Free to rest, or wake up

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

Repetitive themes in my days seem to guide these Bible studies. Hard to believe I have as much outside influence as I do, being ordered to stay home and be socially distant. But God gets in! I am sure it helps that I actively seek him.
My pastor does an evening Bible verse and prayer on Facebook every day, lately. It is so GOOD (yes that GOOD that comes only from God!) to have a mini prayer meeting every night! We pray in the Spirit and worship with songs that come from our hearts. Granted he cannot hear us and I can only hear him and myself – but when you take a peek at the comments and likes you know you are agreeing in prayer with other brothers and sisters of Christ! So many things are different these days but that Spirit does not change and in Spirit we can all join hands! I love those prayer meetings! (and I got side tracked)
So most nights, Pastor prays that our sleep will be sweet. What a beautiful sentiment. But I realize, I slept a lot better the nights he prayed that.  I have never really struggled with sleep – had periods of nightmares after traumatic events, but that is a way the brain helps process those kinds of things. So I never thought I needed to pray for myself to have better sleep. 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24 NIV

After seeing multiple prayer requests yesterday and today for sleep, I thought I should look into this sleep thing. Spiritually I feel an awakening and this requires our bodies be well rested so we can consume all the goodness the Lord is beginning to spring up.  

The Son has set us free – we are free to sleep. Just a thought about that all-encompassing freedom we studied yesterday. Anyway, sleep is a promise from God and here are some verses to pray when you need sleep (along with reasons you might not be sleeping).

Stress, worry, burdens are a reason to have trouble sleeping.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2 NIV
No need to pull an all-nighter, He’ll give us the ability to sleep AND get it done.

“1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.“ Psalm 23: 1-6 NIV

A big reason to struggle with sleep is fear – remember he has given us power, love and a sound mind and…

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NIV
In Him we are safe – it’s ok to sleep.

“He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4 NIV
While we sleep we have the assurance that God is still working and handling our needs, wants, prayer requests, etc.

“1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,” Psalm 91:1-5 NIV
We can ask God to shelter us; let us rest in His shadow. He’ll guard us and protect us – even from the terror of night (He can protect us from nightmares)!

Sometimes we can’t fall asleep is because we are restless – During this social distancing and staying home, many of us are not as active as we were. We need to work and move more.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3 NIV
God gave us the example. Work then rest. Don’t you always sleep better after a day of yard work or a day of moving and being busy?

“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Matthew 8:24 NIV
Jesus had been walking and teaching and being busy – he was so tired he slept through the storm. Also, God can give you enough peace to sleep and rest during whatever storm you are going through.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
Jesus was also concerned with the rest of his disciples. He is also concerned with our rest. He wishes to give us rest.

Wake up to watch and pray – Yes, sometimes that sleepless night is God asking you to be a watchman! So don’t try to roll over and go back to sleep, No! Wake up!!

On these types of nights, don’t fight God about it because you won’t be getting any sleep anyway, but He will sustain you and you will be sufficiently rested for the next day.  I spoke of this is in previous posts and referred to Jesus asking the disciple to “watch and pray” with him in the garden for an hour (see Matthew 26:36-44).
When He wakes you, pay attention to what he might have you intercede regarding, or maybe to just talk with Him and if you don’t know just praise and worship Him until it comes to you.

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Isaiah 50:4 NIV
God might wake you to give you instructions or to teach you something. What better time than early in the morning (2am? 3am? 4am?) when there are few distractions.

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 NIV
Or maybe He just wanted to listen to you sing? I am not a singer – can’t even carry a tune in a bucket. So God has not woke me to sing, but it’s a thing (and now I expect I will be woke up to sing? My family will not enjoy that! – laughing at myself)

“Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him” Lamentations 2:19 NIV
Sometimes the best time to pour it all out to God is in the middle of the night. And hey, if you can’t sleep anyway – you might as well work on your relationship with him. He is up, and is always excited to hear from us.

Dear heavenly Father, give my readers sweet sleep tonight so they can be refreshed, ready to drink from the well that is spring up and to awaken and ready when the morning dawns.  And Lord, for your watchers, who you stir at night, please give them strength to pray and worship through their evening, or early morning, task and still grant them rest and a refreshing so we are all ready when it is time to wake up. I asks these things through Jesus that he will be glorified and that we can be a testimony.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~