This world – this life – is not what those of us “of an age” grew up with in America. How blessed we were, were being the operative word. Surely, you’re aware of the differences. One obvious one is what you might call a kind of virus, now prevalent, one that is forcing us to face the level of our immunity to or against it: Fear. And there are those who have turned it into a religion for themselves and insist everyone do so as well. To not be afraid or terrified as they are, about what they’re afraid of, is called “selfish” here, and in some areas of the world, criminal.
Yes, there are things to be afraid of these days. If God has your eyes are open, you know what these are. And contending with any fear can be a struggle for those who call Jesus their Lord and Savior. It’s okay to admit this fear to Him and to ask the Father, through His grace and mercy, to strengthen us when we are weak. Look up Mark 9:23-25 to see when the father said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” We all feel like that at times, but remember 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Or Joshua 1:9 – “Haven’t I ordered you, ‘Be strong, be bold’? So don’t be afraid or downhearted, because ADONAI your God is with you wherever you go.” It is written: God counts trust in Him as righteousness, and the prayers of a righteous man are heard and answered by God.[Speaking of “sound mind,” I invite you to listen to this timely audio. Title: Sound Mind. Theme: The Giant Virus (it’s not what you think). It’s worth every minute of the 1:07:24: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVSeVmqy9CA ]
What does all this have to do with sleep? It’s about a bedtime prayer. If this is not a time to be more engaged in prayer, especially before we lay our heads on the pillow, what are we waiting for?
But first, a clarification, something many don’t know: The word Hebrew means “crossed over.” More specifically, crossed over from Satan’s kingdom filled with pagan practices and wickedness into God’s Kingdom and Covenant that comes with blessings and eternal life with God, Yahweh Elohim. That’s all it means. Any person who is led to repentance, deliverance, and salvation through Christ Jesus has crossed over from Satan’s kingdom into the Father’s. We’ve been adopted into the Family of Almighty God. Plus, God speaks in metaphors and levels. So, sometimes when He speaks of Israel in the Bible, He refers to the land. Sometimes He means those He’s chosen as well as those who’ve chosen Him through the redemptive work on the Cross by Jesus. Know this as you read the bedtime prayer provided. (I used/combined two prayers from two websites, links provided at the end.)
Nightly Bedtime Prayer
Blessed are You, O LORD, our God, King of the universe, who created day and night. You roll away the light from before the darkness, and the darkness from before the light. Blessed are You LORD, who creates the evening twilight.
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD.
Blessed be His name, whose glorious kingdom is forever and ever.
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your strength.
Praised are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who brings sleep to my eyes, slumber to my eyelids. May it be Your will, Lord my God and God of my ancestors, that I lie down in peace and that I arise in peace. Let my sleep be undisturbed by troubling thoughts, bad dreams, and wicked schemes. May I have a night of tranquil slumber. May I awaken to the light of a new day, that my eyes may behold the splendor of Your light. Praised are You, Lord, whose glory gives light to the entire world.
God is a faithful King.
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Praised be His glorious sovereignty throughout all time.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your might. And these words which I command you this day you shall take to heart. You shall diligently teach them to your children. You shall recite them at home and away, morning and night. You shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, they shall be a symbol above your eyes, and you shall inscribe them upon the doorposts of your homes and upon your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Help us, our Father, to lie down in peace; and awaken us to life again, our King. Spread over us Your shelter of peace, guide us with Your good counsel. Save us because of Your mercy. Shield us from enemies and pestilence, from starvation, sword and sorrow. Remove the evil forces that surround us, shelter us in the shadow of Your wings. You, O God, guard us and deliver us. You are a gracious and merciful King. Guard our coming and our going, grant us life and peace, now and always.
Praised is the Lord by day and praised by night, praised when we lie down and praised when we rise up. In Your hand are the souls of the living and the dead, the life of every creature, the breath of all flesh. Into Your hand I entrust my spirit: You will redeem me, Lord God of truth. Our God in Heaven, assert the unity of Your rule; affirm Your sovereignty, and reign over us forever.
May our eyes behold, our hearts rejoice in, and our souls be glad in our sure deliverance, when it shall be said to Zion: Your god is King. The Lord is King, the Lord was King, the Lord shall be King throughout all time. All sovereignty is Yours; unto all eternity only You reign in glory, only You are King. Praised are You, Lord and glorious King, eternal Ruler over us, and over all creation.
(These biblical verses recall God’s blessings and protection in ancient times:)
Then Jacob said: “May the angel who has redeemed me from all harm bless the lads. May they carry on my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac. May they become teeming multitudes upon the earth.” And God said: “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, doing what is right in His sight, heeding His mitzvot and keeping all His laws, then I will not inflict upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.” The angel of the Lord said to Satan: “The Lord rebuke you, Satan. May the Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you. Is not this man a brand snatched from the fire?” Behold Solomon, carried in his litter — sixty of Israel’s heroes are its escort. All of them are skilled swordsmen, all trained at war, each with his sword at the ready to ward off any danger of the night. May the Lord bless you and guard you. May the Lord show you favor and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you kindness and grant you peace.
The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
I wait for Your deliverance, O Lord.
The Lord eternal reigned before the birth of every living thing.
When all was made as He ordained, then only He was known as King.
When all is ended He will reign alone in awesome majesty.
He was, He is, and He will be, glorious in eternity.
Peerless and unique is He, with none at all to be compared.
Beginningless and endless. His vast dominion is not shared.
He is my God, my life’s redeemer, my refuge in distress.
My shelter sure, my cup of life, His goodness limitless.
I place my spirit in His care, when I wake as when I sleep.
God is with me. I shall not fear, body and spirit in His keep.
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me.
O LORD God of truth. (Psalm 31:5)
Prayer website links:
Judith LeBlanc says
Thank you, Joyce Shafer, for the beautiful prayers, and for reminding us why we should be walking (and sleeping) in faith, and not in fear. We can sleep in peace knowing our Father is awake, keeping watch over us while we rest.
Joyce L Shafer says
Thank you, Judith. God’s blessings, peace, and restoration be upon you.
Barbara Morris says
Sister Zee, Your wisdom and compassion are mind-boggling! Thank you for commenting.
Zenobia L Silas Carson says
Oh Sister I love this! I am going to prnt it off to keep. I am trusting God for many thing right now. Thank you for your article. God is good!
Joyce L Shafer says
Zenobia, to hear this from you brings a song to my heart!
You’re an amazing, faithful servant of God.
Love, hugs, prayers, and praise for our Lord.