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I cannot sleep at night. What can I do?

In Psalm 4:8 David writes I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone O Lord, make me dwell in safety. King David was able to sleep peacefully because he knew that he could trust God to help him to live in safety.

When we are not able to sleep through the night, it is often because we are not trusting God with our worries and anxieties. Perhaps we have given them to Him, but we have not let go of them ourselves?

In Philippians 4:6 the apostle Paul tells us Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. This means that we can come to God with all our worries, all our concerns, and ask Him to take them - from us, and into His care. As a picture of what we are doing, some people find it helpful to begin to pray with clenched fists, and then open our hands and offer to God those things that are always at the back of our minds.

This is not an easy thing to do, because trusting God means letting go of those things that we want to be in control of, and allowing Him to work in these areas. The apostle Paul tells us that when we have done this, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

So, before you go to bed – stop, and talk to God about what is on your mind. If you are not sure what is taking your peace away, then ask God to show you what you are worried about, and then see if any thoughts come to mind. Open your hands and offer your worries to God, say that you will trust Him to look after them, and try to let those things go – open your hands to God.

Repeat scriptures like Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped, and Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you, and believe that they are for you.

Try to speak to God like this for a while. Also, ask a Christian friend to regularly pray for you - that you will be able to trust God with your worries, and sleep peacefully throughout the night.

All scripture quotations from NIV84

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