When I was a child, we always said family bedtime prayers together. My three sisters, my parents, and I would gather in one bedroom each night to recite all our prayers. Then we each took turns saying our own personal prayers our loud. What we were thankful for and what we were asking for ourselves, our family, and the world.
Now that I’m married and grown, my bedtime prayers are a little different. My husband and I still say our prayers out loud together before bed each night. But things have changed some. There are different things I pray for now, and new things I am thankful for. One prayer from childhood that we still say nightly is the Prayer to my Guardian Angel:
Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side to light, to guard, to rule, to guide. Amen.
I have always loved this prayer because it is so simple, pure, almost childlike. Just the other day I was walking through the park with my little pup and I began to pray. I found myself praying this prayer to my guardian angel. As I looked down at the ground and saw my shadow, I imagined that shadow was my angel. Right by my side. I started to think more about angels. And how I could use my angel’s help a bit! You see, I think we often think of angels in extraordinary circumstances. Finding a loved one in the midst of a disaster, a miraculous healing, or being led away from a dangerous event. When something like that happens, we might think about our angels.
In the Bible, we see angels appear at extraordinary events. To tell Mary she would become the Mother of God, to tell the good news of the birth of Christ, to spread the word that Jesus has risen from the dead! The truth of the matter is, that while angels are certainly present in God’s glorious extraordinary events, they are also here by our side in our daily, very ordinary, events.
Matthew 18:10 tells us “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.” And in Psalm 91:11-12 says “For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Not only does the Bible tell us the glorious deeds that the angels carry forth of messengers of the Most High, but the Bible tells us that each of us has an angel that is always by our side. Always guiding us from even such a small thing as bumping our foot on a stone. Saint Basil said,
“Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life.”
A lot of changes have been happening recently in my life. My husband accepted a job offer that will have us moving in just a few weeks! We are very excited about the move, although of course with any change comes a little bit of caution. We become accustomed to certain things and seek guidance when changes come our way. Instead of letting the nerves get the best of me and allowing the devil to sneak worries into my thoughts, I have given it over to God and to all His angels.
I am happy when I think of my angel beside me, guarding me and guiding me to the path to life. That is, the path to Christ. When I start to feel overwhelmed by moving, searching for jobs, and so on, I instead try to picture my angel. My wonderous Guardian Angel, created as a spiritual being and chosen to be a messenger for Christ. How awesome to be an angel! To see and to know the glory of the Lord. Surrounded by the glory of God. Just thinking about it beings me peace and comfort. I imagine my angel as a spirit floating in the wind, shining like the stars in the night, singing songs more beautiful than we have ever heard. Maybe we get glimpses of our angels and they bring the message of God’s glory to us. Maybe in a shadow on a hot summer day, maybe in a soft breeze, maybe in a baby’s laugh, or the shining stars. Lighting our way and opening our eyes to the glory of God that we are surrounded with here on Earth daily.
So as I say my prayers and think about the upcoming changes in my life, I pray to my Guardian Angel. I ask my angel to guide me, to guard me, to help me make the right choices that will keep me on the path to everlasting peace and joy in Christ. To light up the world and open my eyes to all the wonders I have to be thankful for. And I know my beautiful angel is by my side. Listening and sending my prayers up to the Lord.