…and that includes many. Sleeplessness isn’t close to fun. What do you do? I get up and walk. David found another solution. “Answer me when I call, O God of my right. You have given me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:1).


Good decision—try praying. More effective to talk to God about people than talking to people about God. Sounds like he really wants an answer. It is hard twisting and turning when the mind is not distracted by duty. Need to remind ourselves when swallowed by anxiety that prayer worked in the past.


After addressing God, David takes on his opponents. Night terrors are robbers, stealing away sleep. “O men, how long will my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? (2).


People who oppose us keep us awake. David was angry and was letting them have it—in bed. Then he added “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him” (3).


He reaffirmed his position in God. He was loved and cared for. Attacks mess with our identity. Don’t let them mess with yours. You are who God says you are, not what an irate adversary or overbearing boss says you are. You are “set apart,” and choice implies worth! Take confidence in your election. God is awake and active even if you wish you weren’t.


“Be angry, but sin not; commune with your own hearts on your beds, and be silent” (4). Anger can work if not the aggressive and hostile type, which then escalates into bitterness and latches itself to our souls. Controlled anger facilitates sleep. Don’t suppress it—talk to God about it. Don’t sleep on it or by morning it morphs into resentment. Control it; don’t let it control you. Do it with silence, not an explosion. Learn from your pillow—be quiet. But you need an outlet—God! Try speaking in tongues—or worshiping.


“Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord” (5). Inner fights dislodge trust. Not good. Offering sacrifices (worship) reminds us that our center is found in the cross, the place of greatest sacrifice. Say yes to God many more times than you say no to obstacles and enemies.


“There are many who say, ‘Oh that we might see some good!’ Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord!” This line from the Aaronic benediction promises an impartation of peace, needful when the mind refuses to relax. “The fruit of the Spirit is…peace.” Take it now; it’s yours!


“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace [see] I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (7, 8). It’s working; joy is replacing worry and peace has overtaken restlessness. Harvest joy is explosive, and yet for the psalmist refreshing sleep under the canopy of God’s love tops even that. Good night!

One comment on “WHEN YOU CAN’T SLEEP

  1. Tom Anderson says:

    Thanks, Paul. I have been dealing with insomnia and restlessness for a couple of months and this is a good word! Thanks and Blessings to you!

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