Developing a Theology of Sleep

We are thankful for the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the three hours (weekly average) we are in a church setting.

Additionally, the Holy Spirit’s presence and enablement in our forty hours (weekly average) at our job and in our work is more meaningful than we can adequately state.

Today we begin to study the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the fifty-six hours (weekly average) we are asleep.

Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy, happy, and meaningful life.

Consider these six reasons to have healthful and adequate sleep:

  • Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  • Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  • Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  • Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  • Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Clearly, we need the working of God’s Spirit in our learning and memory, metabolism and weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health, and immune functions!

Sleep isn’t always an easy and trouble less life component.  Following are the eight most common adult sleep difficulties:

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
  • Narcolepsy
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep Terrors
  • Bruxism

Sleep and spirituality are connected and significantly influence each other.

Psalm 116 

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

10 I believed, even when[a] I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 I said in my alarm,
“All mankind are liars.”

12 What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
14 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!




1.     Return to rest because of God’s stunning grace and mercy. 5

a.     God has heard his voice and pleas for mercy

b.     He can call on God as long as he lives.

c.     Near death, in distress and anguish, he calls on the name of the Lord and God intervenes.

d.     Gracious, righteous, and merciful is the Lord.

e.     When the simple Psalmist was brought low, God saved him.








2.     Return to rest because God delivers! Delivered from death, tears, stumbling.



3.     Return to rest because you walk before the Lord and believe.







4.     Return to rest because you render to the Lord for all his benefits.

a.     You celebrate salvation and pray

b.     You pay your vows to God




5.     Return to rest because even the greatest enemy, death, is precious in the sight of the Lord.







Listen – My Story

  • On a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) how do you rate your average night of sleep?
  • Have you ever developed a theology of sleep? If so, what have you considered?

Learn – Digging Deeper

  1. Read Matthew 26:36-46. What did stress do to Jesus’ sleep?  The disciples’ sleep?  Have you ever had a sleepless night because of stress?


  1. Read Mark 4:38-40. Do you find it interesting that Jesus (fully God/fully man) got so exhausted he slept through a huge storm? Have you ever been this exhausted?  In your exhaustion, do you trust God like Jesus did?


  1. Read Colossians 1:18. What can you do to give Jesus supremacy in everything, including sleep? Do you expect sleep to be impacted by the supremacy of Jesus?

Life – Taking it Home

  1. How can your Life Group help you apply this weeks’ teaching?
  2. Do you need help developing the courage to walk boldly toward help for your sleep?

Lift – Prayer

  • Pray for the sleep of each Life Group member.
  • Pray for other areas of life needing to be placed under the supremacy of Jesus.
  • Seek the Lord for SOULS to turn Jesus for salvation through your ministry at Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames.
  • Please ask God to anoint your ministry of evangelism.