The best way for a good night’s sleep is to reclaim your inner peace and rest with a heart united to God
God in heaven,
O One who loved me into being…
Now that the voices are silenced
and the crowded world of projects
and overwhelming noise is hushed,
here, at my bed, I seek your consolation.
My spirit roots for you, as an infant
seeks out the breast,
seeks you as a child seeks
the succor and embrace of a father —
the parent who will whisper,
“Shh, I am with you,”
and bring solace to the soul
with an unconditional love.
I believe in your love,
and I hope in you,
and I pray you will grace me
with the gift of faith, unfailing,
the gift of wisdom, beyond my instincts,
the gift of trust, which is so hard.
I give glory and thanks to you
for this day as it ends,
and beg that you will give me eyes to see
that in all things, you have been with me:
in what was difficult, and what was easy,
in what was anxious and what was peaceful.
In those times I sought you out,
or forgot to,
You were with me, still, and I thank you.
Today, I failed in love; you know this.
I beg you to forgive me.
Today, I lost my temper; you know this.
I beg you to forgive me.
Today, I was selfish; you know this.
I beg you to forgive me.
Today, I felt desolate, unsure, and afraid;
I beg you to reach me, and to teach me again
that you love me, and are near.
That you are, O God, the safest of safe places,
the wayside resting place,
where I may catch my breath,
and seek you out, before going on.
Before I rest tonight,
I must thank you for your love,
beg your pardon for my failings,
and your shelter
from my interior storms.
O my Lord, at this moment, all is calm,
and sleep beckons me.
It is your world!
I place all of my concerns into your hands,
and all of my fears into your Sacred Heart,
the Self-immolating gift that is never consumed.
I believe in you.
Although I cannot understand
all that is before me,
I know all things work toward
the purposes of your mysterious plans
for my own good.
And I trust in this.
And I beg for the gift and grace
to trust you even further,
day by day.
I ask this in the name of Christ Jesus,
seeking the prayers of Mary, his Mother,
and of my guardian angel and patron saint (Name).
I will lie down in peace and sleep comes at once
for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:9)
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
Ending your day with prayer is a wonderful way to let go of stress and find peace before falling asleep. No matter what you faced today, talking to God through goodnight prayers will renew your faith. Prayer also helps you see all the good things that happened in your day that you have to be thankful for!
Not long ago, the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., conducted a first-of-its-kind survey. A thousand people, ages 25-60, were asked about their sleep habits, and roughly six in 10 reported that they don’t sleep well.
Those results could possibly be attributed to stress and worry, caffeine consumption or watching television or reading a tablet at bedtime. But I also wonder how much sleep is missed (or troubled) because fewer people pray at bedtime—or because of how we pray at bedtime. I’ve posted here in the past about the blessing I’ve found in praying Compline, the “bedtime prayers” of the daily office. Doing so helps me prepare—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually—for sleep. So the final three prayers offered below come from Compline, and the others are offered as suggestions to choose from and use as part of your going-to-bed and preparing-for-sleep routine:
“If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines to my hospital. –Rob C., Director of Pastoral Care.
Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh (a verse to the tune of “Taps”).
Glory to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light;
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings (from a hymn by Thomas Ken).
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me (from a hymn by Henry Francis Lyte).
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1, NIV).
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 17:7-9, NIV).
Watch, dear Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give Your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend Your sick ones, Lord Christ. Rest Your weary ones, bless Your dying ones, soothe Your suffering ones, shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your love’s sake, amen.
Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel (Luke 2:29-32, NKJV).
Generations of Christians have found comfort and rest in such prayers as those above, and they regularly lead me into rest, so it makes perfect sense to include them in your nightly routine.
“Recently, a friend came to me and asked me to pray for her because she hadn’t been sleeping well—or at all, really.
You see, her child has been dealing with some pretty serious bullying issues at school and her momma couldn’t let her mind rest until she figured out what to do about it.
She was awake at all hours of the night trying to fix the problem in her own strength.
It’s not that she was sitting up wide awake all night.
It was worse.
She’d be asleep but not fully asleep.
Not fully resting but not fully awake either.
I’ve had this experience when my kids were babies—and they’d be asleep on my chest and I’d try to grab a couple minutes of shut-eye.
I’d be sleeping, but not deeply. I never awoke truly rested from a nap like that.
I remember those times and then I think of my sweet friend—sleeping restlessly each and every night.
Stewing and fretting on behalf of her tortured child.
The tossing and turning. The half-awake dreams that boil to the top. Makes me want to yawn and scream when I think about it.
Can you relate?
What do you do when you can’t sleep—when worry and anxiety won’t let you rest?
That day, I spent some time praying with my friend and we searched the Bible for scripture verses that were both calming and reassuring.
We also wrote out a simple war room prayer that she could memorize—one that would insert TRUTH into the lies swirling in her mind.
God’s Word can bring absolute peace if we let it.
Praying the Scriptures can replace uncertainty and anxiety with confidence and comfort.
WAR ROOM PRAYER TO HELP YOU SLEEP:
(click here for a free download of this powerful war room prayer)
“Lord, thank you for the breath in my lungs and the ground beneath my feet. I am so grateful for your provision. Father, please forgive me for my sins—may anything I have done to offend YOU or your people, be forgiven. Thank you, God, for your unending love that brings me comfort in times of struggle. Your Word says that I should not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself (Matthew 6:34). Holy Spirit, come—quiet my heart and mind. Free me from the chains of anxiety and worry. Thank you in advance for a peaceful rest and refreshed spirit in the morning. Amen.”
11 Scriptures that will Help You Sleep:
“I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah.
I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.”
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
“If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
“The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Psalm 91:1-2, 4
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!’ He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge…”
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
“ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
You know the transformation that I have found by writing the scriptures? Well if you frequently suffer from insomnia or find yourself tossing and turning a lot during the night–then I’d recommend writing these scriptures out in a journal each night.
God’s Word never returns void. Promise!
Leave me and let me know how you find comfort when you can’t find sleep.
Does praying the scriptures help you sleep?
Do you want a free printable version of this War Room Prayer? Tuck it inside your Bible or journal for a quick reference when you can’t sleep.
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