Monday, April 16, 2012


TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 4:1-8

TO CHEW ON: "I will both lie down in peace and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Are you ever troubled with insomnia? I certainly am. I think perhaps David was too. For in this psalm he reminds himself (and us, the readers/listeners) that he should be able to sleep:

"Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still ...
I will both lie down in peace and sleep ..."

The Bible speaks of peaceful sleep coming as a result of:

  • Doing a hard day's physical work - Ecclesiastes 5:12.
  • Entrusting the final outcome of our work to God - Psalm 127:2
  • Trusting God for general well-being and protection - Psalm 3:5; Proverbs 3:24 and our focus verse,Psalm 4:8.
  • Trusting God in even extreme circumstances, like Jesus did in the storm-tossed boat (Mark 4:38) and Peter did in prison (Acts 12:6).

I would submit that often 'trust' is the secret to our ability to sleep well:

"... put your trust in the Lord ... For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

PRAYER: Dear God, it is so easy to take the responsibility for my life on my shoulders and with it a load of fear and anxiety that keep me awake. Help me to trust You to the extent that I can relax in sleep. Amen.

MORE: Insomniac prayers

One thing many of us do at night when we can't sleep is pray. (David mentions communication with God four times in this short psalm.)

I love how Donna Farley writes of nighttime prayers in her poem "The Geography of Prayer." Here is a sampling:


my midnight wakeful prayers
the gift of insomnia
I hold a globe cradled in my hands
and the wave of prayer begins:

a slingshot drawn back to the west coast
then as if the daylight terminator reversed itself
sweeping eastward with mercy, healing,
over the homes of people I know
and people I don't
mission in Comox, monks on the Sunshine Coast

members of our parish asleep in their homes
awake with a sick child
worried about losing a job
waiting for labour pains


But I can't be the only one who lies
awake nights like this.
Like lines of magnetic force
caressing the world I imagine prayers
emanating from the faithful
wrapping the world up like string
wound around the core of a baseball....

Faster than the internet they go
not at the speed of light
but at the speed of love...

© 1999 by Donna Farley (Used with permission)

Read the entire peom here.

(If you are interested in purchasing Donna's Book, The Geography of Prayer, please contact her by email.)

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