A prayer at night on going to sleep

I lie down and sleep;
       I wake again, because the LORD sustains
me. Psalm 3:5

O Lord God, who has given man the night for rest, as you
have created a day in which he may employ himself in labor, grant, I pray, that
my body may so rest during this night that my mind cease not to be awake to
you, nor my heart faint or be overcome with apathy, preventing it from adhering
steadfastly to the love of you. While laying aside my cares to relax and
relieve my mind, may I not, in the meanwhile, forget you, nor may the
remembrance of your goodness and grace, which ought always to be deeply engraved
on my mind, escape my memory. In like
manner, also, as the body rests may my conscience enjoy rest. Grant, moreover, that in taking sleep I may
not give indulgence to the flesh, but only allow  myself as much as the weakness of this natural
state requires, to my being able thereafter to be more alert in your service. Be
pleased to keep me so chaste and unpolluted, not less in mind that in body, and
safe from all dangers, that my sleep itself may turn to the glory of your
name. But since this day has not passed
away without my having in many ways offended you through my proneness to evil, in
like manner as all things are now covered by the darkness of the night, so let
everything that is sinful in me lie buried in your mercy. Hear me, O God, Father and Preserver, through
Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.

This prayer is taken from a collection of prayers by John
Calvin recorded in The Christian Life,
edited by John H. Leith.  The short
prayer can have a tremendous impact on families. In the next few posts we will examine this
prayer as it applies to young children, teenagers and yes, even to parents. But
for now, read it carefully and thoughtfully. Ask God to help this be your
prayer as you prepare for a night’s sleep.

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious
to you.

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