Even on nights when I am weary and tired, I sometimes have trouble falling asleep. Other times, I fall asleep, but cannot stay asleep. My trouble with insomnia probably stems from being on the plus side of 60; but, I think the main problem is that my mind just keeps whirling with thoughts long after my head hits my pillow. In my search for a remedy, I read about a sleep tactic whereby you count backwards from 50, mindfully counting each breath. Breaths are slow and measured – one deep breath in, hold a few seconds, then a slow breath out. I thought it couldn’t hurt, so I tried it. Lo and behold, it seemed to work, as I don’t recall ever getting past the 20’s on my way to zero.
One recent evening, as I completed my requisite bedtime routine of pillow-punching and fluffing, I decided there might be a more meaningful way to spend my countdown to sleep. Rather than pay close attention to the ins and outs of my breathing, I decided to pray about things that were on my heart as I counted forward, rather than backward.
That night, I prayed for the things God brought to mind: a missionary our church supports, my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ who live and serve in India, my children and grandchildren, my brother as he recovers from surgery, my husband’s various ministry endeavors, my pastor, the friends who are looking for work, and several friends with health needs. As I poured the concerns of my heart out to God, I remember taking my sweet mom’s name before the throne as well, asking God to take her gently Home to heaven in His time. Even though I knew I would greatly miss her, I longed for God to rescue her from a body and mind trapped in the clutches of Alzheimer’s.
One by one, my requests were heard by my heavenly Father, resulting in a heart that was quieted by this little bedtime prayer and praise time. Tucked in my bed and nestled under a blanket of God’s peace, eyes closed in prayer were soon closed in sleep. Something tells me my Heavenly Father didn’t mind one bit when His sleepy child fell asleep mid-prayer.
3 thoughts on “Bedtime Prayers”
Thank you so much for sharing. I often fall asleep while praying. Who better to be talking to than God when our mind is at rest and sleep comes.
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It’s a very moving post. It will sit with me.
I too have been having trouble sleeping over the last few months. I don’t think praying would help me fall asleep though because I would want to pray about all the things worrying me – rather as you have done here only instead of it stopping me worrying I would keep thinking and thinking. A surprising way I have found to fall asleep is to write the alphabet with my feet simultaneously with my heels kept on the mattress and with the left foot mirroring instead of copying my right foot. I have not yet reached z . . . . Though I find I wake again later. I seem no longer able to sleep all the way through .
Lucy, I don’t think I’ve ever had someone tell me that something I wrote will “sit with them.” Thank you for sharing that bit of encouragement, and for sharing your very creative sleep strategy.