3 Prayers to Pray Before Going to Sleep Tonight

May 28, 2022

“Pray without ceasing…” 1 Thessalonians 5:17

What’s the last thing you think about before going to sleep? 

  • Do you number sheep? 
  • Do you count in reverse starting at 100? 
  • Do you think about your schedule for the morning? 
  • Or do you drift off with your phone in your hands?

You probably have some kind of routine. And at the risk of disrupting that routine, I wonder if you might be willing to take a chance, just as your eyes are starting to close, to do something else?   What if in the last few moments, you choose to pray. 

“Okay,” you might say, ”but pray about what?”

Well, you asked! So let me suggest that those moments before you sleep are a wonderful chance to pray through some specific promises from God’s Word. 

Here are three truths to help form your prayers as you fall asleep tonight:

1. Thank You, Lord, that You do not sleep.

In a way, every single night we are reminded of our own weakness because we actually have to go to sleep. While some find that Sleep Statistics can help them learn more about their patterns, for others it isn’t so easy. You see, God hard-wired our physical bodies to not only desire but to need rest. It’s just the way we were made. The fact that we really do need rest is a lasting testimony to our own frailty. But when you consider that we are also extremely vulnerable even when we are asleep, you get a double sense of our own weakness.

Now that might send you spiraling into a paralysis of anxiety. Or, you can take the opportunity to thank the Lord that even though you are drifting off to sleep, He never does. He is awake. Wide awake. Just as He has been and will be for all eternity.

I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep (Psalm 121:1-4).

2. Help me remember where true rest comes from.

Sleep is not the same thing as rest.  And taking a nap doesn’t mean that you are resting; it usually just means that you are tired. True enough, exhaustion can remind us of our need to rest, but not always. Most of us don’t actually wake up rested when we sleep; instead, we wake up thinking about all the things we should have done instead of sleeping, or else we wake up thinking about the next time we will be able to sleep again. Sleep for us then, is not a matter of rest but simply a break from work. Our bodies shut down for a while but not our hearts and certainly not our souls.

There is a greater rest than sleep that we crave – it’s a deep, soul rest which then allows us to do things like sleep soundly even though our priorities, obligations, and responsibilities are many. And that kind of soul rest comes only through resting in the finished work of Christ. That kind of soul rest comes when we trust that because of Jesus, we have nothing left to prove. How wonderful to remember, as we are going to sleep, that true rest has already been purchased for us at the cross:

“Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11).

3. Thank You for new mercies every morning.

Most everyone reading this will go to sleep tonight and will wake up again tomorrow morning. So the cycle goes. And when we wake up, we’ll have the same meetings, the same concerns, the same obligations, and the same pull toward sin that we had the night before.

But thank God, His mercies are new again in the morning. And those mercies never run out. So while we are tempted to lie awake in anxiety, or doubt, or fear, how beautiful is the news that when we wake, God’s mercies will be new.

We can pray this in faith and gratitude: 

Remember my affliction and my homelessness, the wormwood and the poison. I continually remember them and have become depressed. Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord‘s faithful love we do not perish, for his mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! I say, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in him” (Lamentations 3:19-24).

Sleep well tonight, friends. But don’t sleep because you believe all your troubles will disappear overnight because they won’t. Sleep well tonight because God never does, and He has made provision for you in the gospel, and when you wake up in the morning, you will find a fresh set of mercies to meet you there.

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor