Could You Use a Nap?

“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:30-32


When I read Michael Hyatt’s blog post “5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day,” I was elated.

Finally–statistical research that validates my desire to nap.

I’ve taken Sunday afternoon naps as long as I can remember—on God’s ordained day of rest. But napping every afternoon always seemed too self-indulgent…lazy.

Now, it seems a nap might actually be beneficial to our work, as long as we do it for the right reason and apply safeguards to keep from napping too long.

I’m a morning person. So I set my alarm for 5:00. This is my most productive time, so I try to schedule accordingly. By early afternoon, though, my energy level drops, like some wind-up toy that slowly winds down until it gives out. Not good when there’s more to do than time to do it.

Do you ever feel this way—sluggish and sleepy?

Could it be that taking a 20-30-minute nap every day could be just what the doctor ordered? Oh, say it’s true!


Michael Hyatt’s research supports this. But does God’s Word?

Proverbs 6:9-11 says:How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” I often use this passage to remind myself not to be lazy and it seems to speak against sleep during the day.

But Proverbs 6:6-8 gives more of the picture: Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”

This tells the difference between being lazy and being productive. A nap, taken in this context, would only be sinful if the purpose is to keep from doing work. But if a nap is for restoring energy and alertness to be more productive, it would be beneficial and, therefore, not sinful.

Taking an Afternoon Rest

Song of Songs 1:7 mentions sheep that rest at midday. This sounds like a nap to me. And God’s Word often calls us sheep.

Then in Mark 6:30-32, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” They had just told Him about all the work they did, so this rest followed a productive time.

So, taken together, these verses suggest hard work should be followed by rest to renew our energy and be refreshed…and not only at night.

Thanks for Naps

To nap right, though, we need some guidelines…

  • Work hard first
  • Lay down in a quiet place
  • Give thanks for the work you’ve done and ask God to refresh you
  • Set a timer for no more than 30 minutes
  • When the timer goes off, get up!
  • Give thanks for rest and ask God to bless your work
  • Refreshed, go get busy again

God’s Word doesn’t say we must rest each afternoon. But when those dragging moments come, it’s nice to know God provides a quick way to rejuvenate.

A rest following hard work allows more hard work to follow.

So what do you say? Could you use a nap?

Dearest Father, thank You for providing the ability to work and time for needed rest. May we be faithful to serve You and Your purposes in both. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Blessings to you,
All Scripture from The Holy Bible, New International Version, 1984.
Napping image by Meredith Bernard at Used 
by permission.(Thanks, Meredith!)
Other images by Sabra Penley.


Filed under Rest, Work

6 responses to “Could You Use a Nap?

  1. Great thought on napping and so glad to know it’s “OK” and even God-ordained to take one EVERY DAY. Now if I could convince my kids…:-\ That little girl is waking as I type from a much too short nap today. 😦 Always love your words, Sabra. xoxo, Meredith


    • Funny how when we’re little and we’re supposed to take a nap we don’t want to! I remember well those days of hoping and praying for just an hour of their rest so I could get some rest as well. Thanks again for allowing me to use the precious photo!


  2. Oh Sabra, permission to take a nap-this might be my post favorite post of yours! 😉 I too get up early because it’s my productive time and I too get sleep in the early afternoon. I occasionally take a 20-30 minute nap but I always feel guilty about it. I;ve never thought about the fact that I am doing so to get through the day and not to avoid work. I love this because it’s true! When I force myself to work through my sleepiness it feels like I am going against the flow. When I nap and then work I am much more productive! Feeling so validated now-hahaha! Great post.


  3. I love this so much, Sabra! I often nap on Sundays too, but like you mentioned, I’ve never napped during the week unless I am flat out exhausted. Other counties have siesta, so why do Americans feel like it’s lazy? Thanks for the biblical references here and the support that it’s ok. As I heard my pastor say once, “Taking a nap can be a spiritual discipline.” 😉


  4. A spiritual discipline? Wow, I like that! Thanks so much, Abby.


Leave a comment here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s