By Anne Peterson, Crosswalk.com
God has given each one of the privilege of prayer. He tells us that we can call on him, night or day. And when you pray, Psalms 116:2 tells you he inclines his ear to you. God leans in. And God is available 24/7.
God cares about whatever concerns you. There’s nothing too small, or insignificant to the one who counts the hairs on your head and knows when even a tiny sparrow falls. And if you think what you’re going through is not important enough to bring to him, ask yourself: what things did my child (or any child I care about) tell me...that really didn’t matter?
If each of us can respond to even the smallest things, where did we get that from? From God, of course. So, child of God, may these four prayers help you find the rest and sleep you need.
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1. A Prayer for When You’re Feeling Anxious
Lord, I pray you would calm my anxiousness. Father, you say in Philippians 4:6-8, to be anxious for nothing, but when I tell my requests to you, you will give your peace. And yet, I still get anxious. God you are Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. And you are Jehovah Jireh, the God who meets needs. Help me to meditate on your truths, so I don’t get anxious.
Help me to rest in You, Lord. To remember you are sovereign and in control of everything. And even when things get difficult, Lord, you are bigger than any problem I could possibly have.
Father, sometimes I can’t rest because what I face looks impossible. And yet, you tell me in Luke 18:27 the things that are impossible with men are possible with you. In fact, you love it when you work out the impossible. Then there’s no question who did it. It had to be you.
God, You tell me in John 14:1 that I should not let my heart be troubled. Father, help me to keep my mind on you and how big you are when my circumstances start to weigh me down,
You are God Almighty. The one who hung each star in place. The one who knows them each by name as it says in Isaiah 40:26. Lord, you are the one who never gets tired. You give strength when I am weary. When I feel weak, you will give me power. Help me remember that your power is unending.
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2. A Prayer for When You Need Rest
Lord, sometimes the work I have to do is greater than my strength. Help me rest in you, Lord. Help me place my cares in your capable hands, knowing you are not surprised at all by the things that surprise me. You are the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end.
You know what will happen in my tomorrows. Father, Paul reminds me that in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 he asked you three times to take his infirmity, yet, you told him your grace is sufficient and your power is made perfect in weakness.
Like Paul, let me boast in my weaknesses because that’s when your Son’s power will rest on me.
God, help me to be content with things I have, so striving will not steal my peace and rest. I want to stop filling my mind with all sorts of worry. When it’s time to rest, help me turn my mind off.
Help me meditate on the Word of God whenever I start feeling overwhelmed, for that’s when the enemy prowls around. Help me linger as I read Psalm 23, and remember that you are our shepherd. You will make me lie down in green pastures and lead all of us beside the still waters.
Lord, show this sheep of yours where the still water is. You are the one who will restore my soul. You will prepare a table for me right in front of my enemies. God, let me stay in that place of solitude with you, where I can be refreshed.
Lord, as you tell us in Psalm 139:13, each of our bodies is fearfully and wonderfully made. And yet, you also say in 1 Peter 1:24 that all flesh is as grass. Grass withers, Lord, and flowers fall off. But you, God, are powerful. And though we all are like grass, Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:13, that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
I need that strength, Lord. Help my body find rest unto my soul that you speak of in Matthew 11:29. Show me how to take your yoke upon me, instead of trying to carry my own load by myself.
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3. A Prayer for When You Can’t Sleep
Father, you say in Psalm 121:4 that you neither slumber nor sleep. You stay up and watch over your creation. It’s hard for me to comprehend that, Lord. I have a finite mind, while you are infinite. You say in Isaiah 55:8-98 that your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and your ways are higher than mine. But I still try to lean on my own understanding instead of leaning on you.
God, you say in Matthew 10:29 that you know when even one sparrow falls to the ground. And you assure me that I am worth more than sparrows. You provide food and let these little ones rest...so I ask that you give me, your beloved, and all those who I love, sleep as you say in Psalm 127:2.
Lord, I know from Matthew 9:24 that your Son, Jesus was able to sleep even when a furious storm arose. And though the disciples were afraid, still Jesus slept. Lord, give me a trust in you like this that will not falter. Help me be like Peter, when he walked on the water, keeping his eyes on you.
Let your Holy Spirit remind me when my body is tired, that you are watching over me. And grant me the sweet sleep you talk about in Proverbs 3:24. Sleep that will rejuvenate my body and rest my weary mind.
Lord, each one of us needs sleep to prepares us for the coming days. Thank you for covering your earth with darkness and turning on the stars for night lights, so that I, and everyone I care about, can gently fall asleep. May you be the last thing on my mind and the first thing I think about when I wake.
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4. A Prayer for When You’re Worried
Father, I know you don’t want me to worry, but the enemy seems to wait until my body lies down, to torment with what-ifs.
What if there isn’t enough money for the month?
What if this situation doesn’t get better?
What if I’m not able to do the job before me?
God, help me remember that you are more than enough. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says that I am not sufficient in myself, but my sufficiency comes from you. And though you have helped me in the past, Satan tries to tell me that you are tired of helping. But I know God, that you are immutable. You don’t change. And if you helped your children in the past, you will continue to meet my needs, and all of our needs. You are our loving Father, who provides for his children.
Father, please hear my prayer. Not because of who I am, but because of whose I am.
I pray these things in the name of your precious, Holy Son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Anne Peterson is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne is a poet, speaker, published author of 16 books, including her latest book, Always There: Finding God's Comfort Through Loss. Anne has also written and published books entitled He Whispers: Poetic talks with God. Sign up for Anne’s newsletter at www.annepeterson.com and receive a free eBook by clicking the tab. Or connect with her on Facebook.