It is 3:00 a.m., the house is quiet, your family members are asleep, it is warm, it is dark, and you should be asleep too . . . but your mind is racing, your heart is pounding, and worries overwhelm you. You might be thinking about the pressing needs of a tomorrow that will find you unprepared, or it may be an area of concern—financial, relational, or employment. You may even continually find yourself in a place where you are out of hope and out of peace. A place that points to a spiritual separation from God that leaves you vulnerable and open to attacks of anxiety from the enemy. There is something about this part of the night that seems to magnify all of these problems, and I am not sure exactly why that is.
I am convinced that we need God’s help, not only when we are alert and awake, but even when we are sleeping. As you get ready to go to sleep, I think that it is a great thing to end the day in prayer. It has been said that God works the nightshift, and it is so true.
The best place to start is back at the beginning of each new day. Start your day in prayer, committing your decisions, your challenges, and whatever you are going to face that day to the Lord. Then, as I suggested, end your day with prayer as well. In each instance, our prayer should be, “Lord, here it is. I commit it to You.” It reminds me of a quote from Martin Luther, “Pray and let God worry.” I like that. Not that God worries, but the idea is that you should pray about it, rather than worry about it.
Let me ask you right now, is there something troubling you? Is there something eating away at you? Bothering you? Irritating you? Causing you to be afraid? Pray about it, right now. Just say, “Lord, I can’t handle it.” Philippians says, “Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. The peace of God that passes all human understanding will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
So don’t worry. Pray. You will sleep, and live, much better.
The story of Johnny Cash’s life and spiritual struggles offers hope to anyone who has had trouble staying on the straight and narrow path—and reminds us that God redeems broken lives and makes them whole again. My new book, Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon is a fascinating look at a unique and talented musician and follower of Christ!