When I Lie Down To Sleep Each Night, This Is What I Pray.

“I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” Psalm 3:5-6

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When I lie down to sleep each night I commend my spirit to God my savior. I pray that if I die before I wake, that he forgive me any sin I may have yet on my soul and that he might welcome me into his heavenly kingdom. And, if it is his will that I rise again to live another day, that he give me the graces I will need to be his good and faithful servant that day. I do so because in faith I know that it is God who sustains me in all things, that I am nothing without Him.

What a great comfort it is to know that God loves us intimately, that at every moment he has each one of us in his mind, that his attention never wanders away from us. He truly does sustain us, waking and sleeping.

If, by God’s grace, we have a personal relationship with Jesus, we have no reason to fear what the world can throw at us. Even in the most difficult of times, we can depend on God’s love. His love and faithful support is absolute. He is no “fair weather friend.” Though our need for God’s love is constant, we sometimes fail in our faithfulness toward him, but his love remains true. Like a doting father, his love is both just and merciful. He forgives with joy when we realize our own guilt and humbly turn back to him to receive the life giving and sustaining benefits of his merciful love.

David’s prayer here is one of total humility. He is recognizing and expressing his complete need for God. He recognizes that even he, the king, is nothing without God, that it is God’s sustaining love for him and his people that makes him strong against the great difficulties and challenges that the world can bring to bear against him. Even though he is small, and the people he governs are small, he is confident in God’s sustaining love for him and his chosen ones. He believes because he has experienced God’s sustaining power. He trusts in God’s love. In faith, so can we, especially in our most challenging and difficult situations.

Lord, we believe, help our unbelief. Give us the wisdom to see our need for you in all things and to depend on you for all of our strength. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.
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