Psalm 4 is traditionally understood as an evening Psalm, a prayer for bedtime. This is because of the powerful closing line, found in verse 8:
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8, ESV
The Psalmist exudes confidence that Yahweh not only hears his plea, but hustles to answer by bringing relief. He has known the goodness of God, His favor characterized as “the light of your face” shining down (v6). Upon recalling God’s history of faithfulness, the Psalmist is able to rest at night, knowing that the world is in good hands — in God’s hands.
Perhaps this word could be a blessing to you, a breath prayer for the darkest time of the night when your mind is racing and rest seems elusive. Maybe, like the Psalmist, you would find solace in recounting God’s long track record of faithfulness toward His people — and toward you in particular. And perhaps in this recollection, you would know the peace of God that would allow you to both lie down and sleep, to truly rest in His eternal safety.
Questions for reflection:
- What stands out to you most as you read Psalm 4?
- When was the last time you drew strength from recounting God’s track record of faithfulness?
- What keeps you awake at night?
- How does Psalm 4 impact your personal prayer life?
I needed a BE STILL & KNOW devotional today and this was it! Thank you, Jason.
That is definitely one of my nighttime breath prayers. Fifteen or twenty years ago, my aunt found out it was a favorite and made me a pillow with verse 8 printed on it. I still have it in my bedroom. On particularly troublesome nights, I’ll add in “the Lord is at hand; be anxious for nothing.” I’m a born over-thinker and worrier, but most times, a few minutes of these short, simple scripture prayers are enough to calm my brain down and let me rest.