Saturday Evening Prayer

Tom and I had coffee with a long time friend recently. Years ago, our friend gave us a small hymnal from the last century, and it is one of my treasures. This time, just before we left, he pressed into my hand a small black book. On the cover it said Habermann Prayers.

I had never heard of it before, but knowing who it was from, I suspected we’d been handed another treasure. When we got home, I sat down to read it. The book is the English translation of the original German prayers from the 16th century. I quickly read who “Habermann” was. Here is the first part of the preface:

This little manual of prayers herewith offered to English speaking
Christians in their own language, has long been one of the treasures of
the German people. With the exception of a few prayers, as hereinafter
noted, it was originally written by one of God’s noblemen, by one who
“lived and moved and had his being” in the things of the Kingdom of
God. Dr. John Habermann (known also as Avenarius, Latinized form of
Habermann) died 1590 as superintendent at Zeitz, was a famous preacher
and a distinguished scholar of his day. He was noted for his profound
knowledge of oriental languages especially of the Hebrew. Still it is
not this but the fact of his little prayer book that has endeared him
to his fellow Christians. And this manual of prayers is the mature
product of an inner life rich in the grace of God. On every page it
bears the stamp of one for whom the communion with the eternal Father
in heaven through the faith in Jesus Christ, the Savior, is a blessed
reality. Nothing more natural therefore also than that he should “live
and move and have his being” in the language of the Word of God…

You can read the complete preface, and the entire text of this beautiful Christian prayer book from nearly 500 years ago at this link here. Note the language of deep reverence for God in sharp contrast with so much culturally influenced material today. I hope the hymns, Psalms and prayers bless your soul as you come to the Lord in prayer. In that I am writing this on Saturday late afternoon, here is the beautiful prayer for Saturday evening, before the Lord’s Day.

Praise be unto Thee, Thou great and unchangeable God! Praise be unto
Thy goodness and mercy! Praise be unto Thy eternal wisdom and truth,
that Thou hast preserved me during the day now past from all danger and
harm. I pray Thee, graciously perfect Thy goodness which Thou hast
begun in me, and suffer me to rest this night under Thy protecting
shield, and cover me with Thy wings. Suffer me to put my trust under
the shadow of Thy hands, that I fear no evil. Keep me, O God, as the
apple of the eye. Hide me under the shadow of Thy wings. Lord, Thou art
the portion of mine inheritance; my salvation is in Thy hands. Grant
unto me, according to Thy goodness, that neither fear nor trembling
come over me, and no terrors of the night overwhelm me. Be merciful
unto me, for in Thee do I put my trust, and under the shadow of Thy
wings do I find my refuge.

I seek the Lord in the time of need; my hand
is outstretched in the night without ceasing; for my soul has none
other comfort; and I know of none other helper in heaven or earth but
Thee alone. At midnight when I awaken, I meditate upon Thy name, so
altogether lovely, upon Thy goodness and fidelity, vouchsafed unto me,
and I praise Thee because of Thy righteous judgments. When I am
troubled I remember God, when my spirit is overwhelmed I speak of my
Savior. For He redeemeth my life from destruction and saveth me from
the snares of death. Lord God, my Savior, by day and by night do I cry
unto Thee, pardon all my transgressions, which during this day and the
week now past I have committed against Thee. O Lord, deliver my soul
for Thy mercy’s sake. Thou art gracious and just, and our God is
merciful. The Lord preserveth the simple. I was brought low, and He
helped me. Therefore will I rejoice and praise Thee, and sing aloud
upon my bed. For the days of my life will appear as noonday, and
darkness as the morning’s light, and I will rejoice that Thou, O God,
art my hope and my rest in life and death. I lay me down, and none will
terrify me. Thus do I commend my body and soul into Thy hands, Thou
Faithful God. Thou hast redeemed me through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

~ Psalm 141:2

3 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Prayer

  1. After all the storms, look at what has washed ashore, placed like a rare shell in your hands.

    So very blessed for you, Ingrid. God has done great things for you.
    -E

  2. Wow, what a blessing. Thanks so much for sharing this. It is so timely for me. My heart has been troubled lately with many things. I guess the roots of trust and faith are going deeper. Ah, growing pains!

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