“Evening Prayer”

Lord, guide my thoughts by day and night;
Direct my steps by day
To follow naught but your Word’s light,
And keep me in the narrow way.

I lie awake—Lord, grant me sleep
And rest from all my strife!
Hear my soul’s prayer from in the deep
And lead me into life.

This poem came to me earlier this week, when I was trying to get to sleep after a long and fairly productive day. I think it could use another stanza or two, but this length suffices enough for me to post it here today.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (starting with the links in one of the “Poetry Archive” posts in the index I posted yesterday, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

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2 thoughts on ““Evening Prayer”

  1. Because it’s hard for me to resist these things…

    Lord, guide my thoughts by day and night;
    Direct my steps throughout the day,
    To follow naught but your Word’s light,
    And keep me in the narrow way.

    I lie awake—Lord, grant me sleep
    And rest from all this earthly strife!
    Hear my soul’s prayer in the deep
    And lead me into wondrous life.

    The way is unknown to us all,
    But you who knows beginning and end,
    Let me hear your voice when you call,
    My God, my Savior, and my Friend.

    • Thank you for reading, and for interacting with my work.

      Your additional verse isn’t something I would write as following from the poem so far (I wouldn’t talk about “us all” in such an intensely singular-personal poem), but beyond that idiosyncratic reaction I see one “nit” and one more serious critique. The latter problem is that while in my two stanzas I’ve gone to some trouble to produce a fairly regular iambic tetrameter rhythm (ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM); as in blank verse occasional inversions and such (and overruns of one line by an extra unstressed syllable, if the next line is shorted by its initial unstressed syllable) can be acceptable if they “work,” but for the most part the meter is a constraint that the poem has to work within. Your addition, I’m sorry to say, is mostly a reversed meter (TA-tum TA-tum etc.), but doesn’t use any “foot” (syllabic-stress pattern) all that consistently. Also, more trivially: I believe, “you who knows” ought to be “you who know”—the verb’s subject is “you,” not “who.”

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