Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep?

Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Laurie Korstanje

Have you ever woken up in the night and then not been able to go back to sleep? I think the younger you are, the more likely you’d answer, “Are you kidding? I could sleep till noon every day.” It seems more likely to happen to older people and women in particular. This is not from a scientific study, more from talking to friends.

Prayer is always a good thing to engage in while lying awake. If you are in for an hour or two of insomnia, you can pray for many people. One of my favourite things to do if I find myself struggling to get back to sleep is to pray the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. They both have a calming effect and can help switch gears in your mind. If you have insomnia, you’ll know what I mean.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

 I am not saying prayer will cure my insomnia; instead, praying puts you in front of the Lord Almighty. You can lay yourself at His feet. He listens to what concerns you. Prayer is a better way to spend your awake time; it will bring you to still waters and restore your soul.

He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

The mind is a fascinating piece of equipment. At 3 a.m., it has a way of remembering all the lyrics to the most annoying commercial on television, including phone numbers within said commercial. It will remember that you forgot to water your plants. It will wonder why people are driving down your street at that hour. It will worry about ________. Fill in the blank. You get my point.

What is ‘nothing’ during the day becomes mind-obsessing in the middle of the night. I have come to realize that if I have things on my mind—good or bad—they will wake me and keep me awake. Some of it started when my children were of the age when I listened for them to come home at night. Sometimes I laid awake for so long that even when they came home and were safely tucked in bed, sleep evaded me as if my mind got its second wind.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Lying awake can be very lonely. During the day, there is always noise around us, especially if children are in the house. But at night, you listen to quietness. There is no one to talk to; you are alone with your thoughts. But the Bible reminds me that God is with me even in my most tired state.

He understands that fatigue makes us vulnerable to unfounded worry.

Prayer can check that worry and put it in its place.

He loves me. He will not leave me. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He is my comfort and strength when I am at my weakest.

I hope each of you reading this can lay your head down each night and sleep comfortably. I hope whatever pain you experience each day can take a holiday at night and let you slumber. If you find yourself awake, pray and ask for rest.

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