Orthodox Washington
Washington Orthodox Clergy Association

Prayers before Sleep

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, of our holy and God-bearing fathers and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.

Glory to Thee, our God, glory to Thee.

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One.

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, blot out our sins. O Master, pardon our iniquities. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy name’s sake

Lord, have mercy. (Thrice)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.


Have Mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us; for at a loss for any defence, this prayer do we sinners offer unto Thee as Master: have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Lord, have mercy on us; for we have hoped in Thee, be not angry with us greatly, neither remember our iniquities; but look upon us now as Thou art compassionate, and deliver us from our enemies, for Thou art our God, and we, Thy people; all are the works of Thy hands, and we call upon Thy name.

Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

The door of compassion open unto us, O blessed Theotokos, for, hoping in thee, let us not perish; through thee may we be delivered from adversities, for thou art the salvation of the Christian race.

Lord, have mercy. (Twelve Times)

Psalm 50

Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of thy compassions, blot out my transgressions. Wash me yet more from my transgressions, and from my sin purify thou me: for I know my transgression, and my sin is continually before me. Against thee alone have I sinned, and have done evil before thee; that though mightest be justified in thy words, and conquer when thou art judged. Behold, in transgressions was I conceived, and in sins did my mother bear me. Behold, thou hast loved truth; the hidden and secret things of thy wisdom hast thou revealed unto me. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be cleansed; thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Thou shalt make me hear joy and gladness; the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice. Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my transgressions. A clean heart create in me, O God, and a right spirit renew in my inmost parts. Cast me not away from thy face, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Give me again the joy of thy salvation, and establish me with a princely spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and the impious shall return unto thee. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; my tongue shall rejoice in thy righteousness. O Lord, open thou my lips and my mouth shall declare thy praise. For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would have given it; with whole-burnt offerings thou wilt not be pleased. A sacrifice to God is a broken spirit; a broken and humbled heart God will not despise. Do good, O Lord, in thy good will unto Zion; and let the walls of Jerusalem be built. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, oblations, and whole-burnt offerings: then shall they lay bullocks upon thine altar.

The Symbol of the Orthodox Faith

I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotton, begotton of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, true God of true God, begotton, not made, of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the scriptures; and ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father.

And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; of His kingdom there shall be no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.

In one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the Ages to come. Amen

Prayer I, of St. Macarius the Great:

O Eternal God and King of all creation, Who hast vouchsafed me to arrive at this hour, forgive me the sins that I have committed this day in deed, word, and thought; and cleanse, O Lord, my lowly soul of all impurity of flesh and spirit, and grant me, O Lord, to pass the sleep of this night in peace; that, rising from my lowly bed, I may please Thy most holy name all the days of my life, and thwart the enemies, fleshly and bodiless, that war against me. And deliver me, O Lord, from vain thoughts and evil desires which defile me. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

Prayer II, of St. Antiochus:

O Ruler of all, Word of the Father, O Jesus Christ, Thou Who art perfect: For the sake of the plenitude of Thy mercy, never depart from me, but always remain in me Thy servant. O Jesus, Good Shepherd of Thy sheep, deliver me not over to the sedition of the serpent, and leave me not to the will of Satan, for the seed of corruption is in me. But do Thou, O Lord, worshipful God, holy King, Jesus Christ, as I sleep, guard me by the Unwaning Light, Thy Holy Spirit, by Whom Thou didst sanctify Thy disciples. O Lord, grant me, Thine unworthy servant, Thy salvation upon my bed. Enlighten my mind with the light of understanding of Thy Holy Gospel; my soul, with the love of Thy Cross; my heart, with the purity of Thy word; my body, with Thy passionless Passion. Keep my thought in Thy humility, and raise me up at the proper time for Thy glorification. For most glorified art Thou together with Thine unoriginate Father, and the Most-holy Spirit, unto the ages. Amen.

Prayer III, to the Holy Spirit:

O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, show compassion and have mercy on me Thy sinful servant, and loose me from mine unworthiness, and forgive all wherein I have sinned against Thee today as a man, and not only as a man, but even worse than a beast, my sins voluntary and involuntary, known and unknown, whether from youth, and from evil suggestion, or whether from brazenness and despondency. If I have sworn by Thy name, or blasphemed it in my thought; or grieved anyone, or have become angry about anything; or have lied, or slept needlessly, or if a beggar hath come to me and I disdained him; or if I have grieved my brother, or have quarreled, or have condemned anyone; or if I have been boastful, or prideful, or angry; if, as I stood at prayer, my mind hath been distracted by the wiles of this world, or by thoughts of depravity; if I have over-eaten, or have drunk excessively, or laughed frivolously; if I have thought evil, or seen the beauty of another and been wounded thereby in my heart; if I have said improper things, or derided my brother’s sin when mine own sins are countless; if I have been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I do not remember, for all of this and more than this have I done: have mercy, O Master my Creator, on me Thy downcast and unworthy servant, and loose me, and remit, and forgive me, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, so that, lustful, sinful, and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace. And I shall worship, and hymn, and glorify Thy most honourable name, together with the Father and His Only-begotten Son, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer IV, of St. Macarius the Great:

What shall I offer Thee, or what shall I give Thee, O greatly-gifted, immortal King, O compassionate Lord Who lovest mankind? For though I have been slothful in pleasing Thee, and have done nothing good, Thou hast led me to the close of this day that is past, establishing the conversion and salvation of my soul. Be merciful to me a sinner, bereft of every good deed, raise up my fallen soul which hath become defiled by countless sins, and take away from me every evil thought of this visible life. Forgive my sins, O Only Sinless One, in which I have sinned against Thee this day, known or unknown, in word, and deed, and thought, and in all my senses. Do Thou Thyself protect and guard me from every opposing circumstance, by Thy Divine authority and power and inexpressible love for mankind. Blot out, O God, blot out the multitude of my sins. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me from the net of the evil one, and save my passionate soul, and overshadow me with the light of Thy countenance when Thou shalt come in glory; and cause me, uncondemned now, to sleep a dreamless sleep, and keep Thy servant untroubled by thoughts, and drive away from me all satanic deeds; and enlighten for me the eyes of my heart with understanding, lest I sleep unto death. And send me an angel of peace, a guardian and guide of my soul and body, that he may deliver me from mine enemies; that, rising from my bed, I may offer Thee prayers of thanksgiving. Yea, O Lord, hearken unto me, Thy sinful and wretched servant, in confession and conscience; grant me, when I arise, to be instructed by Thy sayings; and through Thine angels cause demonic despondency to be driven far from me: that I may bless Thy holy name, and glorify and extol the most pure Theotokos Mary, whom Thou hast given to us sinners as a protectress, and accept her who prayeth for us. For I know that she exemplifieth Thy love for mankind and prayeth for us without ceasing. Though her protection, and the sign of the precious Cross, and for the sake of all Thy saints, preserve my wretched soul, O Jesus Christ our God: for holy art Thou, and most glorious for ever. Amen

Prayer V:

O Lord our God, as Thou art good and the Lover of mankind, forgive me wherein I have sinned today in word, deed, and thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep; send Thy guardian angel to protect and keep me from all evil. For Thou art the Guardian of our souls and bodies, and unto Thee do we send up glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer VI:

O Lord our god, in Whom we believe and Whose name we invoke above every name, grant us, as we go to sleep, relaxation of soul and body, and keep us from all dreams, and dark pleasures; stop the onslaught of the passions and quench the burnings that arise in the flesh. Grant us to live chastely in deed and word, that we may obtain a virtuous life, and not fall away from Thy promised blessings; for blessed art Thou for ever. Amen.

Prayer VII, of St. John Chrysostom, according
to the number of hours of day and night:

O Lord, deprive me not of Thy heavenly good things.
O Lord, deliver me from the eternal torments.
O Lord, if I have sinned in mind or thought, in word or deed, forgive me.
O Lord, deliver me from all ignorance, forgetfulness, faintheartedness, and stony insensibility.
O Lord, deliver me from every temptation.
O Lord, enlighten my heart which evil desire hath darkened.
O Lord, as a man I have sinned, but do Thou, as the compassionate God, have mercy on me, seeing the infirmity of my soul.
O Lord, send Thy grace to my help, that I may glorify Thy holy name.
O Lord Jesus Christ, write me Thy servant in the Book of Life, and grant me a good end.
O Lord my God, even though I have done nothing good in Thy sight, yet grant me by Thy grace to make a good beginning.
O Lord, sprinkle into my heart the dew of Thy grace.
O Lord of heaven and earth, remember me Thy sinful servant, shameful and unclean, in Thy kingdom. Amen.
O Lord, accept me in penitence.
O Lord, forsake me not.
O Lord, lead me not into temptation.
O Lord, grant me good thoughts.
O Lord, grant me tears, and remembrance of death, and compunction.
O Lord, grant me the thought of confessing my sins.
O Lord, grant me humility, chastity, and obedience.
O Lord, grant me patience, courage, and meekness.
O Lord, implant in me the root of good, Thy fear in my heart.
O Lord, vouchsafe me to love Thee with all my soul and thoughts, and in all things to do Thy will.
O Lord, protect me from evil men, and demons, and passions, and from every other unseemly thing.
O Lord, Thou knowest that Thou doest as Thou wilt: Thy will be done also in me a sinner; for blessed art Thou unto the ages. Amen.

Prayer VIII, to our Lord Jesus Christ:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of Thy most honourable Mother, and Thy bodiless angels, Thy Prophet and Forerunner and Baptist, the God-inspired apostles, the radiant and victorious martyrs, the holy and God-bearing fathers, and through the intercessions of all the saints, deliver me from the besetting presence of the demons. Yea, my Lord and Creator, Who desirest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he be converted and live, grant conversion also to me, wretched and unworthy; rescue me from the mouth of the pernicious serpenct, who is yawning to devour me and take me down to hades alive. Yea, my Lord, my Comfort, Who for my miserable sake wast clothed in corruptible flesh, draw me out of misery, and grant comfort to my miserable soul. Implant in my heart to fulfill Thy commandments, and to forsake evil deeds, and to obtain Thy blessings; for in Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, save me.

Prayer IX, To the Most Holy Theotokos:

O good Mother of the Good King, most pure and blessed Theotokos Mary, do thou pour out the mercy of thy Son and our God upon my passionate soul, and by thine intercessions guide me unto good works, that I may pass the remaining time of my life without blemish, and attain paradise through thee, O Virgin Theotokos, who alone art pure and blessed.

Prayer X, To the Holy Guardian ngel:

O Angel of Christ, my holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me all wherein I have sinned this day, and deliver me from all opposing evil of mine enemy, lest I anger my God by any sin. Pray for me, a sinful and unworthy servant, that thou mayest show me forth worthy of the kindness and mercy of the All-holy Trinity, and of the Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ, and of all the saints. Amen.

Kontakion to the Theotokos:

To Thee, the Champion Leader, we thy servants dedicate a feast of victory and of thanksgiving as ones rescued out of sufferings, O Theotokos; but as thou art one with might which is invincible, from all dangers that can be do thou deliver us, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, thou Bride Unwedded!

Most glorious, Ever-Virgin, Mother of Christ God, present our prayer to thy Son and our God, that through thee He may save our souls.
All my hope I place in thee, O Mother of God: keep me under thy protection.
O Virgin Theotokos, disdain not me a sinner, needing thy help and thy protection, and have mercy on me, for my soul hath hoped in thee.
My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Spirit: O Holy Trinity, glory to Thee.
Meet it is in truth to bless thee, O Theotokos, who art ever blessed and all-blameless, and the Mother of our God.
More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious without compare than the Seraphim, who without corruption gavest birth to God the Word, verily Theotokos, we magnify thee.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

Lord, have mercy. Thrice

O Lord, bless. And the dismissal:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, for the sake of the prayers of Thy most pure Mother, our holy and God-bearing fathers and all the saints, have mercy on us. Amen.

Remit, pardon, forgive, O God, our offences, both voluntary and involuntary, in deed and word, in knowledge and ignorance, by day and by night, in mind and thought; forgive us all things, for Thou art good and the Lover of mankind.

O Lord, Lover of mankind, forgive them that hate and wrong us. Do good to them that do good. Grant our brethren and kindred their saving petitions and life eternal; visit the infirm and grant them healing. Guide those at sea. Journey with them that travel. Help Orthodox Christians to struggle. To them that serve and are kind to us grant remission of sins. On them that have charged us, the unworthy, to pray for them, have mercy according to Thy great mercy. Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brethren departed before us, and grant them rest where the light of Thy countenance shall visit them. Remember, O Lord, our brethren in captivity, and deliver them from every misfortune. Remember, O Lord, those that bear fruit and do good works in Thy holy churches, and grant them their saving petitions and life eternal. Remember also, O Lord, us Thy lowly and sinful and unworthy servants, and enlighten our minds with the light of Thy knowledge, and guide us in the way of Thy commandments; through the intercessions of our most pure Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Thy saints, for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Prayer of Saint John Damascene,
which is to be said while pointing at thy bed:

O Master, Lover of mankind, is this bed to be my coffin, or wilt Thou enlighten my wretched soul with another day? Behold, the coffin lieth before me; behold, death confronteth me. I fear, O Lord, Thy judgment and the endless torments, yet I cease not to do evil. My Lord God, I continually anger Thee, and Thy most pure Mother, and all the Heavenly Hosts, and my Holy Guardian Angel. I know, O Lord, that I am unworthy of Thy love for mankind, but am worthy of every condemnation and torment. But, O Lord, whether I will it or not, save me. For to save a righteous man is no great thing, and to have mercy on the pure is nothing wonderful, for they are worthy of Thy mercy. But on me, a sinner, show the wonder of Thy mercy; in this reveal Thy love for mankind, lest my wickedness prevail over Thine ineffable goodness and merciful kindness; and order my life as Thou wilt.

And when about to lie down in bed, say this:

Enlighten mine eyes, O Christ God, lest at any time I sleep unto death, lest at any time mine enemy say: I have prevailed against him.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Be my soul’s helper, O God, for I pass through the midst of many snares; deliver me out of them, and save me, O Good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

Both Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

The most glorious Mother of God, more holy than the holy angels, let us hymn unceasingly with our hearts and mouths, confessing her to be the Theotokos, for truly she gaveth birth to God incarnate for us, and prayeth unceasingly for our souls.

Then kiss thy Cross, and make the sign of the Cross [with the Cross] from the head to the foot of the bed, and likewise from side to side, while saying the

Prayer to the Precious Cross:

Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish; as wax melteth before the fire, so let the demons perish from the presence of them that love God and who sign themselves with the sign of the Cross and say in gladness: Rejoice, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, for

Thou drivest away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ Who was crucified on thee, Who went down to hades and trampled on the power of the devil, and gave us thee, His precious Cross, for the driving away of every adversary. O most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, help me together with the holy Lady Virgin Theotokos, and with all the saints, unto the ages. Amen.

When giving thyself up to sleep, say:

Into Thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ my God, I commit my spirit. Do Thou bless me, do Thou have mercy on me, and grant me life eternal. Amen.

St Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral, Dallas, Texas website
Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Miami Lakes, FL http://www.orthodoxmiami.org