My eyes popped open and my heart started to race. The room was dark around me, and fear was pushing hard on my heart. But what was wrong?
I scanned the room looking for threats. I listened for the kids. Everything was calm.
So why was this panic pumping through my veins? I laid back and tried to take deep breaths, but my mind was racing. Everything I’d been remotely worried about in the last few weeks came at me like water from a firehose.
In the dark, it all seemed more terrifying than ever, and I was too anxious to sleep.
I tried to stop worrying. I tried to stop being afraid. But I just couldn’t calm down and get back to sleep.
It was the witching hour. That time in the middle of the night when you wake up afraid and everything in your life seems worse and more scary that it ever did in the daylight.
The Bible is very clear we don’t have to put up with this. We don’t have to lay there feeling afraid and just ride it out until morning. We can fight back.
“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)
But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
Every created person is a son or daughter of God Most High. All we have to do is cry out to our Father, and He will command his angels to go to battle on our behalf.
“For he commands his angels with regard to you, to guard you wherever you go.” (Psalm 91:11)
Once we’ve called out to our Father, we can hold our faith as a shield. Our promise of salvation from Jesus as our helmet, and we can join the battle against our fear with the weapon of Scripture.
“In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:16-17)
Below is a pretty big list of Bible verses that would be nice to have when we feel too anxious to sleep.
Don’t let the size of the list overwhelm you. Instead, just choose a few of your favorite verses and write them on a piece of paper. Stick it in your nightstand, so it’s close at hand. Then, when you wake up afraid, read your verses out loud a few times as a sword against the fear.
Bible verses to say out loud when you’re too anxious to sleep:
1.“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)
2.“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
3. “I love you, Lord, my strength,” (Psalm 18:2)
4. “Magnify the Lord with me; and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalm 34:4)
5. “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)
6. 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)
7. “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)
8. “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress.” (Psalm 46:2)
9. 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)
10. “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)
11. “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, Father!’” (Romans 8:15)
12. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
13. “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
14. “When cares increase within me, your comfort gives me joy.” (Psalm 94:19)
15. “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)
16. “I command you: be strong and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
17. “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
18. “Say to the fearful of heart: Be strong, do not fear! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; With divine recompense he comes to save you.” (Isaiah 35:4)
19. “They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, ‘Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!’” (Mark 6:50)
20. “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)
21. 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. Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you maggot Israel; I will help you—oracle of the Lord; the Holy One of Israel is your redeemer. (Isaiah 41:13-14)
22. “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)
23. “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)
24. “Do not fear them, for it is the Lord, your God, who will fight for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22)
25. “When I caught sight of him, I fell down at his feet as though dead. He touched me with his right hand and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last,” (Revelation 1:17)
26. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
27. “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)
28. 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)
29. “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.” (Matthew 10:28)
30. “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)
31. “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.” 6 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)
32. “Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? 14 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)
I must confess I don’t have any of these Bible verses memorized just yet. But if we took one verse a week and worked on memorizing it, in less than a year we’d have a full closet full of “Scriptural swords” to choose from when we felt too anxious to sleep!
Faith and the Word of God are powerful weapons in helping us find peace in the middle of the night. When we are persistent, speaking our verses out loud, we refuse to let fear lead us down a path we don’t want to go. Instead, we find peace in the promises of Jesus.