Sleep Matters

This is part two of the “Preparing For Sunday” series.

Nothing is worse than fighting to stay awake during a sermon. In terms of pure, unadulterated misery, it ranks right up there with poison ivy, sunburn, and listening to the band Petra (no offense to all you Petra fans). Your eyelids feel like they’re being weighed down by dumb bells, and your head begins to droop, ever so slowly, until your chin touches your chest. Then you catch yourself dozing, your head snaps back into place, and you take a quick look around to make sure no one caught you sleeping. A friend of mine once said that if he’s falling asleep in a sermon, he just lets himself go, then gets the CD. That might be wise advice.

But why is it that we often find ourselves fighting sleep on a Sunday morning? Why is it that we struggle to pay attention as God’s sacred word is being preached? Because we don’t make hearing God’s word a priority. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Friends, we desperately need the word of God so that we might be taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in righteousness. We need to hear the sacred word of God preached by men who have been called by God. Our faith will flounder and falter if we are not regularly hearing the preaching of God’s word. The battle against sin is won using the weapon of God’s word, and we must be taught to how to wield the Word.

But the battle doesn’t start on Sunday morning when we sit down to hear a sermon. The battle begins Saturday night when we choose to go to bed. Saturday night isn’t a night to stay up late and watch movies or chat with friends. If we are to honor God and and pay close attention to His word, we must get sleep, and lots of it. God isn’t honored when we simply show up to church and then zone out during the sermon. He’s honored when we go to bed early so that we might be alert and ready to hear God’s word.

I’ve failed in this area many times, but by the grace of God I desire to grow. Let us resolve to sleep early on Saturday night that we might treasure the word of God.

Comments

  1. Dennis Long says

    As a pastor the enduring compliment a person can make after a message is “I felt like you were talking to me directly.” For me that is a sign that God was at work & I am fortunate enough to be a part of His work. That is the case here with your articles. Great insights.

    So often we look at Sunday in a vacuum: we get up & go with no regard to preparation physically, emotionally, & spiritually. Saturday is a day to be aware that Sunday is soon coming. Physically we need to think about that fact. Too many people (myself especially) try to pack in too much on Saturday and feel the effects on Sunday. Each day is separate but it can have lasting effects.

    For pastor’s we also need to prep, I don’t mean finishing and studying our sermon and lessons. As a pastor I recognize the need to spend more time preparing (prayer, meditation, and reflection) for worship and less time preparing for Sunday responsibilities. Thanks for the reminder.

    Dennis

  2. Stephen Altrogge says

    Dennis,

    I appreciate your encouragement. I can relate to the prep side of things as well. Recently I preached at our church and by God’s grace made it a priority to get plenty of sleep on Saturday night so I could rise early and get my soul happy in God.

    Hopefully, I’ll continue to do this by God’s grace…

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