Sleepless Nights? A excerpt from my new book!
Photo by @Matthew_T_Rader on Unsplash
This is a taste from the book that will be published in August. It's longer than a normal post. I hope it blesses you.
We all have encountered sleepless nights when we start to mull over issues. Our minds may turn to many things. We replay the scenarios of the day, which cause emotional upheaval. We could be playing the “I should have . . .” regrets. We conjure ways of avoiding conflict the next time. Solving a problem we can’t do anything about may get our minds going. We may wonder what our prodigals are doing at night.
An event caused a sleepless night for me recently. As I wrestled with the reality of placing my loved one into the complete care of God, I asked Holy Spirit a simple question. “Holy Spirit, am I awake due to my spirit being unsettled or due to my soul [mind, will, and emotions] being unsettled?”
Immediately I heard, “It is your soul.”
He chided me by saying, “Your loved one isn’t having a sleepless night. Why should you?”
I repented for allowing my soul to rob me of my peace and my sleep. I deliberately handed the issues and my struggle to God. He assured me He was taking care of the situation and that I could sleep restfully now. Within minutes, I fell asleep and stayed asleep all night.
As I challenged myself in the morning, I searched Scripture to validate this conversation with God. I turned to a Psalm of David. I am sure David had his share of sleepless nights, considering Saul’s persistent pursuit of him. He wrote,
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer . . .
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.
Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord . . .
In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4)
Wow! What comfort to hear David speak of the things I felt in the night. Human striving happens in the night if we allow our minds, wills, and emotions to process fresh events.
We may need to process interactions with our loved ones when we realize, with regret, they lacked wisdom and discretion. Through revelation and experience, David also said, “I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night” (Psalm 16:7 ). If so, we may need to confess it.
Dear friend, guard Clear Thinking and Common Sense with your life;
don’t for a minute lose sight of them.
They’ll keep your soul alive and well,
they’ll keep you fit and attractive.
You’ll travel safely, you’ll neither tire nor trip.
You’ll take afternoon naps without a worry,
you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep.
No need to panic over alarms or surprises,
or predictions that doomsday’s just around the corner,
Because God will be right there with you;
he’ll keep you safe and sound.” (Proverbs 3:21–26 msg)
We may wrongly believe the demonic realm is lord of the night. It states in Genesis 1:2 that the Spirit of God moved over the surface of the waters in the darkness. Genesis 1:16–18 describes the creation of day and night. God stated both of these to be good. And David stated in Psalm 139:12, “Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” These Scriptures concretely state God rules and reigns over all hours of the day.
God used the night to instruct Laban in what to say (Genesis 31:24). He imparted covenants and made promises to Abraham (Genesis 15). He even gave songs to David (Psalm 42:8), as well as provided to Jacob a portal of interaction with God (Genesis 28). God uses the night and sleep to communicate with us.
If you have ever struggled in the night, pray this prayer out loud:
Father God, I firmly state You rule the night. You see everything that happens in the dark. Because of Your presence and care, I know I can rest in sweet slumber. Father, I am open to Your instruction in the night.
Thank you, Father, that You desire to correct me when I have erred. I accept Your loving correction and guidance in the night. Instruct me in how to repair any damage done by me and the boldness to follow through. I rest knowing there is sweet slumber to those who have a clean heart and mind. Thank You for Your grace and mercy. In Jesus’s name. Amen.
In the morning, I asked Holy Spirit, “What would I have done if my spirit felt unsettled?”
He told me, “This will be an unction to pray, as warfare needs to be done right now. You will pray until I release you; then, peaceful sleep will come easily.”
At times, this has happened as I prayed for something in the night for about an hour, and then felt the release to go to sleep. This has been a great revelation to align myself to His promptings in the night and get peaceful sleep when He tells me everything is fine.
Psalm 44:4–8 (msg) is a powerful resource for fighting in the spirit:
You’re my King, O God—
command victories for Jacob!
With your help we’ll wipe out our enemies,
in your name we’ll stomp them to dust.
I don’t trust in weapons;
my sword won’t save me—
But it’s you, you who saved us from the enemy;
you made those who hate us lose face.
All day we parade God’s praise—
we thank you by name over and over.
Therefore, I will boast in my God all day long and give thanks for pushing back our adversaries by His work and my voice of intercession.
What you can take away...
You can confidently rest as you accept this reality in your life. God is watchful, caring, and concerned for your loved one. What a privilege to be counseled by Him rather than by your own thoughts and conjectures. No more lofty imaginations in the night. Just peaceful sleep unless we are prompted to war in prayer.