time that I go to bed.
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#2
How about the AVe Marias to Our Lady of Perpetual Help;
Say one Our Father and then in perpetuity until you fall asleep keep saying the Ave Maria
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#3
(07-21-2015, 09:24 PM)paul11b Wrote: So I was wondering what people do for bedtime prayer & if anyone had any suggestions. I work 3rd shift so I go to bed at 8:30AM & it seems that bedtime prayers I come across are for nighttime (compline, vespers, ect.). Does anyone have any suggestions for prayers before sleep instead of prayers at night? I want some kind of routine before bed that kinda prepares me for sleep but fits the time that I go to bed.

This is a more common problem than you might think - I know from experience 3rd shift can be lonely! The problem is that our traditional prayer-forms, particularly the liturgy, grew up in monasteries which have a "regular" schedule, so bedtime always coincided with night. These are traditional prayers in the Byzantine tradition said before going to sleep:

Quote:Prayer of Saint John Damascene, which is to be said while pointing at thy bed
O Master, Lover of mankind, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Behold, the coffin lieth before me; behold, death confronteth me. I fear, O Lord, Thy judgment and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee, and Thy most pure Mother, and all the Heavenly Hosts, and my Holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love for mankind, but am worthy of every condemnation and torment. But, O Lord, whether I will it or not, save me. For to save a righteous man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But on me a sinner, show the wonder of Thy mercy; in this reveal Thy love for mankind, lest my wickedness prevail over Thine ineffable goodness and merciful kindness; and order my life as Thou wilt.

And when about to lie down in bed, say this:
Enlighten mine eyes, O Christ God, lest at any time I sleep unto death, lest at any time mine enemy say: I have prevailed against him.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Be my soul’s helper, O God, for I pass through the midst of many snares; deliver me out of them and save me, O Good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The most glorious Mother of God, more holy than the holy angels, let us hymn unceasingly with our hearts and mouths, confessing her to be the Theotokos, for truly she gaveth birth to God incarnate for us, and prayeth unceasingly for our souls.

Then kiss thy Cross, and make the sign of the Cross from the head to the foot of the bed, and likewise from side to side, while saying:

The Prayer to the Precious Cross
Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the demons perish from the presence of them that love God and who sign themselves with the sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Rejoice, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, for Thou drivest away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ Who was crucified on thee, Who went down to hades and trampled on the power of the devil, and gave us thee, His precious Cross, for the driving away of every adversary. O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me together with the holy Lady Virgin Theotokos, and with all the saints, unto the ages. Amen.

Then, in lieu of asking forgiveness of others:
Remit, pardon, forgive, O God, our offenses, both voluntary and involuntary, in deed and word, in knowledge and ignorance, by day or by night, in mind and thought; forgive us all things, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

Prayer
O Lord, Lover of mankind, forgive them that hate and wrong us. Do good to them that do good. Grant our brethren and kindred their saving petitions and life eternal; visit the infirm and grant them healing. Guide those at sea. Journey with them that travel. Help Orthodox Christians to struggle. To them that serve and are kind to us grant remission of sins. On them that have charged us, the unworthy, to pray for them, have mercy according to Thy great mercy.
Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brethren departed before us, and grant them rest where the light of Thy countenance shall visit them.
Remember, O Lord, our brethren in captivity, and deliver them from every misfortune.
Remember, O Lord, those that bear fruit and do good works in Thy holy churches, and grant them their saving petitions and life eternal.
Remember also, O Lord, us Thy lowly and sinful and unworthy servants, and enlighten our minds with the light of Thy knowledge, and guide us in the way of Thy commandments; through the intercessions of our most pure Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Thy saints, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Daily Confession of Sins
I confess to Thee, my Lord God and Creator, in one Holy Trinity glorified and worshipped, to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all my sins which I have committed in all the days of my life, and at every hour, at the present time and in the past, day and night, by deed, word, thought, gluttony, drunkenness, secret eating, idle talking, despondency, indolence, contradiction, disobedience, slandering, condemning, negligence, self-love, acquisitiveness, extortion, lying, dishonesty, mercenariness, jealousy, envy, anger, remembrance of wrongs, hatred, bribery; and by all my senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch; and by the rest of my sins, of the soul together with the bodily, through which I have angered Thee, my God and Creator, and dealt unjustly with my neighbour. Sorrowing for these, I stand guilty before Thee, my God, but I have the will to repent. Only help me, O Lord my God, with tears I humbly entreat Thee. Forgive my past sins through Thy compassion, and absolve from all these which I have said in Thy presence, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

At the time of sleep, say
Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ my God, I commit my spirit. Do Thou bless me, do Thou have mercy on me, and grant me life eternal. Amen.

If you would prefer, there would be no problem changing "Orthodox Christians" in the prayer above to "orthodox Christians," "Catholics," or as the Byzantine Catholic Church in the US tends to use, "Christians of the True Faith." I like these prayers as they really don't focus on the time of day so much as the fact that you are going to sleep.
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#4
My one recommendation would be to review your day and make an act of thanksgiving to God for all the good things He provided you, did for you, and has done for you, and that you have in your life in general.

Oh, and an examination of conscience and an act of contrition is also good.
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