“O Lord God, now grant me the grace not only to rest my body this night, but to have my spiritual repose, in soul and conscience, in Your grace and love, that I may let go of all earthly cares so I might be comforted and eased in all my ways.
And because no day passes that I do not sin in so many ways, please bury all my offenses in Your mercy, that I might not lose your presence.
Forgive me, merciful Father, for Christ’s sake.
And as I lay down in sleep to safely wake again only by Your grace, keep me in a joyful, lively remembrance that whatever happens, I will someday know my final rising– the resurrection– because Jesus Christ lay down in death for me, and rose for my justification.
In His name I pray, Amen.”
–Tim Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God (New York: Dutton, 2014), 266. This prayer was freely adapted from John Calvin’s prayer before sleep as quoted in John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety, Ed. Elsie McKee (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001), 214.
PRAYER BEFORE SLEEP – JOHN CALVIN
O LORD GOD, who hast given man the night for rest, as thou hast created the day in which he may employ himself in labour, grant, I pray, that my body may so rest during this night that my mind cease not to be awake to thee, nor my heart faint or be overcome with torpor, preventing it from adhering steadfastly to the love of thee. While laying aside my cares to relax and relieve my mind, may I not, in the meanwhile, forget thee, nor may the remembrance of thy goodness and grace, which ought always to be deeply engraven on my mind, escape my memory. In like manner, also, as the body rests may my conscience enjoy rest. Grant, moreover, that in taking sleep I may not give indulgence to the flesh, but only allow myself as much as the weakness of this natural state requires, to my being enabled thereafter to be more alert in thy service. Be pleased to keep me so chaste and unpolluted, not less in mind than in body, and safe from all dangers, that my sleep itself may turn to the glory of thy name. But since this day has not passed away without my having in many ways offended thee through my proneness to evil, in like manner as all things are now covered by the darkness of the night, so let every thing that is sinful in me lie buried in thy mercy. Hear me, O God, Father and Preserver, through Jesus Christ thy Son. AMEN.
John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Tracts Relating to the Reformation, Volume 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 98-99.