Seeking God every hour

Seeking God every hour

There are always simple melodies of childhood that we remember for life. I vividly recall the bedtime prayer my siblings and I recited during our primary school years.

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray thee Lord my soul to keep
Guide me safely through the night
and wake me to the morning light.
(Grace Bridges, 1932)

In the morning, my mother would have us sing this prayer before breakfast.

Father we thank you for the night
and for the pleasant morning light
for rest and food and loving care
and all that makes the day so fair.
(Rebecca J. Weston, 1885)

I also remember a beautiful hymn we sang in church on some Sundays.

New mercies each returning day
hover around us while we pray
new perils past, new sins forgiven
new thoughts of God, new hopes of heaven.

I realise that the prayer-songs my mother taught us, before bed and upon waking, were fair means to transit from our unconscious sleep to the joyful consciousness of God’s new mercies each morning. Truly, to seek God in every hour, what reflections might shape your consciousness before sleeping, that upon waking you are alive to God’s new mercies?

Each of us wakes up to a mix of concerns and anticipations every day. But when we are conscious of God’s presence, the one who is worried finds assurance in the promise of new mercies while the one who is excited is filled with even greater anticipation for the blessings that God will reveal.

Judith with her daughter, Chaya, and her late mother, Frances, at the 2011 Worship Symposium
Judith with her daughter, Chaya, and her late mother, Frances, at the 2011 Worship Symposium

We believe our merciful God extends his grace through the actions of people to bless others. When prompted to be a conduit of this divine benevolence, we may be inspired to send a heartfelt “get well soon” note, provide a nourishing meal for someone who is unwell, offer a ride to someone in need, or express gratitude for help we have received. God’s mercy manifests in diverse forms, and as recipients of his grace, we can be vessels through which his mercy flows to others. This is my prayer-song to add to my mother’s deck.

Lord, please show your handiwork
Through the day that has been spent
And with gratitude we sing
For the blessings that you’ve giv’n. 

Now we lay for evening’s rest
grant us peace and quietness
in the morning when we wake
New mercies all from you we take.

Thankful! Yes, that’s how we are
For the day that’s new to dare
With new mercies and your care
Make us useful, help us share
(Judith Laoyan-Mosomos, 2023)

Dr Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship & Church Music at the Methodist School of Music and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church. / Photos courtesy of Judith Laoyan-Mosomos