Have you ever wondered why it’s traditional in the Christian faith to pray before going to bed? There isn’t any direct scientific reason, and there’s no commandment in the Bible that tells us to pray before going to bed. So where did this tradition come from?
Billy Graham, one of the most influential American evangelists of the modern era, says:
“But prayer shouldn’t be something we do just because we think we ought to, or because we’re afraid we’ll offend God if we don’t pray… it’s good to set aside a specific time during the day to pray and also read the Bible… make it part of your life every day. It should be as natural as eating and sleeping — and as necessary.”
One aspect of daily nighttime prayer that Graham surely recognized was that it creates routine. Having a routine for any time of day, whether it’s getting ready in the morning, exercising after work, or getting ready for bed is helpful. The body and mind recognize these patterns, and so the anxiety and stress we may experience throughout the day is reduced.
The Importance Of Routine
Routine in daily life is crucial to unifying the physical, spiritual, and mental pillars of overall well being. Without a routine, our minds and bodies fall into chaos, and we lose touch with the things that truly matter. Prayer provides an anchor for our routine – something meaningful, powerful, and impactful that we can ground ourselves to in order to create the best routine possible.
Stability For Anxiety
During times of great stress or anxiety, our minds yearn for the comfort and stability of the familiar. For example, during COVID-19’s lockdown phase, many people fell out of their normal sleeping, eating, exercise, and prayer routines. This led to all manner of side-effects, including the “Quarantine 15”, as COVID’s signature weight-gain became known as.
Losing touch with your schedule can have serious consequences, so it’s best to start simple. Pray every night before bed and go to bed at the same time. These two things alone can help get you back on track.
Coming Together as a Family
There’s nothing more important than staying in touch and as close as possible to family, whether it’s blood relations or the family you’ve chosen. A great way to come together as a family, and one of the reasons we pray at night and before meals, is to bond with those closest to us.
Praying together brings everyone under the unifying touch of God, and drives family and friends to a single higher purpose. There’s a reason we gather in groups at church and feel a more powerful connection there. The more people that you pray with, the more powerful the prayers.
Health And Wellness
Routine is inextricably linked to the pillars of overall wellness. When stress hits, the body, mind, and spirit crave the familiar. A healthy exercise routine and diet can get you in shape. A prayer schedule can keep you connected with God and family. Routine is all about establishing good habits so there’s no room for the bad.
Many people find that praying to a higher power is an excellent form of stress relief. It allows them to unload their troubles onto a being that has very real power over their daily lives, and can answer prayers and make things better.
Using Prayer As A Catalyst For Healing
There’s some damage that can’t be fixed without a plea to God himself. People have used prayer and their connection to the almighty for healing since the dawn of Christianity and before. Where once a path may have been obstructed, Bible bedtime stories, meditations, or well-thought-out prayers can reveal it.
Connecting With God About Life’s Challenges
God is always listening, even if he doesn’t seem to answer. You have to keep in mind that there are at least billions of other Christians in the world. That’s a lot of prayers to answer. Not to mention, God doesn’t always answer prayers in a direct way. Sometimes, the answer may come months or years later in a way we don’t expect.
Another great reason to pray before bed is to get into the habit of practicing gratitude. Daily gratitude can make you more humble, empathetic, and grateful for all of the wonderful blessings in your life. In fact, plenty of people pray before bed solely to thank God for the day’s blessings.
Gratitude extends beyond just our own experiences as well. It brings us closer to other people and allows us to better understand the struggles of our neighbors. Be grateful for what you have, and show God that you appreciate your blessings.
The Bottom Line
While the origins of prayer date back millennia, the practice is still alive and strong today. People pray before bed for gratitude, guidance, and routine, but there are hundreds more reasons to do so. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get back into the swing of things and pray before you sleep. You might just sleep better!