Evening Prayer 11

The most popular writer of his time, English writer Charles Dickens remains one of my favorite authors today just like he quickly became after my Opa Bruno introduced me to “Oliver Twist” as a little boy. Many of us recognize him through his famous yuletide story, “A Christmas Carol.”

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His son, Henry Fielding Dickens, described his father as a man of deep religious convictions. It has also been said as a young man Dickens had a distaste for organized religion. Like many of us, Dickens faith journey is marked by mountains and valleys.

Here is a bedtime prayer penned by Dickens:

Hear my prayer, O heavenly Father,

Ere I lay me down to sleep;

Bid Thy angels, pure and holy,

Round my bed their vigil keep.

 

My sins are heavy, but Thy mercy

Far outweighs them, every one;

Down before Thy cross I cast them,

Trusting in Thy help alone.

 

Keep me through this night of peril

Underneath its boundless shade;

Take me to Thy rest, I pray Thee,

When my pilgrimage is made.

 

None shall measure out Thy patience

By the span of human thought;

None shall bound the tender mercies

Which Thy Holy Son has bought.

 

Pardon all my past transgressions,

Give me strength for days to come;

Guide and guard me with Thy blessing

Till Thy angels bid me home.

                                    ~Charles Dickens

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