We have all at one time or another struggled to fall asleep – that moment when your head touches the pillow and immediately your mind starts racing with fears and worries! Tossing and turning and repeatedly checking your watch, seeing the minutes passing, then hours. Then you start to count how many hours of sleep you will get if you fall asleep right then!
What do you do when this happens? There is certainly no easy answer, otherwise you would not be reading this paragraph right now! But there is one thing that helps calm the mind and that is to pray, to speak your thoughts directed to God instead of replaying them in your mind!
What difference will prayer make?
When you find yourself in this situation again, turn your focus to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the reason or origin of your current worry, anxiety etc. Perhaps you are not sure whether He will really help or come through for you in a particular situation. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed at receiving bad news. Wait on Him long enough until He shows you the exact origin of your fear or worry – you are awake anyway! Once He shows it to you, ask for more understanding. So we learn how to overcome old patterns. Then be sure to confess your sin, your dependence and need of Him. One of the attributes of the Blood of Jesus is that it cleanses our conscience from acts that lead to death, so we may serve Him. (Heb.9:14).
God’s Word is alive and powerful, (Heb.4:12) and it can calm your anxious heart. (Ps.131:2). Ephesians 5:26 speaks of the value of “the washing of water by the word”. The reason is so we will be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and be holy and without blemish. So, after having presented our worries and anxieties to the Lord in prayer, and been washed by the Blood of Jesus, there is great value in praying Scripture. Praying Scripture shifts our minds from our problems to focus on the Lord. Even though it may initially feel tough to do, just press on and you will soon reap the fruit of your perseverance.
There is no right or wrong way to pray when you are sharing you heart with the Lord, so you can mention any of these Scriptures before Him in prayer. You can write them out on small cards and keep them at your bedside. The following ten will help you to start. Add more of your own Scriptures also.
1. Proverbs 3:5–6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
2. Psalm 56:3
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
3. Romans 8:38–39
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
4. John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
5. Psalm 34:4
I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
6. Philippians 4:6–7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
7. 1 Peter 5:6–8
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
8. Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
9. Psalm 94:19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.
10. Matthew 11:28–30
“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”