Evening Prayers


Hello Everyone!

I was curious as to how everyone else here conducted their evening prayer. I was taught to make the sign of the cross, pray our father, and then pray my personal prayer (I usually thank God for everything he has given me during the day here) and finish with the sign of the cross. Does this sound short to anyone?

I have never spoke to anyone else about this subject except my brother, who prays the same way having grown up in the same house.

Thank you for your input!:slight_smile:


By evening, I assume you mean before bed. If there is one handy, I open a Breviary and go through the prayer for night. If one is not handy, I attempt seven Our Fathers, two prayers to angels, one Anima Christi, one Hail Mary, a doxology and the rosary… Of course, being that late, I start over every time I get distracted which makes it a lot longer than it sounds. It also means I never get past “I believe in one God” before falling asleep.:sleep: Uh, I crawl into bed before the rosary though.


Yes, I ment before bed. I suppouse my evening prayer is rather short then. :frowning: Is it normal for someonne to pray as much as you? I really must learn to pray better.

It is my ultimate goal to be as devout as possible, right now I am laying the foundation for what I hope will be a great Catholic life.


The night prayers in the Breivary are always shorter than the stuff I try to pull off and the last post was a little off. I try to pray the rosary when I’m in bed because I want to be sincere in prayer, and I realized there was a psalm that said something along the lines of thinking of God at night when going to sleep and figured if whoever wrote that was so in love, I might try it to see if it had any affect. It makes it hard to go to sleep in a bad mood because you can’t really be sincere in prayer when you’ve been bad and know it.

I don’t know if others pray as much, in terms of quantity, as I do. There are people who pray more, and when I was growing up, all my parents expected was an Our Father, Hail Mary, list of things I want, stuff I’m grateful for, say I love Mary, so won’t Mommy Mary love me back, night, night. End. I kinda cram everything in because I don’t have much time to pray throughout the day, and figure the big guy upstairs deserves more than an hour every Sunday and a few minutes before I go to bed. Do you have to do the stupid stuff I do? No, it’s quality that matters, not quantity. Your evening prayers don’t sound short to me. There’s something beautiful in simplicity, and looking at my list makes me feel like I’m trying too hard in the wrong direction.

My posts are too long. On an end note, I need to sleep, and I’m on the same path you are. Consider myself the idiot who looks like they’re carrying a lot, but actually isn’t. Don’t compare yourself to other flawed humans either, I’m a horrible standard. Sleep…


Everyone’s prayer life is different, I don’t think there’s any “normal” way to pray. Just do it! Sounds like God is calling you to pray more.

You might enjoy one or both of these books, which you can read much of online:

Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft

Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay


I wouldn’t worry about it sounding short. I think the most important thing is to be faithful to your prayer practice. I pray Compline before going to bed. It’s pretty short as well.

I think an examination of conscience is a traditional night-time activity. If you want to do something more than you’re already doing, perhaps that would be something to consider.


I always say my evening prayer from the Divine Office and then say my prayers to the Angels and St Joseph.


The length of prayer does not count, its the devotion and love which is most pleasing to God.

Of Reverence at Prayer

If we do not venture to approach men who are in power, except with humility and reverence, when we wish to ask a favor, how much must we beseech the Lord God of all things with all humility and purity of devotion? And let us be assured that it is not in many words, but in the purity of heart and tears of compunction that we are heard. For this reason prayer ought to be short and pure, unless, perhaps it is lengthened by the inspiration of divine grace. At the community exercises, however, let the prayer always be short, and the sign having been given by the Superior, let all rise together.

From the Rule of Saint Benedict


I do most of my praying throughout the day, so my evening prayer is quite short. I like to pray Night Prayer from the Magnificat magazine, and then, right before getting into bed, the Act of Contrition after a very brief examination of conscience.

If you say the Act of Contrition every night, you’ll never have trouble with it when you go to Confession.



I use the prayers in my Baronius Press Missal, under the section “Evening Prayers”.


IMHO, you should do the lion’s share of your prayer work getting your heart prepared to pray rather than setting a specific plan. Silence helps a lot and allows your spirit to quiet. Lengthy prayer without the proper disposition is meaningless. On the other hand, short prayer with the correct disposition profits us much.

Either way (long or short), pray as much as you can.


I’ve been trying to start earlier. I have been known to fall asleep mid-rosary and wake up with it still in my hand. :slight_smile:

What I try to do is an Our Father, then personal prayer going through the ACTS formula (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication) and then sometimes a rosary. This is the ideal. I’m working on it!


I think you can never go wrong praying the hours as you are praying with the Church, the official prayers for the time of day/night. I do this but being Byzantine I pray the Byzantine Hours, Balto Betsys suggestion of prayers from the Magnificat is excellent. I have read this magazine and loved the prayers in it. Compline is usually not all that long. Examination of conscience is very important, I think. Also we all have to personalize according to our individual selves so you may have a favorite devotion or two to add to this, But always pray from the heart in addition to this.;)Glad to hear Im not the only one who falls asleep sometimess during night prayer!



On the one hand I know it’s a sign to not wait until I’m so sleepy. On the other hand, I think it’s a good thing to go to sleep on a prayer, as it were. Especially as I’m prone to anxiety, particularly early in the morning, it’s a nice way to fall asleep.


Before I fall asleep, I say “Dear Lord. Thank you for this day and all of the wonderful people and things You’ve blessed me with. I mention my personal prayer intentions here You love me so much. Please help me give just a fraction of that love back to You with my life. Please take my soul into Your hands for the night and help me wake up again tomorrow.”


Examination of conscience sounds very interesting, what is it?

I’ve only heared about the prayers of the hours but I’ve never understood them much. :frowning: Where can I learn more?

I’vve started praying the act of contrition more as of late.


I agree with those who say the length of your prayer doesn’t matter. It’s the fervor and love. It’s not good to attempt too much and to fall short of your promise to God [to pray those things]. There’s humility in it; simply join your prayer to those holy people on earth and those in Heaven. Short prayers at night can also encourage more prayer during the day! But of course, that all depends.

It’s good to also revisit and think about your morning prayer, if you had made any goals that day.

Also, what’s very important is an act of contrition, and even an examination of conscience if you haven’t done that during the day.

My ideal is to do that sincerely, then instead of falling asleep in the middle of it, stay kneeling to keep awake and being with God until my prayers are “finished”. I also like the idea of falling asleep during prayer, to start your sleep with it, so I would like to just repeat the powerful and calming name of Jesus. (That helps to fall asleep, too, if I have anxiety…)

And also to offer your sleep to God!

Hmm. Actually, that would turn out longer than I think, maybe…

perhaps better to just stick to the standard Divine Office and act of contrition!

well, that’s my two cents anyway :slight_smile:


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