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000nightshiftMost of my working life I’ve worked swing shift or night shift. I’ll tell you what, it can mess with you. It sure has messed with me after 20+ years of going to work when everybody else is going home or going to bed. Your natural cycles get tossed this way and that, you eat at really weird times or skip meals altogether, and at times it’s almost impossible to have a social or spiritual life.

I mean, can I pray the morning office at 11:30 AM? Is that cool?

Anyway, recently I got the book “Common Prayer: A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals” by Shane Claiborne and others. I really appreciate the work that they put into it, and I was inspired to write a prayer for folks like me, who often work those hours when everyone else is at home relaxing, even in bed. Remember, for you to get up and get your food on the way to work at 7 AM, somebody had to be there before you to prep it. Often times these folks go unnoticed and unappreciated by the rest of us as we go throughout our day. Many of them will be doing even more going into the Holiday and Christmas season. So I’d be tickled pink if you took a moment to remember us in your prayers. I’ve got an opening and a closing, and a verse each for 4 types of jobs that tend to work nights: Medical personnel, Emergency Responders, retail service workers, and food service workers.

“Bless Them With Rest”

Dear God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Remember those who labor and toil while I eat and rest.
Bless those go unseen during night hours.
Strengthen those who ply their trade after the setting of the sun.

LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER.

Oh Great Physician,
We ask that you abide with those who care for the sick during evening hours.
Sharpen their senses and minds to meet the challenges of their charges
And bless them with rest when their watch has ended.

LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER

Oh Prince of Peace,
We ask that you give peace to those who keep calm after twilight.
Bless them with Solomon’s wisdom and David’s heart as they serve
And bless them with rest when their watch has ended.

LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER

Oh Gentle Comforter,
We ask that you watch over those who replenish our stores and markets.
Grant them the strength and energy to complete their tasks quickly and safely
And bless them with rest when their watch has ended.

LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER

Oh Breaker of Bread,
We ask that you enrich those who we depend upon for our food.
Bestow upon them rich blessings for doing holy work, feeding your children
And bless them with rest when their watch has ended.

LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER

Oh glorious Son of God,
You felt loneliness when your disciples slept in the garden
and left you alone to keep watch the night before your death on the cross.
Energize and comfort those who also keep the lonely nights
And bless them with rest when their watch has ended.

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN
HALLOWED BE THY NAME
THY KINGDOM COME
THY WILL BE DONE
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSESĀ 
AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US
AND LEAD US, NOT INTO TEMPTATION
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
FOR THINE IS THE KINGDOM
THE POWER
AND THE GLORY FOREVER.

MAY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST GRANT US A PEACEFUL NIGHT AND A PERFECT END.

A-MEN.

 

 

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