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babysleepingA friend recently told me that his sleeping patterns were in the toilet! His business has been going through some difficult adjustments, and he often wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about and trying to solve problems. I could relate. I've been there. I would imagine you have too!

I've corrected that area of my life. I do not allow myself to worry in the middle of the night, or anywhere else either for that matter. It wasn't always that way for me.

When I was a young Christian, I was misguided thinking that worrying for others was sacred or compassionate. I know I got that from my mother. She worried about everyone, thinking it was a godly thing to do. But, it’s not! It is a worthless way to spend time. It might come across as compassion to some, but in all honesty, it's wasted time! 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Cast all your anxiety (worries) on Him (Jesus) because He cares for you."

Do you know why God wants us to lay our worries at His feet? Because cares and worries will steal from your life and can even kill you! They’ll create stress and rob you of sleep. They will destroy your health. You were designed by God to lean on Him and have faith in Him—not worry! Worrying will accomplish absolutely nothing! Worrying for someone else is not compassion. It accomplishes nothing real for them. Praying in faith for them will accomplish much! If you will sincerely pray for others, it doesn't mean you don’t take action to help in some way, but nothing you do will compare to your heartfelt, faith-filled prayers!

When Mordecai confronted Ester about her part to help save the Jews, she knew she had a plan to execute but also knew that prayer was the most important part of that plan. She instructed Mordecai, "Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me…" (Esther 4:16) We see the exhortation in James 5:16 that says, “…pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.” And Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I refuse to worry about anything anymore. Why would I? Psalm 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Did you catch those words "ever-present?" That means God is always there to help you. Always! I may have a concern, but I will turn that into appropriate action where needed and pray for God's wisdom and help for the resolve to what is bothering me, or for the person I am praying for. Our ability to handle serious and difficult problems is ridiculously limited. Jesus said, "...apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) That is a truth and a revelation to embrace. Learning to lean on God in faith is empowering and life-changing!

People that don't get prayer—the reason for it or how it changes things, have little or no faith in it. To be honest, that is sad. Prayer is the communication of bringing our concerns to God in faith—not in doubt or worry. It is the heart-action of leaning on the knowledge of His deep and intimate love for us, coupled with the promises of His Word to be our ever-present help in times of trouble! Jesus said, “Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.” (Matt. 6:27)

There are many nights I wake up, just like my friend. If it's because I'm tempted to worry, I do not lay there and do so! If I can't get to sleep, I'll grab my Bible and spend time in God's Word, letting it bring peace and promise to my heart. And then I pray in faith. And I won't worry about losing sleep because I pray that the grace of God will carry me in His strength through that next day. And through all this, God's words have comforted me, and I've grown sleepy, and fall back to sleep in peace.

If this sounds foreign to you, I encourage you to seek God's Word concerning it and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to walk this out. It will change your life over time.

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet." (Prov. 3:24) 

Copyright © Fresh Manna by Tim Burt
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Tim Burt
Web site: Todays Fresh Manna
Pastor Tim became a part of the leadership team at Living Word Christian Center in 1984 and served as Associate Pastor from 1989 to 2017. He and His wife Renee, also a Pastor at Living Word, resigned, feeling impressed by God to pursue the tremendous growth of their ministry "Fresh Manna," as well as teaching conferences and seminars, and increasing their involvement on the mission field through Tim & Renee Burt Ministries.

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