In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe (Psalm 4:8, NLT).
In a recent Interruption, I wrote the following . . .
The way our sleep has been designed by God allows our predisposed thought patterns to magnify when we wake up in the middle of the night.
If we are people of praise, like King David, God will get bigger and overwhelm our difficulties, but if we worrywart, our anxieties will loom larger. Our middle-of-the-night thoughts reveal whether we are a praise person or a worrywart!
God wants to reveal himself at night, to become bigger in our dreams, and to overcome our worries and fears. Our imagination runs without restraint during sleep. A blessing for those who sleep in Jesus but a curse when we sleep in the sins and worries of the world.
God gets bigger, or anxiety gets bigger. Our choice.
Too many of us fight to sleep at night.
Michael Voss, in his book The War on Sleep, says that we sleep about two hours less than people slept 50 years ago. There are many reasons, including all-hours media saturation, the stress of paying bills, rampant lust and violence, along with the increasing tribulation of the latter days.
I believe our sleep patterns reveal underlying causes of anxiety. Consider what we worry about when waking up at 3 a.m. We know that the brain, in a sense, exhales what’s bothering it and then resets itself for the next day.
Our brain and nervous system would blow up without the healing of sleep. This is why many sleep experts say that lack of sleep is a root cause of emotional problems and even physical disease.
There is also warfare during sleep.
I’ve come awake in the middle of the night with a sense of dread or evil in the room. Satan prowls in darkness, and he magnifies our fears if we wake up unprotected by the Spirit of God.
Let’s remember where we find help with sleep. As Psalm 63:6-8 says . . .
I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
How do we get a good night’s sleep this week? The key is praise!
Praise hinders evil thoughts during the day and keeps these same thoughts in check at night.
A lifestyle of praise releases God in our sleep. Evil and anxiety evaporate in our dreams of a powerful God.
The Apostle Paul writes that the benefit of praise and thanksgiving is a peace that surpasses understanding – and this peace is granted not only for the day but also at night.
Read carefully God’s prescription of less worry and more sleep in Philippians 4:4-7 . . .
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! . . . Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Amen! This peace from praise guards our sleep, too.