The Words of Our Prayers Are Stones



Snow On Stonewall

Snow On Stonewall


There is a moving prayer, part of Compline–prayers said at the end of the day– contained in the most uncommon “Book of Common Prayer”, that my husband John and I pray aloud together virtually every night before we go to sleep.


     “Lord, guide us waking, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may                watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.”


…to ponder keeping watch with Christ?  And of Christ keeping watch for and over us….

After years of hearing and saying aloud this unparalleled prayer, its impact on my heart produced word-pictures. As we prayed one night, I saw each word of our prayer transform into a granite boulder and form together, word by word, like the beautiful stonewalls of New England, a stonewall of vigilant prayer around us. Not only a protection for us, but a bulwark of Spirit upon which we stand and watch for others in Christ’s company. Perhaps–no, surely–as the days of 2016 have drawn to a close, and I awake to a new year apparently already formed, across cultures and orb, in turmoil and threat, this prayer, and Christ’s reality, are a foundation, a sure anticipation, an indestructible root augmented in significance in my thought.


The Words of Our Prayers Are Stones

The words of our night prayers are stones
Of stone walls

     Lord, guide us waking, and guard us sleeping
Delineating home, our very earth-place,
Each word a granite boulder placed by God,
Or a little rock wedged in,
     That awake we may watch with Christ
In vigil on our wall with Christ,
On prayer word-stones held to the earth
By the gravitas of God.
     And asleep we may rest in peace
Guarded by Christ, resting
Against each other, against God,
Like the stones of our words,
Like the stonewalls of our prayers,
Against, for now, the earth.


C Deanna Harrington Christiansen 2017 All Rights Reserved

  14 comments for “The Words of Our Prayers Are Stones

  1. Pingback: Best Writing Service
    • January 31, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Betcha don’t do poetry….

  2. Ginger Carbaugh
    January 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    Once again you “rocked it” in written form Deanna. Thank you for your constant encouragement and deep, insightful wisdom. Love you.

    • January 12, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      What a lovely response, Ginger! Passing on the encouragement and love by which HE encourages us first. 🙂

  3. Sandy
    January 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    As always your words paint vivid pictures, Deanna. Thank you for this one which, as I read them, brought to mind, “the stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone” – our cornerstone, our Lord. Your gift for words blesses us all.


    • January 5, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Powerful association!

      That verse referenced in my poem, “Release” !

      Sandy, you bless us all.

  4. Jill Lane
    January 2, 2017 at 3:12 pm


    I was sent a book called The Granite KIss at a time when things were quite troubling for me. It gave me insight into the building of the stone walls of New England. It lit a reverence for the stones, the builders and the protection given. Perhaps a little homework for you.

    In the company,


    • January 5, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      “The Granite Kiss” ! I can’t wait to look at this.
      Appreciate you, Jill.

  5. Larry
    January 2, 2017 at 12:54 am

    WOW! I love what you need with those wondrous words; “Lord, guide us waking, and guard us sleeping, that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.” How you brought them to life – making them living stones. Thank you for continuing to write and share. I thin the first person who commented on your post is sweet on you—might be worth pursuing 🙂

    • January 2, 2017 at 1:12 am

      Gratitude goes to our Imaginative Lord who made those prayer words–boulders!
      Thank you, Larry for your always-appreciative words.

      P.S. Yes, I think that first person commenting is, and he’s pretty cute, too…

  6. Susie
    January 2, 2017 at 12:15 am

    Word pictures speak so vividly. Thank you for the next time I see a stone wall and how it will encourage more prayer.

    • January 2, 2017 at 1:16 am

      And perhaps the wall will speak living prayers back to you. What a beautiful thought. Thank you, Susie.

  7. John E Christiansen
    January 1, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Beautiful, my Love. It is so good to see you writing again. As always, your words touch spirit and soul, uniting us.

    • January 1, 2017 at 11:07 pm

      Uniting us, spirit and soul.
      Yes, my Love.

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