Can’t sleep? It could be related to your prayer life. Here are some prayers that offer comfort and rest.
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:
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.