When you can’t sleep at night, everything in life seems more scary. More overwhelming. It can crush you and make you feel anxious.
It’s the worst when you jolt awake, afraid.
I call it the witching hour. That time in the middle of the night when your eyes pop open and your heart is racing.
The room is dark around you, and fear pushes hard on your heart, but you can’t put your finger on what is wrong.
You scan the room looking for threats. Listen for the kids. Everything is calm.
So why is this panic pumping through your veins?
Everything you’ve been remotely worried about in the last few weeks comes at you like fire from a blow torch. In the dark, it all seems more terrifying than ever, and you can’t sleep.
By sheer willpower, you try to stop worrying, try to stop being afraid. Maybe medicine, essential oils, fresh air or a bath will help? But they don’t. You just can’t calm down and get back to sleep.
The Bible is very clear, we don’t have to rely on our own strength, and we don’t have to lay there feeling afraid and just ride it out until morning.
“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba,[a] Father!”” (Romans 8:15)
Like a child, we can cry out for our Father in Heaven. When we call for Him, He will rush into our room, because we are his precious daughters.
How to get help when you can’t sleep:
1. Pray. Tell God you are afraid. Ask Him to come into your room and into your heart with His supernatural peace that passes understanding.
Prayer: God, I’m afraid. Please help me. I open my heart to you.
2. Read. I’ve found reading the Bible verses below can help calm my fear in the middle of the night. With each line you read, hear God’s comforting love for you. Feel the peace it brings to your heart:
“It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
“I love you, Lord, my strength,” (Psalm 18:2)
“Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Do not be afraid of sudden terror, of the ruin of the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from the snare. (Proverbs 3:25-26)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” (Psalm 46:2)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; in all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
“For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
“When cares increase within me, your comfort gives me joy.” (Psalm 94:19)
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
“Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Be strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, Do not fear, I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13)
“The Lord is with me; I am not afraid; what can mortals do against me? The Lord is with me as my helper; I shall look in triumph on my foes.” (Psalm 118:6-7)
“But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them,” (1 Peter 3:14)
“Do not fear them, for it is the Lord, your God, who will fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, Who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, Who will sing joyfully because of you,” (Zephaniah 3:17)
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?“My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers. O Most High, 4 when I am afraid, in you I place my trust.” (Psalm 56:3-4)
“Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Thus we may say with confidence: ‘The Lord is my helper, [and] I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
“Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them,” (1 Peter 3:13-14)
3. Repeat. Read the verses over and over as many times as you need to until you start to feel God’s peace settling into your soul.
When you wake up afraid, it can feel like you’re powerless, but you’re not. There’s something better than counting sheep. A higher power you can call on, your Father in Heaven.
The next time you can’t sleep, call for your Father and let His words in the Bible comfort you.
Save this post so you have it for quick reference if you wake up in the middle of the night afraid.