Songs at 2AM

  • July 19, 2016
  • #8927

Sleepless? Troubled by anxious thoughts? Lift up words of worship or stanzas of a favorite hymn.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a hymn I often sing in the middle of the night. 

May the mind of Christ, my Savior
Live in me from day to day,
By His power and love controlling,
All I do and say.

Like you, I occasionally have sleepless nights. In the dead of night when I cannot sleep, when at 2:00 a.m. anxious thoughts keep me awake, and I just can’t come up with words for my own prayer I rely on hymns. I borrow the words of old hymns and I use them as a prayer, like the words of this hymn I just sang. I’ll pray, “May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day, by His power and love controlling, all I do and say… May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour, So that all may see I triumph Only through His power. May the peace of God my Father Rule my life in everything, That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing.” Oh, friend, is that a wonderful prayer, or what? And it's one of the blessings of memorizing the words to your favorite songs of praise or worship, and beautiful old hymns because those words can be a way of lifting up a prayer to God.

And in the middle of the night, I need that kind of focus lying there paralyzed and unable to move, unable to lift my head off the pillow. Believe me, I could easily panic. I could get so claustrophobic. And pain only makes it worse. Now I could whisper to Ken to please get up and turn me on my other side, readjust my pillows and make me more comfortable, but if I have already asked him once, if he has already gotten up once to help me, I just can’t, I just don’t want to have to ask him again. He needs his sleep too! Besides it’s just one of those little things I can do for him, as his wife. I cannot fold towels, I cannot put away groceries, iron shirts or clean the bathroom, but I can try my best to give my husband a good night’s sleep, and ask him to only get up once to turn me (and that, I think already, is asking a lot)! So yes, on sleepless nights, I’ll wrestle against a lot of anxiety.

But oh, the peace that comes when I whisper Scripture that I’ve memorized, or I recite the stanzas of a hymn and prayer. And before I know it, the peace that passes all human understanding settles over me and I fall asleep. And so I am happy to pray in the middle of the night: ‘May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea; Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory. May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe, Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go. May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win, And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him.’

Don’t those words make a beautiful prayer? So, the next time you can’t fall asleep, or prayer for you doesn’t come easily, reflect back on your favorite Scripture choruses or recall the words of a treasured hymn or borrow the stanzas of this hymn “May the mind of Christ, My Savior.” You can get the words on my Joni and Friends Facebook page today, in fact, share them with a friend. The Bible says that he gives songs in the night, and often, those songs make the best of prayers. It’s something to sing about so, sleep well tonight, friend and be at peace. You have the mind of Christ, your Savior.

Music: "May the Mind of Christ My Savior" by Kate Wilkinson and Cyril Barham-Gould, Public Domain.

© Joni and Friends


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