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Late-Night Prayer Sessions

Late-Night Prayer Sessions

Editor’s note: Emily Ley’s new book Near the Night is a perfect read especially for those of us who struggle with sleep. These meditations on God’s peace and rest will help you turn off your worries and remember God’s goodness. Enjoy this excerpt:


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. — Philippians 4:6 NIV

Every day for a year, I woke up at 2:42 a.m. It was this weird occurrence that had no rhyme or reason, but it happened at exactly the same moment and kept me awake for at least an hour. My life those days was a blur of diapers, baby schedules, conference calls, and “Please advise ASAP” emails. I wasn’t alone for more than a few minutes once the kids went to bed because I’d pass out as soon as my head hit the pillow.

In the beginning, I mentally thumbed through the pages of the proverbial book of Things I Am Worried About, Didn’t Finish, Forgot to Do, or May Never Do that lived in my head. I need to change the oil in my car. I wonder if Brady has a cavity? That ache in my elbow is back... could it be (insert terminal illness)? I should cook more meals at home. My children may grow up to be totally damaged because I don’t love to cook.

Every night was a “beat myself up” session. But then I started bringing those things up in prayer rather than ruminating on them. And things started to change. Instead of loathing those interruptions at 2:42 a.m., I gave my worries to God. I wondered if He was giving me that inner 2:42 a.m. alarm as a blessing. I began to fall back to sleep, waking up with a more peaceful heart; and eventually, the 2:42 a.m. inner alarm disappeared.

What have you been anxious about lately? During times of high stress, bring your thoughts to God.

A Prayer for Your Dreams

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! — Psalm 34:8

Tonight, I hold you in prayer and wish you an evening of rest and rejuvenation. I pray your dreams are whole and intact, that they’re as lovely and calming as the sound sleep that finds you.

May their colors be vivid and beautiful, like art come to life. May the cast of characters be beloved friends, lost to the sands of time, and family venturing back to this side of Heaven, just for a night. May their voices be soft, and may the background music be soothing. I pray your dreams are filled with mended fences, blooming friendships, and hopes come to life. Or back to life.

And most of all, I pray each one brings a smile to your face when you wake — a reminder of the sweet and the good in years past, and a hope for the days to come.

Are your dreams reminding you of a worry or a hope you’ve pushed deep inside your heart? Is something rising to the surface, interrupting your rest? Give God the good and the worrisome before you head to sleep tonight.

Scriptures for Your Evening

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. Psalm 121:5-7

In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. — Psalm 4:8

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. — Psalm 3:5

He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. — Psalm 121:3-4

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

Excerpted with permission from Near the Night by Emily Ley, copyright Emily Ley.

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Your Turn

Are you rolling around at night unable to sleep? What if God is using that time to encourage and strengthen you? What if instead of worrying, you gave every anxiety to Him and spoke scriptures to rest in? What would change for you? ~ Devotionals Daily

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