Restful Prayers for Sleep

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If you’re tossing and turning and looking for a prayer for sleep…you have come to the right place.

Have you ever wondered “Can I ask God to help me sleep?”. I’m here to tell you the answer is a resounding “YES”! As a child of God, you can come before your Father with any request, big or small. What matters to you matters to Him. 

Rest is a tenant God instilled from the beginning in Genesis. Therefore, scripture supports asking God to help you sleep. You might be surprised to know that so does science!

Reasons to pray a prayer for sleep

There are many reasons why you may want to ask God to help you sleep. Usually, reasons fall into two main categories: stress and anxiety.

Perhaps you are thinking “aren’t these kind of the same?”. While they do tend to go hand in hand, they are not exactly the same.

Stress tends to be caused by concerns over work, relationships, current events (COVID, racial tensions, etc.), or a serious illness.

Anxiety encompasses those things that cause us to not be able to “shut down” our minds at night so we can go to sleep. Worry and fears over imagined concerns or exaggerated concerns tend to be the culprits of anxiety.

Additionally, those of us who struggle with mental health often have higher anxiety in general than do others who are experiencing similar situations.

Science Supports Prayer for Better Sleep

Scientific research over the years supports the fact that prayer does have a positive effect on sleep. Groups such as Psychology Today, startsleeping.org, Alaska Sleep Clinic, and even NBC News have reported on research that corroborates the link between prayer and sleep.

When secular supports Biblical, I get excited! Even those who do not practice religion, or any type of faith cannot deny that asking God to help you sleep is beneficial!

As stated by Dr. David Spiegel in an interview in 2017 with a self-proclaimed agnostic reporter, the areas of the brain that ignite when we pray are those “involved in self-reflection and self-soothing.” (BETTER by Today, Nicole Spector, October 20, 2017).

He goes on to state that when your reflective brain regions activate, those areas that cause you to act become inactive. In simple terms, praying puts your mind in a restful state that causes those active stress and anxiety thoughts to dissipate. 

This is good news!

Reports from the other outlets noted mention the following positive effects of praying to ask God to help you sleep:

  1. Release of negative thoughts, tension, and emotions.
  2. Improves self-control over negative actions such as overeating or overspending by promoting mindfulness to make better decisions.
  3. Has been found to reduce inflammation and increase metabolism when practiced daily.
  4. Reduces anger/bitterness and increases trust when part of your prayer includes thoughts of friends/loved ones.

All of this points to something called neuroplasticity, which just means your brain’s ability to create new pathways through your thoughts. So, while you may feel stuck, praying to God to help you sleep not only improves your rest, it improves your waking hours through these new pathways!

Preparing Your Prayer Time to Ask God to Help You Sleep 

Evening or bedtime prayers should not just be a time of seeking assistance or assurances from God. It should also include praise and thanksgiving for the blessings of the day. Additionally, it should also include confession if appropriate.

As imperfect humans, there are countless things each day that we need to ask God to forgive. Get those off your chest so they do not add to your stress or anxiety around sleep.

Praise and thanksgiving prepare the heart to be humble before our Father. It reminds us of the grace God has already given us. And it quiets your soul as you fix your mind on Jesus. As you think about things regarding your Creator and Savior, those anxious and stressful thoughts begin to take a backseat.

One of the things I experience at night, and have since I was a child, is being uncomfortable with the dark. I have learned though that darkness cannot stay where there is light. Prayer will absolutely drive out darkness!

5 Prayers for Asking God to Help You Sleep

After taking some time to ask God to show you anything you need to confess and lay before Him, here are some prayers to get you started on asking God to help you sleep.

  • Release stress due to work and/or growing/learning activities. Lord thank you for blessing me with life today. With a job that allows me to earn for my family, pay my bills and exercise my career goals. As much as I appreciate the opportunity to grow via my (job/college/educational seminar, etc.), I am overwhelmed with the responsibility of it all. The new (tasks/project/time commitment) has me stressed about my ability to get everything done. I am stressed that I may fail. Please help me sleep well so I can be alert and use my God given wisdom to do my best in my (job/education goals). Let me sleep soundly without restlessness so I wake up refreshed and ready.
  • Release people (relationships). God I am so thankful for my (husband/friend/daughter/mom) being in my life. They are a blessing to me in many ways and I love interacting with them. Lately there has been tension and our relationship is not as strong as it once was. Lord your word says you will restore, so I am asking for healing for their heart and mine. Help us both to commit to resolving what is (or isn’t) happening that needs to start/stop. Give us wisdom about the situation and compassion for one another. I release them to you to do your will. Free my mind from this stress so I can rest in You.
  • Release stress over world events. Father I thank you for allowing me to live at this time in this part of the world right now. There is so much good to appreciate. Yet when I hear or see the news, there are a lot of events that have me stressed out. I lay awake wondering what will happen with (COVID/racial issues/inflation, etc.) and cannot fall asleep or stay asleep due to this stress. Jesus let me remember your promises to take care of all my needs. To protect your children. To rescue and heal. Allow the stress to leave my mind so I can sleep without being disturbed over what happens in the world.
  • Release thoughts. God, you have done so much for me today and I am thankful as I think over all the good that I have enjoyed. Yet my anxiety and/or depression is really weighing on me right now and I cannot sleep. My thoughts are negative, and my emotions are raw. I feel like I cannot make it stop. I ask you to enter in and quiet my soul and my mind. Bring me rest mentally as well as physically. Remind me that you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of a sound mind. In that promise I can release the anxiety/depression that wants to take over. I give it to you as I am not meant to carry that burden. I pray you bring me positive thoughts and soothe my emotions, so I become calm and am able to fall asleep easily.
  • Release health concerns. Lord I am thankful for all that you enable and allow my body to do for me. I thank you also for the doctors who are working hard to diagnose/improve/heal my condition. Yet I am still worried and if I am honest, a little scared about my health. I am unsure what future tests/treatments mean for me. I am unsure if I will ever be free of this affliction. I want to give you my body Lord. Take my health concerns and let me remember that you are the greatest physician and healer that has ever been. You healed the blind and raised the dead! If anyone can heal me, I know you can. And even if this illness remains in me, I know too that your spirit in me allows me to bear this thorn in my flesh. So, give me rest in both body and mind. Good sleep is important as I battle this illness and I ask that you provide me with that.

Scripture Supporting Asking God for a prayer for sleep

Proverbs 3:24 stays this: “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant.” In the New King James, it says “your sleep will be sweet.” Talk about a pleasant thought! 

As a child, you were likely told “sweet dreams” as a parent or grandparent tucked you into bed. You may even do this now with your children.

Isn’t it amazing to know that God wants us to have good sleep?

Other scriptures that repeat this promise include Psalm 4:8 and Psalm 127:2. In the latter, when you study the original meaning in the translation of the word “sleep” it is referring to sleep as being a gift. God gives us sleep to bring the rest He knows we need, while He still works on our behalf.

Psalm 121:4 says God does not slumber or sleep. This means we can rest because He is on watch! We do not have to carry stress or anxiety. God’s got this!

Conclusion

Armed with the above five prayers to ask God to help you sleep and the scriptures provided, it is my sincere prayer that you rest well tonight and every night.

Sleep is a key tool in our body recharging itself after a long day. Again, back in Genesis we see God commands rest.

Utilizing prayer to improve sleep is both Biblical and scientifically sound as I have shown. In our relationship with God, He wants us to converse with us on all things. Prayer is how we do that.

Asking God to help you sleep then becomes part of the development and growth of your Jesus journey. When we trust that He will forgive, provide, heal and restore, we will naturally sleep better.

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