Why an evening prayer plan can be a huge blessing for getting some rest.
Health experts (such as the National Sleep Foundation—that’s a real thing, honest!) say that consistent bedtime rituals can make a big difference in promoting a good night’s sleep. For that reason (among many), an evening prayer plan can be a huge blessing.
Not only is it possible and surprisingly easy to incorporate prayer into your existing pre-sleep routine; it could lead to better sleep patterns—as well as a closer walk with God. (I have written here about the blessings of “Compline,” a nightly habit of prayer.) So here is a suggested evening prayer plan, which of course can be altered according to your routine:
1) Pray as you enter the bedroom.
“May the Lord Almighty grant me and those I love a peaceful night and a perfect end. Amen.”
2) Pray as you empty your pockets and prepare to undress.
“Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
3) Pray as you undress for the night.
“Almighty God, my heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, in what I have done, and in what I have left undone. For the sake of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive all my offenses and grant that I may walk before you in newness of life, to the glory of your Name. Amen.”
4) Pray as you wash your face and brush your teeth.
“Praise the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the God who is, who was, and is to come, at the end of the ages. Amen.”
5) Sing in the shower.
Sing a hymn or worship song, such as “Abide With Me,” “Sun of My Soul,” or “Your Love Never Fails.”
6) Pray as you dry off or get dressed for the night.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer, followed by any petitions for yourself or intercessions for others.
7) Pray as you climb into bed and turn off the light.
“Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow of your wings.”
You may also want to add a few more components of the traditional “Compline” service, which are all helpful in preparing your mind, heart and spirit for sleep. These are just suggestions, after all—but they are offered with the promise that eventually you may never again lay your head on your pillow without a sense of God’s peace and presence.