This ancient prayer is perfect in the middle of the night.
If your restless mind won’t let you sleep, you’re not alone. Between 30 and 35 percent of adults in the U.S. experience short-term insomnia and as much as 10 percent experiences chronic insomnia, according to SleepEducation.org.
If you’re lying awake at 3 a.m., you’re joined not only by fellow insomniacs, but also by many religious communities, including the Carmelites, Norbertines, and Brigittines, who are getting up just in time for Matins. Though the full prayer of Matins is much longer, this abbreviated version might be perfect for you …
Begin by meditating on Psalms 120-124. (If you don’t have a Bible handy, click here). For your private recitation, you might choose to use all of the psalms, but you can also pick only one if you’re looking for a shorter version.
After the psalms, pray:
- “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”
- “Our Father, who are in heaven…”
- “From the gate of hell, deliver their souls, O Lord: may they rest in peace. Amen.”
- “O Lord hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto Thee.”
- To conclude, pray: “Deliver, Lord, from all the bonds of sin the souls of Your servants and handmaids and of all the faithful departed. In the resurrection, sharing Your glory, may they live again with Your Elect and Your Saints. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
Though the purpose of this prayer is not to make you fall asleep, a scriptural meditation is sometimes just what your restless mind needs to calm down and sleep peacefully.