A Prayer for Good Rest
By: Kristine Brown
“I don’t think I’ll ever sleep through the night again,” my young friend and mom-to-a-newborn spilled. Was it so long ago she could drop into dreamland whenever she wanted? Now her pattern (or lack thereof) meant grabbing a few moments whenever her baby cooperated. Which wasn’t very often.
We all long to experience good rest every night, but for most of us, rest comes in waves. Hectic schedules, unexpected circumstances, and more get in the way of the sweet sleep we crave.
Jesus appreciated our need for rest. He knew the dangers of pushing our human bodies beyond physical limits, but He also understood those times when life wouldn’t allow for a consistent eight hours-a-day. So what do we do in those hectic times? When we want a good night’s rest, but sleep seems elusive?
One day, Jesus’ disciples “gathered around Him and reported all they had done and taught.” (Matthew 6:30) They were exhausted. So, Jesus suggested a quick getaway from the crowds to find relief.
“...He said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Matthew 6:31)
People ran ahead and waited for the disciples to arrive, hungry to hear more. No time for rest. Just like my friend with a new baby relying on her for food, God’s children needed what the disciples had to offer. Though sleep-deprived, they continued ministering until “late in the day.”
Since they didn’t get the chance for physical rest in that moment, the disciples relied on the soul-satisfying rest that only comes from God. They learned a precious lesson, one that still brings truth to our lives in the most uncertain times.
When we don’t have time to rest, let’s reconnect our souls with the Prince of Peace.
These faithful men eventually found rest. In fact, Scripture says Jesus “immediately made His disciples get into the boat” while He stayed behind to send the people home. Maybe a few hours in a boat is what they needed.
There are times when life allows us to maintain a consistent pattern of rest. When prayers lull us into carefree sleep the minute our head touches the pillow. But when early bedtimes and interruption-free sleep seem like distant wishes, we can look to the truth of Psalm 62:1 for the only rest that satisfies the soul, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”
Let’s allow this prayer to draw us closer to the Rest-Giver today.
Dear Heavenly Father,
There are times when rest is a struggle. I try to get enough sleep, but my busy life is affecting my ability to rest well. When I don’t rest, I feel more overwhelmed than the day before. On and on, until sleepless nights affect my thinking. Lord, I need your help to get a good night’s rest.
Your Word tells me “you grant sleep to those you love.” (Psalm 127:2) I look to you for rest today, knowing you give good gifts to your children. And when worry threatens to keep me awake, I will remember that your peace “guards my heart and mind.” (Philippians 4:6-7) Thank you for sending us Jesus, the Prince of Peace. True rest for my soul can only be found through Him.
Lord, in those times when I am needed as a mom, wife, employee, or friend, and I don’t get much rest, I pray the few hours I have will refresh my spirit and bring new life to my weary soul. Thank you for the gift of a good night’s rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For resources to help you when worry causes you to lose sleep, visit author Kristine Brown’s Life Enrichment Library. You’ll also find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net.
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