Prayers from a Night Worrier

digital clockAre you a night worrier? My mother has never had any trouble falling asleep at night. But once in a while, if she’s unlucky enough to wake up during the night, that’s it for sleeping. She calls them “racing thoughts.” Turning, churning, and tumbling in her mind at a pace that won’t stop.

What is it about the middle of the night that things always seem so dire? We awake with a feeling of dread. A worry that seemed small during the day seems to blow up in the dark of our bedroom. Taking on a menacing shape. Like that monster from our childhood, threatening to creep out and grab us in our sleep. Larger problems seem insurmountable, even hopeless.

In the dark we are scared children again. We’re alone and helpless. We forget everything we know about God’s love and faithfulness. We let fear take over. It becomes impossible to place our trust in God. We focus on the darkness (the metaphorical absence of God’s light) instead of the quiet.

But remember…the quiet is the best time for hearing. Listen to what God is whispering to you:

Do not fear, for I am with you,
Do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)

I hear God saying: “Sleep my child. Do not be afraid. I’m right here. There is nothing for you to do tonight. Tomorrow we will face the day together. You are not alone.” It helps to actually imagine God’s hands in front of me. Comforting, strong, and gentle. I give my fears a physical manifestation. Maybe a jagged rock or a heavy box. At God’s invitation I place the box full of worries in His hands.

It’s easy to feel that God has left us alone in the dark because we cannot “see” His presence. This is precisely the time to let yourself “feel” His presence. Use your imagination or the comforting ritual of rote prayers to remind yourself…

God is HERE
God is merciful
God is compassionate
God is powerful

I am not alone.

16 thoughts on “Prayers from a Night Worrier

  1. I just love you metaphorical
    “handing Over your box of worries to God.” I am sure I will be using that in the near future, on the nights I wake tossing and turning about something or other. Thank you for this post!

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  2. Sheri, I know I don’t ever comment on your writings, but I do read and appreciate them all. I find something that speaks to me in all your posts. This one, however, couldn’t have come at a better time. The night worries aren’t new to me, but since I’ve taken a break from my sleep the last two nights, I want to thank you for arming me with that prayer. Sweet dreams.

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    • Thank you so much for commenting, Donna. I’m so glad this post touched a chord with you and came at a time that was helpful. I’ll be praying for peaceful nights for you and many blessings while you sleep. 🙂

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  3. Sheri, I have to say this is one of my favorites! I actually keep going back to this with my 17 year old who always seems to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders. All of which she is powerless over…. I frequently remind her on nights like tonight to go back reread and pray on this! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

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  4. Sheri, I initially misread your title to mean Night Warriors 🙂 But, in a way, it could BE that.

    Some years ago, something kept waking me up at 3 a.m. on the dot. It agitated me because as it is, I was only able to grab a couple of hours of broken sleep, and to have even that interrupted was a bit much.

    Then, I read somewhere that being woken up from sleep is a Call from God, and that changed everything. Up to that point, almost every prayer I said was for myself, because I was struggling to cope with life. My 3am wake-ups took me into the world of other people’s pain. In those still hours, I’d recall troubles faced by others, and so, I began praying the Rosary decades for aching hearts.

    Looking back, I see that God used the nights to remind me that life wasn’t about just myself; that even when the burdens I bore wore me to the ground, it wasn’t an excuse to forget my brethren pilgrims – as heavy as my load was, I had to reach out and give others a hand too.

    So, all Night Worriers out there – you now have a special calling – that of the Night Warrior ❤

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