Jump Start # 3509
Psalms 63:6 “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”
It came as a comment in a Bible class. Sweet, honest, innocent, it was a concern of a disciple. I have thought about this myself several times. This person admitted that she often falls asleep in the midst of praying to God at night. Feeling terrible about this, she feels that she must apologize to God the next day. Now, this isn’t the only time in the day this person prays. I know this person, and she has a heart of gold. But it bothers her that she falls asleep in prayer. Is that disrespectful? Imagine you and I having a conversation and I fell asleep talking to you. You’d wonder what was wrong with me. Does God think the same if we fall asleep in prayer?
Our verse today has the Psalmist meditating upon the Lord in his bed through the night watches. Although, it doesn’t say that he fell asleep doing that, it’s not hard to imagine that didn’t happen.
Now, let’s put some thought to this:
First, I can think of nothing more comforting, encouraging and helpful to fall asleep to than thinking about the Lord. What pleasant thoughts that gives us. Thinking about all that has to be done the next day can keep us awake, stressed and hurried. The Lord knows us. He knows how the body tires. He knows our hearts and how we long to honor Him.
Second, the stressful life, the wicked world we live in and the pressures that come upon us, can defeat us and make us feel alone. However, as the apostle wrote, “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). Safe in the arms of Jesus, is a wonderful hymn to think about as one goes to sleep. I don’t have to know everything. I don’t have to come up with an answer or a solution for everything. I don’t have to fix every problem. My God is upon the throne and as I close my eyes in sweet rest, His eyes remain open. Let the Lord run the universe.
Third, ending the day in prayer is a wonderful way to thank the Lord for the blessings and opportunities of that day and it is a time to confess our failures of the day. Pray and pray often. As we reflect upon the day, there has been food that we have eaten. There has been safe journeys. There has been times to honor and praise the Lord. And, before we fill our minds with tomorrow, invite the Lord into your heart through prayer. God’s already in tomorrow. He’ll beat you there. Got some tough tests, conversations, possible bad news, bring God into those things and find the peace that will protect you.
Personally, some of the best sermons, class ideas and even these Jump Starts come to my mind during the night. Some of our greatest work can come from lifting up names to Heaven during the night. Praying for others, thanking God for blessings, focusing upon the goodness of fellowship, truth and hope helps us stay close to the Lord. Rather than counting sheep in your mind, count your blessings, as the hymn tells us.
Is it wrong to fall asleep during prayer? What is the alternative? I’m tired, so I won’t pray for fear that I’ll fall asleep? Instead of focusing upon the Lord, I think about stuff? As a little child falls asleep in his mother’s arms, so we fall asleep talking to the one we love so much. I’d much rather hear people say that they fell asleep in prayer than to admit that they don’t pray at all.
As a loving parent, sees that sleeping child, sweet and precious, but tired from a busy day, I tend to think that’s how God sees His children.
Hope this helps each of us…