Angel Guardian, keep and preserve all of us from every evil, sickness, and grief.
Help us, O Lord, to be good, obedient, and kind.
I thank thee, O Lord, for all good things thou has sent to me during this past day.
Let me spend this night in peace, and protect me from all harm. Amen.
[A Manual of Eastern Orthodox Prayers, Crestwood, New York: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1991, p. 16]
Let me spend this night in peace…
During one stay with my parents after my older son was born, my father sent me off to bed around ten o’clock with a promise that he’d put Colin in the crib when he was ready to sleep. He also told me not to worry if Colin woke early – he’d be up early anyway, and he’d be glad to keep Colin company while I got some extra sleep. Ten minutes later, I was asleep; nine hours later, I awoke to hear Colin and my father downstairs, laughing. A few years after that, he kept my younger son company, soothing Jared through an uncomfortable night of teething while I slept without interruption.
I spent those nights in peace because I knew my father and trusted in his love and care for me and my young sons. I didn’t wake up because I knew he was more than capable of meeting their needs. If an emergency arose, my father would do whatever was necessary, and would wake me if I needed to be up.
My children are twenty-one and eighteen now, and my father died almost four years ago. But each night, I still hand Colin and Jared over, just as I have since their first nights in this world. I hand them over to God, trusting that God’s love for them will not fail. I do the same with everyone else’s lives, including my own. If I could not give everyone over to God, would I ever get a peaceful night’s sleep?