The end of the night is often a quick fade into sleep without much preparation for it, or the next day. I often hit the bed and am out in about two minutes. But it is good to take ourselves before God as we retire for the evening in order to maintain communion with him even as we close our eyes to finish the evening.
Take the time to prepare yourself for both sleeping and waking by doing the following.
1. Reflect on God’s mercies to you today.
Today you have lived and breathed by the sovereign decree of God. You have seen, heard, smelled and tasted God’s gifts to you. You have been given much, and have much to rejoice in.
Marvel at his overflowing generosity and kindness to you, and take it with you to bed.
2. Consider and confess your sin to the Lord.
Just like yesterday, you blew it today. You have not escaped one portion of the day without your own corruption marring your best works or feeding your worst thoughts and actions.
Recount your sins, and the ways sin has been at work. You should do this not to amass feelings of guilt, but to turn from sin and find safety and cleansing in Jesus Christ.
Do this and rediscover the true sweetness of the gospel.
3. Praise God for his abundant grace in Jesus Christ.
As you lay down to rest from a day of work and caring for others, remember that because Jesus Christ has done all the work necessary for your salvation, you can truly and eternally rest in him. He has atoned for your sins, satisfied the Father’s wrath, overcome death and evil. He has done it all through his righteous life, substitutionary death and victorious resurrection from the grave. In Jesus, you have every spiritual blessing imaginable—and more.
Praise the Lord for all that you have in Jesus, for it is only because of him that you can sleep in peace tonight with the assurance of God’s love.
4. Ask God to prepare your heart for worship tomorrow.
Perhaps God will give you tomorrow. Another day to live and breathe and enjoy and worship. If God will grant you such a gift, ask him to sanctify your heart, to prepare your mind, to guide you from the earliest moments of your waking, that you might make the most of your morning, corporate worship with the church, and the rest and conversations you will have throughout the remainder of the day.
Pray that you maintain communion with Jesus throughout, and that through such fellowship with Christ you would be a blessing to others.