Lord, you have been our dwelling-place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You turn us back to dust,
and say, ‘Turn back, you mortals.’
For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.
So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands!
Night Watch Prayer
A fresh blanket of snow
falls in the silent night
each new day we are anointed
every night new dreams emerge.
Our hands rough from labor
our hearts torn by toil
we worry about our children's safety
and prayers like fevers rise.
We feel the sting of poverty
and the ache of isolation
we never meant to wander so far
we wanted only to explore the wilds.
The battle to watch the night
to keep the children safe from harm
our weariness we wear like garments
makes us ready to give up.
You make us beds in the frigid wood
and light a fire for our food
we thought we were alone but failed
to see you tender hand stirring the embers.
Give us vision again to see you
to feel your breath as a whisper
your confidence swelling in our hearts
so that we might rise again renewed.