I was reading through some of the prayer needs that came to us in the mail, and one man shared about his battle with insomnia-a very common issue for so many. In fact, Statistics Canada indicates an estimated 3.3 million Canadians aged 15 or older, or about one in every seven, have problems going to sleep or staying asleep. So that means chances are pretty high that someone reading this right now is dealing with this nagging concern. We get so many callers from across Canada calling our 24/7 prayer lines. Not surprising, researchers have found very close ties between insomnia and stress. So what kind of stress are you dealing with that's keeping you up at night? Among the top ten sources of stress from a survey of adults is marriage/family relationships, lack of control, work, lack of joy, and time pressures.
From time to time, when there's been stress in my life, I've had a hard time sleeping too. Your mind goes into rotisserie mode, and the issue keeps turning over and over and over-and you're just stewing in those juices. I remember one time awhile back, my mind just wouldn't let me go to sleep, though I tried and tried... and of course, the harder you try, the more impossible it is! It becomes a vicious cycle. So I got up, sat in the living room, and opened my Bible. It fell open at one of the Psalms, and when I started reading it, I was amazed at how it spoke directly into the stressful situation I was dealing with. In essence, it concluded that I need to just leave the matter with God and trust Him. And nestled in the middle of that Psalm was this encouragement:
"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him" Psalm 37:7
I remember weeping, thanking God for speaking so clearly, going right to bed, and sleeping more soundly than I could have imagined! Of course, when you experience something like that, it doesn't mean your issues disappear the next morning. The potential is still there for that same issue to trigger further stress and another sleepless night, but now you have God's Word in your heart to fight back. And you can stop and pray those words back to God, thanking Him for his promises and peace. That will make a huge difference, believe me! Consider another Psalm written by King David after he fled for his life from his son Absalom - talk about a stressful situation!
"I cried out to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy mountain. I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me. I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side." Psalm 3:4-6
He went from crying out to God in desperation to sleeping soundly to having a new boldness that everything was going to be okay, even though the problem hadn'?t yet disappeared! What a transformation after he knew He received a Word from the Lord!
A few years back, Ann and I went through some circumstances that caused a whole lot of stress, and we started finding it quite difficult to sleep... that relentless rotisserie doing it's thing in our minds. One night I concluded, "This has got to stop!" So I looked Ann straight in the eye and asked, "Is God in control?" She answered, "Yes." I replied, "Then we will sleep well tonight!... And we did! We said the same thing the next night, and the next night, and the next night... we would take turns asking and answering that question just before turning out the light. We also started spending more time in the Bible, and especially the Psalms. So if you're among the one in seven battling insomnia, there's hope.
Remember, you can call our prayer line any time, even in those sleepless hours in the middle of the night. It would be our privilege to pray with you about the challenges you're facing today, whether it's a sleep issue or any other prayer need. You can call us toll free anywhere in North America at 1-866-273-4444. Or connect with us and share your prayer need HERE.
Let me throw in one final promise for you from the Psalms:
"He gives His beloved sleep." Psalm 127:2
Beloved... that's you!