Sometimes it is not as easy as you expect to fall asleep. The anxiety and stresses of the day can get in the way and set our minds racing. It can be even more frustrating when you realize that you are having trouble falling asleep, and then it is even harder to calm down. When that much-needed calm proves to be elusive, it may be helpful to read or meditate before you turn out the lights. After all, words have a power all their own, and taking a quiet moment to reflect on them can do wonders for your peace of mind.
If you like to read the Bible at night, or are looking for some restful reading material, look no further. Here are five Bible prayers for bedtime. The verses you will find below are all meant to convey a sense of security and comfort, and so are well suited to bedtime.
All verses are taken from the English Standard Version of the Bible.
1. Psalm 63:6-7
I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
Psalms is full of eloquent poetry, and touches on many aspects of faith. This verse reminds you that God is always with you, no matter the time or place. He promises to help you and sustain you when He is needed. Often it is hard to hear God in the hustle and bustle of our modern daily life, so meditating on the written word in the quiet of the night can make a huge difference. The metaphor presented here is one of protection: enveloped in God’s “wings,” you are shielded from harm, from all the things that go bump in the night. And knowing that God will protect you, you can look forward to the new day with optimism.
2. Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with glory that is to be revealed to us.
You may be feeling down today, but it’s good to try to keep everything in perspective. Is it as bad as it could be? Probably not. It could be much worse. And while you may have a troubled mind at the moment, it will not matter when God’s glory is revealed. He washes away all sorrows and comforts those who stay faithful to Him.
3. Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own anxiety. Sufficient for today is its own trouble.
This verse reminds us to stay grounded and focused on today, on the present. Most of us are guilty of wasting time agonizing about tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. Yes, we never know what the future will bring, but it is important to live fully in the here and now. Worrying about the future will not help in any way, and in fact, it can make anxiety worse. Try to forget about any anxieties regarding the future and leave them at the bedroom door.
4. Psalm 3:5
I lay down and slept; yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me.
This simple verse reiterates that when you go to bed, there is no need to feel unsafe or alone. The Lord watches over all of us and will ensure a peaceful repose — if we stay strong in our faith.
5. Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
For anyone who’s had a long day at work, this verse speaks directly to you. Believing in God and in His Grace provides a haven from the hard work of everyday obligations and burdens. If you feel that the weight of all your responsibilities is too much, look to your faith to renew you. Lay your burdens aside as you contemplate this verse and get ready for bed, entrusting them to the Lord.
If you are craving something a bit longer to reflect on at bedtime, the Bible is absolutely full of all kinds of stories that can serve as your bedtime prayers. Listening to or reading a story can be just as soothing as focusing on a single verse, especially if the story is a familiar one. The Gospel of Matthew in particular, as mentioned above, holds many familiar stories from the New Testament.
Many of the most memorable stories from the Old Testament, such as the stories of Joseph and his many-colored coat or of Moses, can be found in Exodus. Wherever you may look in the Bible, there is always more to digest. Let the stories or verses that you read be your focus as you are drifting off to sleep, lay aside the worries of the day, and allow faith to comfort you.