Trouble Sleeping?

The best way to prepare for a restful sleep is to start a practice of nightly prayer where you repeat one hundred times or more the Jesus prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” This prayer, in the tradition of the Church, is one of the most powerful prayers. As you repeat it slowly in your mind, concentrating on the words, you mind shifts its attention away from your problems of the day. You begin to focus on God and seek His help and forgiveness. After you pray in this way, read a passage from the Bible or from the writings of one of the Church Fathers. You are now filling your mind with spiritual thoughts that will replace those you have collected from a hectic day. Then, as you get into bed, begin again to say the Jesus Prayer. Let it put you to sleep.

…If you do experience a bad dream that awakens you, immediately begin to say the Jesus Prayer to bring your mind back to a calm state. Then keep repeating it until you again fall into sleep. After awhile the prayer will automatically begin in your subconscious mind to stop troubling dreams even before you awake.


I’m going to try this… right now…

Good night.


Bible Archaeology

Fishers of Men


Today’s video short brings to life Matthew 4:18-19 where we learn that Peter is a fishermen on the Sea of Galilee who leaves everything to follow Jesus.  In turn, Jesus promises Peter that he will make him a fisher of men.  Yet, at the end of the gospels, still on the shores of the Sea of Galilee and after a miraculous catch of fish, Jesus gives his final charge to the fisherman Peter by instructing him to “Feed my lambs…Take care of my sheep…Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17

The nature of fishing and shepherding are very different.  And yet, each human soul needs both.  Fishing is about catching while shepherding is about caring, providing and protecting.  The Bible also makes this distinction between the nature of the spiritual gifts of evangelism and pastoring.  My experience has been that evangelism is like fishing, while pastoring is synonymous with shepherding.

Jesus provided Peter with both of these gifts.  Soon Peter would go fishing in Jerusalem and with the gospel he would net 3,000 souls for the kingdom of heaven (Acts 2).  Now he had 3,000 souls to feed and care for.  He did both in obedience to the One who had caught and cared for his own soul.  My prayer has always been to have within our ministry a heart for both of these gifts and to see them functioning together at the heart of the church, whom like Peter, Jesus commissioned to both fish and shepherd the souls of people.