NIGHT PRAYER: Thursday 8/4

In my neck of the woods, Lord,
in my corner of your vineyard,
the sun sets this evening at 8:00 p.m.:
    the last time this season 
    for an "8 or later" eventide
    as the days grow even shorter...
The loss of daylight isn't new
it began June 22nd:
    a minute or two, every day,
    slowly slipping, quietly,
    almost without notice,
    'til the line is crossed
    and now day fades
    sometime after 7...
It's not just how the earth tilts, Lord,
and how we face the sun:
    it's the loss of light,
    the coming dark,
    the counting down, 
    fall's fading touch
        on all things bright and beautiful,
    the long, slow march to winter
    and our anxious longing, waiting
        for the spring to rise again...

As I prayed in June, I'll pray tonight...
You have no clock, no calendar,
no chart of changing seasons
for with you - all is now -
as it always was and will be...
No matter what the season,
the length of night or day,
I can always find, 
    can only find you now,
in the moment right at hand...
Tilt me always toward your light,
toward the warmth and solace offered me:         
    day or night (long or short)         
    as seasons come and seasons go, 
    always in the moment, Lord, 
    the moment now at hand...
Teach me to live in your time, Lord,
    the timelessness of  grace,
in the day you've made, the only day
    that's mine to live and mine to share 
    come summer, fall, winter, spring
    and in this moment, now...

Protect me, Lord, while I'm awake
and watch over me while I sleep
that awake, I might keep watch with you
and asleep rest in your peace...

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1. Day is done, but love unfailing dwells ever here.
Shadows fall, but hope prevailing, calms ev'ry fear.
Loving Father, none forsaking,
Take our hearts, of love's own making,
Watch our sleeping, guard our waking,
Be always near.

2. Dark descends, but light unending shines through our night;
You are with us, ever lending new strength to sight:
One in love, your truth confessing,
One in hope of heaven's blessing,
May we see, in love's possessing,
Love's endless light!

3. Eyes will close, but you, unsleeping, watch by our side
Death may come, in love's safekeeping still we abide.
God of love, all evil quelling
Sin forgiving, fear dispelling
Stay with us, our hearts indwelling,
This eventide.  




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