Published 7-25-11 The Religion Network publishes every Monday
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Martin Buber, Book of Common Prayer, Gail McCoig Blanton,
Amish proverb, Susan J. Erickson, Eileen Elias Freeman
I was an insomniac all through high school. I've no idea how I stayed awake in class; now that I think of it, I don't remember much of my
Government class - might have been getting some zzzz's. Now when
I crawl into bed at midnight, I barely make it through my prayers.
Yet occasionally I still have difficulty getting to sleep.
a level of trust to let go of the day; to release conscious control
and trust that your world won't disintegrate before the dawn.
If you find you can't sleep, prayer is very restful.
We can also purposefully begin to quiet our minds before
getting into bed, reviewing our day by acknowledging each
blessing with gratitude, for instance. It's also good to comb
through our brains for instances when we separated ourselves
from God that
day, apologizing to Him and then dropping all
fears and anxieties at the foot of His throne with utter trust.
A clear conscience and a grateful heart are better able to
embrace the healing His angels impart while we sleep.
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Mauna Kea Sunset by Kristin Bowman All rights reserved
Rabbi Shmelke did not want to interrupt his studies for too long a time,
and so he always slept sitting up, his head resting on his arm. In his
fingers he held a lit candle which roused him when it guttered and the
flame touched his hand. When Rabbi Elimelekh visited him and recog-
nized the power of the holiness which was still locked within him, he
prepared a couch for him and with great difficulty persuaded him to lie
down for a little while. Then he closed and shuttered the windows. Rabbi
Shmelke slept until broad daylight. It did not take him long to notice this,
but he was not sorry he had slept, for he was filled with a hitherto un-
known sunny clearness. He went to the House of Prayer and prayed before
the congregation as usual. But to the congregation it seemed that they had
never heard him before. They were entranced and uplifted by the manifest
power of his holiness. When he recited the verses about the Red Sea, they
gathered up the hems of their kaftans for fear the waves towering to the left
and right might wet them with salty foam. Later Shmelke said to Elimelekh:
"Not until this day did I know that one can also serve God with sleep."
From "Tales of the Hasidim,"
by Martin Buber
Schoken Books, 1991
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes, and the busy world lies hushed, and the
fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy
grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at last.
From the Book of Common Prayer: 1979
Lullaby of Promise
Soothe me with a lullaby of promise;
Rock me, singing certainties of rest;
guarded with a strong and valiant angel,
cradled in Your love and sweetly blessed,
pillowed in a beam of Heaven's light,
covered by soft mercy through the night.
- Gail McCoig Blanton
From "Bedside Prayers,"
by June Cotner
Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing whom to thank.
Photo by Stephen Bowman All rights reserved
Let Sleep Come
Now is the time to light the vesper candles of
for their flame shall illuminate this sacred
Now is the time to rest in the indigo blue
arms of the earth
for the earth shall support and embrace you.
Now is the time to dry the tears of the day
for the Spirit shall comfort and console you.
Now is the time to offer thanks for the
blessings of this day
for the Spirit shall receive and honor your
Now is the time to hear the lullaby of wind
over the land
for you shall be rocked in the soothing
of its rhythm.
Now is the time to close your eyes and let
for the Spirit shall keep tender vigil through
Susan J. Erickson
Excerpted from "Bedside Prayers,"
by June Cotner
The Last Word:
Pay attention to your dreams ---
God's angels often speak directly
to our hearts when we are asleep.
Excerpted from "The Angels' Little Instruction Book,"
by Eileen Elias Freeman
Warner Books, 1994
Utterly Random Bonus Quote:
The fellow who does things that count
usually doesn't stop to count them.
From "God's Little Instruction Book:
Inspiration and Wisdom for a Happy and Fulfilled Life,"
by David C. Cook
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