Psalm 4: 6-8 –

There are many who pray:

“Give us more blessings, O Lord. Look on us with kindness!”

But the joy you have given me is

more than they will ever have with all their grain and wine.

When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace;

You alone, O Lord, keep me perfectly safe.

Many of my friends have shared with me the value of accepting a discipline during the spiritual season of Lent. Some have taken the opportunity to correct an unpleasant habit or reject the temptation offered by unhealthy food or drink. Those can be good disciplines if, when craving what is denied, we remind ourselves of the real reason we have entered into this 40-day season of self-denial.

I have other friends who, instead of denying themselves some pleasure, attempt to embrace a serious discipline to grow in the life of the spirit – of God’s spirit. Some begin a serious attempt to engage in regular and intentional prayers. Perhaps they use the prayer concerns listed in the church bulletin or make a weekly list from requests on Facebook and from other friends. They have found that such a list and with a designated time, they are better focused on the reason such disciplines have become a part of this holy season.

Psalm 4 alerts me to the reason we focus on new directions and disciplines in our spiritual life. The more we become aware of God, the more joy we experience and the better we sleep.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for calling us to a renewed focus on our spiritual life. Help us recognize that as we increase our focus on You, the more we become open to real joy, and better sleep.


Rev. Dr. Regi Thackston

Trinity UMC Pastor Emeritus