I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety” (Psalm4:8).
“I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.” Our familiar childhood prayer really has a strong Scriptural foundation. In the midst of great turmoil and danger, the child of God always can lay himself down to peaceful sleep, confident that his God is watching over him. “He that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper [literally, ‘thy preserver’ or ‘thy security’]” (Psalm 121:3–5).
It is not only the child who can pray thus, of course. This prayer in our text was the prayer of David in the midst of opposition and danger. “I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about” (Psalm 3:5,6).
God will preserve us even through death itself, when that time comes. “If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” And indeed He will! “The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore” (Psalm 121:7,8).
Therefore, it is not good to take our fears, angers, frustrations, and regrets to bed with us. “Be careful [i.e.,‘full of care’] for nothing [i.e., nothing!]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6,7). “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,” promises our caring and capable Savior, “and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Thus, when the day is over and the work is done, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep.” HMM