When we reach the end of the day, how can we make sure that we finish well? In our busy day and age, it can feel like we must squeeze the most out of every minute, and whilst that isn’t always true, and there is always time to rest, it can be helpful to start and end the day purposefully. Reading the Bible before we go to bed can be really powerful and can fill our hearts and minds with the wisdom of heaven right before we rest. So, read on for some great Bible verses to read before bed.
The benefits of reading Scripture
Before we get to that though, let’s look at the benefits of reading the Bible before bed. Imagine the scenario: you’ve had a really bad day, you just want to switch off and watch some Netflix before bed, but then you fall asleep in front of the TV and wake in the night, cold and unsettled. Or perhaps you’ve fallen out with a friend or colleague, and when you lay your head on your pillow, that fight you had just keeps running through your mind over and over again.
Is there a better way to end the day? How can we let go of the day we have just lived, whether it is good or bad?
When we come to Jesus at the close of the day, seeking the light of His wisdom, we get to exchange our sorrows for His joy. Psalm 30:11 says “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”
Vine and the branches
When Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5), that wasn’t just on an off day, that is our intended state of being. Jesus wants the best for us, and in His wisdom, that means coming to Him daily, laying our burdens and joys at His feet, in exchange for His peace and joy.
So, how do we do that?
The good news is that it doesn’t take long. Even five minutes is better than not coming at all. Follow these simple steps to end your day purposefully.
- Reflect on the day you have just lived through.
- What are you thankful for? Give thanks for this now.
- What are you angry, sad or confused about? Think back on your day and bring any of these emotions to God now. Release them to Him and ask for His peace instead.
- Ask God what He wants to show you now about these emotions, and how you can move into tomorrow.
This process is based on the Examen, an ancient practice used by Ignatian monks. See more at ignatianspirituality.com.
Bible verses to read before bed
1. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Pet. 5:7)
We are invited to come to Him and lay our burdens down. And it really helps to say them or write them down. There is a sense of detachment once you have done this. It can feel like you have really let go.
2. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Jesus invites us to live as He lives, to learn His ways of living.
3. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” (John 14:27)
In exchange for our burdens, Jesus gives us His otherwordly peace.
4. “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (Psa. 4:8)
Whatever we face, Jesus watches out for us as we sleep, and He can lift our heavy burdens and exchange them for His peace.
5. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt. 6:34)
Leave your worries with God and rest in the knowledge that tomorrow is in His hands.
Sermon on the Mount
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus sets out His rules for living. His ways are not our ways, and He teaches a new way of living that is light and free, where we do not worry about tomorrow and where we do not carry yesterday into tomorrow. Where we can live in the moment, as free as children. The way that Jesus calls us to live in the gospels is to take one day at a time. He wants us to walk with Him, in step with Him.
By using this method of coming to Him at the close of each day to confess our sins and worries, and also to tell Him of our joys, we ensure that we are keeping a strong connection to Him. We aren’t letting resentment and unforgiveness fester and build up. Jesus wants us to live lives that are free of entanglement. I come back to the wonderful rendering of Matthew 11:28 in The Message over and over again.
Unforced rhythms of grace
“Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace […] Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Jesus has the words of life. He knows what is best for our souls, so learn from Him. Take one day at a time. Live by grace and not works. Learn to walk with Him in His unforced rhythms of grace.
Help us to come to you each night, to bring you our joys and sorrows. Take our burdens and joys and help us to live life in the way that you intended, free like children. Amen.
Photos by Ezra Comeau