An Evening Prayer by the preacher and churchman Petrus Dathenus (1531–1588) who put together the first complete church songbook for Dutch Reformed Christians in 1566:
O merciful God, light eternal shining in the darkness, Thou dispellest the night of our sins and the blindness of our hearts. Since Thou didst ordain that man should rest in the night and labor during the day, we pray Thee that our bodies may rest in peace and quiet, in order that they may be enabled to sustain the labors to which we shall again be called. Control our sleep and rule our hearts while we slumber, in order that we may not be defiled in either body or soul, but may glorify Thee even in our nightly rest. Enlighten once more, we beseech Thee, the eyes of our mind, lest we enter upon the sleep of death. Grant that we may ever cherish the expectation of our redemption from the misery of the life that now is. Defend us against all assaults of the devil and take us in Thy holy protection.
We confess that we have not spent this day without grievously sinning against Thee. We pray Thee to cover our sins in Thy mercy, even as Thou dost shroud all the things of earth in the darkness of the night, lest we be cast away from Thy face. Be pleased to bestow comfort and rest upon all that are sick, bowed down with grief, or afflicted with distress of soul, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who would have us pray, saying: Our Father who art in heaven, etc. Amen.i
By means of praying such prayers every morning and evening, we pour out our hearts before our Lord in response to His desire for us. In doing this, we grow in our relationship with Him.
Psalter Hymnal (Grand Rapids: Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, Inc., 1976), 188–89.