3 Psalms to Read When You Can’t Sleep
By Christina Patterson
Some nights I'm left looking at my ceiling or my iPhone wondering why I can't seem to go to sleep. I have, however, found ways to help myself relax, making it easier to fall asleep. One of which is to read the Bible, specifically the Psalms. The beautiful poetry of the Psalms mixed with the power of God's Word almost always puts my nerves to rest so I can get some shuteye.
If you’re like me and sometimes need help getting to sleep, I want to share with you my favorite psalms to read to help me surrender to rest:
1. Psalm 116
Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. - Psalm 116:7 NIV
Psalm 116:7 is a Psalm I memorized almost 10 years ago. It is my first go-to scripture to say over and over to myself on a sleepless night. I say it slow to really think about the words. I'm reminded that my soul can rest, because the Lord is good and I have so much evidence of His goodness in my life. I then start to think about all the good the Lord is going and has done for me. This scripture reminds me that God is with me and that gives me a peace that relaxes my mind, body and soul.
2. Psalm 4:8
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. - Psalm 4:8 NIV
After a super busy day you would think the only thing my body would want to do is quickly fall asleep. Nope! I've realized a busy day usually leads to more difficulties falling asleep. My mind races with everything that happened that day and what might happen tomorrow.
What will happen tomorrow?
What will happen next year?
What if something bad happens to me? My husband? My children?
There is nothing worse than trying to fall asleep on anxious thoughts. It's during these times I love to pull out Psalm 4. It always reminds me God is in control, He is my protection, and I can trust Him. Now that's some truth I can sleep on.
3. Psalm 91
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. - Psalm 91:1,5,11
During the day, I'm not thinking about scary thoughts. But as soon as I hit the pillow they all want to attack. And fear is the enemy of sleep. Which is why I absolutely adore Psalm 91. I've only listed a few verse from the Psalm above but, if you have time, or find yourself losing sleep due to fear, I highly suggest you read this Psalm in its entirety. It reminds me God will not only protect me, but He will defend me as well. Psalm 91 reveals that my fearful thoughts don't even come close to the power my God has to overcome them.
I have yet to face a battle that the Lord has not addressed in His Word. This includes my struggle to fall asleep some nights. It is the Word of God that helps me to let go of the worries of this world and grasp how trustworthy our God is. And leaning on His truths, even on sleepless nights, feels like God Himself is rocking my to sleep. So the next time you have trouble falling asleep go ahead and give these Psalms a try. It is my prayer that the truth of God's word produces a peace in your soul that leads to many nights of good sweet sleep.
Editor’s Note: This devotional was adapted from Christina Patterson’s 3 Psalms to Read When You Can’t Sleep. You can read that piece in full here.
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