Sobering thoughts on Sleep


There are just some days when I feel like I could sleep all day long. I was reading in the Valley of Vision — a favorite — and came across a prayer on sleep. I hope that one day I can have such a holy mind. It reminds me of 1 Peter 1:13,

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

The Puritains sure knew how to connect so many things in their life to preparing their minds. Even something as seemingly innocent as sleep.

Here is the prayer:

Sleep

Blessed Creator,

Thou hast promised thy beloved sleep; Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow’s toil; If dreams be mine, let them not be tinged with evil. Let thy Spirit make my time of repose a blessed temple of his holy presence.

May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death, the bed I approach remind me of the grave, the eyes I now close picture to me their final closing. Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance to thy presence.

Weaken my attachment to earthly things. May I hold life loosely in my hand, knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender; As pain and suffering betoken transitory health, may I not shrink from a death that introduces me to the freshness of eternal youth. I retire this night in full assurance of one day awaking with thee.

All glory for this precious hope, for the gospel of grace, for thine unspeakable gift of Jesus, for the fellowship of the Trinity.

Withhold not thy mercies in the night season; thy hand never wearies, thy power needs no repose, thine eye never sleeps.

Help me when I helpless lie, when my conscience accuses me of sin, when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts, when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.

Show thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power; thou has a balm for every wound, a solace for all anguish, a remedy for every pain, a peace for all disquietude. Permit me to commit myself to thee awake or asleep.

What a heavenward perspective on sleep!

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