Before stepping into this time of prayer, a brief note on the format may be helpful.
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone….
~ Matthew 14:23 ESV ~
The community of Christians living together gathers together again. The evening breaking of bread together and the final daily worship service bring them together. With the disciples in Emmaus they ask: “Lord, stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” It is a good thing if the daily evening worship can really be held at the end of the day, thus becoming the last word before the night’s rest. When night falls, the true light of God’s Word shines brighter for the community of faith. The prayer of the Psalms, a Scripture reading, a hymn, and a prayer together close the day as they opened it.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, ch. 2 ~
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord.
O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth;
keep watch over the door of my lips!
Let not my heart incline to any evil,
to busy myself with wicked deeds
with men who work iniquity,
and let me not eat of their delicacies!
Let the righteous strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head;
let my head not refuse it.
For my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
When their judges are thrown over the cliff,
then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; do not pour out my soul!
Keep me from the trap they have laid for me
and from the snares of evildoers!
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
while I pass by safely.
Gloria Patri (Minor Doxology)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Phos Hilaron (Gk.; or “Hail, Gladdening Light”)
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the ever-living Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the evening light,
we hymn your praises, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by holy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
your glory fills the whole world.
Magnificat (The Song of Mary, Luke 1:46-55)
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring for ever.
Kyrie Eléison (Gk.; repeat each line three times)
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.