SEVEN DAYS WITH YHVH:

A REGIMEN OF EVENING PRAYERS

 

Introduction

 

These prayers have been collected with simplicity and personal devotion in mind. Apart from the Shema‘, none of the prayers are obligatory. Read all the prayers, or just a few, according to what you feel comfortable with.

 

Since the Israelite day begins in the evening, the evening prayers are presented first, then the morning prayers.

 

These prayers are not modelled on any traditional format; they are prayers flowing from the pure love and joy in YHVH our God.

 

Evening 1 (Saturday night)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

May my prayer be set before You like incense;

may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Set a guard over my mouth,

O YHVH ; keep watch over the door of my lips.

     (Ps 141:2-3)

 

I will praise YHVH, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.

I have set YHVH always before me.

Because God is at my right hand,

I will not be shaken.

     (Psalm 16:7-8)

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

YHVH has told me, that we should be kind and merciful. For God has said, ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart’ (Lev 19:17) And God has said, ‘You shall not take revenge, nor bear a grudge against your fellow countrymen’ (Lev 19:18).

 

I know that ill-feelings rise up within me, but God has taught me a better way: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Lev 19:18)

 

And God has said, ‘You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind’ (Lev 19:14). And God has said, ‘You shall not wrong one another’ (Lev 25:17).

 

There are people less fortunate than myself, and I know that my God desires for me to show strength and have compassion upon them, and not take advantage on them.

 

Holy YHVH, inscribe these things on my heart, and make me whole. Transform me into the human being that you intended me to be. Let not the word ‘strength’ mean dominance or control on my lips, nor let it be a whip in my hands. Rather let strength mean protection, and nurture, and security, and shelter from the storm. Let me be the one who shall protect the less fortunate from harm, and let me be the one who shall gather the weary towards me to shelter them.

 

Now as I close my eyes to sleep, I ask you to watch over those whom I care about, and bless those who care about me. Calm my thoughts, gather together my scattered emotions, and grant me a restful sleep.

 

Protect me with the light of Your Presence; may Your warmth bathe my soul with calm while I sleep, and wash away the worries of the day.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 2 (Sunday night)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

Arise, let your heart cry out in the night,

as the watches of the night begin;

pour out your heart like water in the presence of YHVH.

Lift up your hands to Him and pray,

              Turn your palms heavenward and let your arms not grow weary.

 

Night comes, the light which YHVH has decreed ceases;

              The sun rests from its appointed duties.

The moon takes its place in the heavens,

              It travels the path which God has ordained.

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

God has taught me faithfulness; for God has said, ‘You shall have no other gods besides myself,’ (Ex 20:3, Deut 5:7). And God has instructed me to walk in His ways (Deut 19:9). God has told me to take His words to heart, and live them, using them in my daily life (Deut 6:6), for they are as precious as jewellery (Deut 6:8).

 

Make me strong enough to turn away from all those things that might turn me away from You, and let Your words burn like fire in my heart. Mould me into a being eager for your teaching, one bountiful in compassion and understanding. Help me to become Your devoted child, one whose heart reflects the light of Your holiness to others.

 

 

Remember this night all the ones that I love, give them hearts which will draw them closer to your kingdom. Bless them with good fortune, and strength to deal with whatever might come their way.

 

Keep me under the shade of your protection, and watch over me while I sleep. Enter my dreams, O YHVH, and instil my soul with Your tranquillity. Let the troubles of this day vanish like smoke, and disappear as a mist. Let the veil of stubbornness and pride be lifted from my soul, and infuse in it the light of patience and understanding.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 3 (Monday)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

Let your teaching fall like rain

and your words descend like dew,

like showers on new grass,

like abundant rain on tender plants.

(Deut 32:2)

 

I recounted your ways and you answered me;

teach me your decrees.

Let me understand the teaching of your precepts;

then I will meditate on your wonders.

(Ps 119:26-27)

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

God has taught me honesty and fairness in my daily dealings, because God has told me, ‘You shall have no unrighteousness in judgement, in measures of length, of weight, or quantity.’ (Lev 19:35), And God has said, ‘You shall not have in your bag different weights, a large and a small’ (Deut 25:13.

 

Set your ways before me, O YHVH, and instil them in my heart this night while I sleep. As the potter makes a vessel for water that sustains life, so mould me into a vessel of your holy Torah.

 

When I deal with others, it is my duty before God to be honest and fair. I should not set out to deceive those I trade with, or do business with. I should not act against them with malice or greed. This is the Way that God has taught me. This is the Way which YHVH has ordained.

 

I do not walk the same path as the beasts; I am better than my lower instincts. Want and need do not have to become greed; to be human is to watch out for one’s neighbour, and want the best for the common good.

 

Do not forget my family and friends, those who are dear to me; keep their souls safe, and renew them also as they sleep.

 

Protect me while I sleep, do not forsake my soul in slumber. Watch over my dreams, and safeguard me from the terrors of the night. Deliver me my soul back to me in the morning, and guard my mind from falling into anxiety. Let the holiness of Your Presence instil my soul with peace, and drive away all fears.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 4 (Tuesday)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

Those who are merciful have no fear of judgment

   For they were weighed in the scales before they were born,

   And were not found wanting.

Those who are understanding have no fear of retribution,

    For they were tried in the furnace of their own tribulations,

   And they were found to be true

 

You love each of us as a mother loves her new-born

  As a father loves his first-born child.

You tolerate our weaknesses and forgive us,

   You see our blemishes and your love is not diminished.

When we stumble and fall, you catch us,

   And when we are weary, you carry us.

You do not permit even one of your children

   To fear a life without you to provide.

 

Keep my soul this night and consider it more precious than gold, and return it to me in the morning purified. Remove the blemish of the day while I sleep, and refresh my soul.

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

O YHVH, You have said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, YHVH, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

(Exodus 33:19)

And You said:

“Say to the Israelites, YHVH, the God of your ancestors - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob— has sent me to you.' This is my name for ever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.”

(Exodus 3:15)

 

And:

“You shall not misuse the name of YHVH your God, for YHVH will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

(Exodus 20:7)

 

I promise you O YHVH, God of Israel and of all the nations – in Your Presence, here and now, that to show you how much I love you, beloved YHVH my God, my Heavenly Father, Your Name will always be safe in my mouth. I will never use Your Name in jest, or in casual conversation, or in angry oaths; Your Name will inspire me instead to be a light to those I meet, reflecting the light that you placed in my heart when you created me.

 

I pray for my family, for You to watch over them, to guide them in Your lovingkindness and wisdom, to heal divisions when they arise, and to make is strong together. I pray for my friends, that we might always be a benefit and a strength to one another; and I pray for all Your sons and daughters on earth, that one day we might all turn to You and acknowledge Your love and compassion, and walk eagerly in the path of righteousness.

 

Watch over my soul and protect it while I sleep; enter my dreams, and teach me Your ways; let my sleeping hours bring me peace from the day, and let the holiness of Your Presence enter my heart and mind, and strengthen me in the power of Your lovingkindness and mercy.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 5 (Wednesday)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

As You come to close this day,

O YHVH, this chapter of my life which You have written,

Set a watchman over the hours of my rest,

A guardian over the night of my sleep.

 

You have ordained a time for light,

And decreed a time for darkness;

The one you gave us for labour and learning,

The other a sojourn of rest in Your tender care.

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

This night I shall recall the articles of piety that define Your Way of holiness:

 

* that you, O YHVH, alone are my God, and that I should worship only You;

* that you, O YHVH, are the Creator, eternal and indivisible, without any physical form;

* that I am not to fashion or worship idols, or bow down to them;

* that I am to accept Your eternal covenant with the Houses of Israel and Judah to preserve us as a people forever, secure in our own land;

* that all males are circumcised as a sign of that eternal covenant;

* that I should not use Your holy Name for false or evil purposes;

* that we are to keep the Sabbath holy throughout all our generations;

* that I shall follow Torah as the revelation of Your Law;

* that Moses is the greatest of all the Prophets;

* that I shall reject all pagan forms of sacrifice and religious observance, as proscribed in Torah;

* that I shall not practise witchcraft, divination or augury;

* that I shall identify completely with God’s ongoing relationship with the past, present and future generations of all the people of Israel.

 

I resolve to follow the first laws You gave us at Horeb, not the ways of misguided men. I shall turn away from all those customs and traditions which conspire to turn me from all that is the holiness of Your being; and I shall turn my back on soothsayers and the superstition of paganism which threatens to deceive both the learned and the unlearned.

 

Hear the prayers I raise up to You this night for all those whom I love. I know the love that You have for them is beyond all measure, and I entrust them into Your care. You wisdom comforts me, because I know the plans You have for them are true and wise.

 

Extend the hand of Your kindness over me while I sleep, and protect me in Your merciful love. Forgive me the faults of this day, and strengthen my heart and soul to do better tomorrow. Refine me and instil within me a righteous heart, devoted to Your ways, with a single vision to play my part in the fulfilment of Your holy kingdom on earth.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 6 (Thursday)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

O YHVH, you know the times and the seasons,

    The days to come when your designs shall be fulfilled.

We pray that your will may be fulfilled soon,

    And at a time near our own.

 

May the tribes of Ephraim be reconciled with those of Judah

    And may they be joined as one stick in your hand.

May the exiles be gathered together from the nations where they have gone,

    And be brought back to their own land.

Forge from them a new nation on the mountains of Israel,

    One people under your Holy Name;

And set one prince over them,

    The son of your servant David -

One shepherd,

    One king.

And place your sanctuary among us forever,

    Your dwelling place in our midst, with us.

 

We pray that the Nations shall on that day go up to your holy mountain

    To your house, as the God of Abraham and Ya`aqov.

That from thenceforth, you shall teach them your ways

    And instruct them how to walk your paths.

We pray that your Torah shall from that time go forth from Zion,

    And your saving message spread out from Jerusalem.

 

We pray that there shall be the universal pursuit of peace,

    And the increase of righteousness among all peoples.

That your just ways shall be upheld

    With zeal for your Name these things shall be accomplished.

We pray that all lands shall know peace,

    That their swords shall be hammered into ploughshares

And that none instruct their people or their kin in the ways of war

    Any more.

 

But may these things be fulfilled in your time,

    And according to your design;

May they come to pass in your day,

    And at the season which you have appointed for them.

                                                        (Talmidi prayer for the fulfilment of prophecy

 

I believe and hold true the word that You sent through the Prophets You have chosen:

* that You alone are my Saviour and my Redeemer

* that faithfulness to Your ways will be rewarded

* that one day there will be universal peace

* that You will forgive and deal compassionately with those who return to You

* that to revere You in awe is the beginning of all wisdom, and the root of all prosperity

* that we should never forget the poor, the orphaned and the widowed

* that religion practised with humility and compassion is the true way

* that ritual without righteous intent is meaningless

* that fasting without charity is pointless

* that we are to have just judgments in our courts

* and that we should deal honestly and trade fairly with one another

 

I resolve that shall heed the words of Your Prophets, and I shall direct the course of my thoughts, words and deeds accordingly.

 

I pray for those less fortunate than myself, lift them up and give them hope; I pray for my friends and family, that You will watch over them while they sleep; and I pray for the fulfilment of Your kingdom, which is a promise of good for us all.

 

Watch over my soul while I sleep, preserve me from harm, and deliver me from hurtful dreams.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

Evening 7 (Friday night – Shabbat)

 

shema‘ yisra’eil, YHVH elohéinu, YHVH echad.

ve’ahávta et YHVH elohéykha bekhol levávkha,

uv’khol náfshekha,

uv’khol me’odékha

 

Hear O Israel, YHVH is our God, YHVH alone.

And you shall love YHVH your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul,

and with all your might.

 

Holy is Your Sabbath, O YHVH, let me take delight in Your Sabbath, for it is an honourable day. Preserve me from breaking Your holy day, and refresh my soul.

 

Though you probe my heart and examine me at night, though you test me, you will find nothing; I have resolved that my mouth will not sin.

     (Psalm 17:3)

 

Let me meditate upon the Torah of YHVH even at night; let God’s word grow within me like a seed overnight.

 

I know that YHVH has given me His teaching so that I might be a better person. I know that God has permeated the lives of those who follow Him with everlasting truths that shall never fail.

 

On this day, we recall how God liberates us from our daily toil, how we rest from the creation of new things; we do not make others to serve us, or give others orders to do for us; we are freed from carrying loads and burdens; we do not labour by kindling or extinguishing fire; we do not fall prey to greed or anxiety through buying or selling; and we are commanded on this day above all days, to do no evil thing.


On this day, we are reminded to do good things – to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy, to gather together in assembly to worship the Holy One, and to study and discuss Torah. And so that even the poorest should know this as a special day, all shall eat and have their fill.

 

I resolve to honour Your holy day, to keep to the Covenant sworn by my ancestors to preserve; I will not betray or break that Covenant, for it is indeed precious to my soul.

 

Do not forget my family and friends, those who are dear to me; keep their souls safe, and renew them also as they sleep.

 

Protect me with the light of Your Presence; may Your warmth bathe my soul with calm while I sleep, and wash away the worries of the day.

 

Blessed are You, O YHVH, for You guard all Your children with love while we sleep. Amein.

 

 

   
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