The Best Thoughts to Think at Night

The Best Thoughts to Think at Night - Grace Fox

On what thoughts do you linger at night? Discover what the psalmist did and follow his example. This will not only help you sleep, but transform you.

On what thoughts do you dwell when you’re in bed and either falling asleep or unable to sleep?

Some folks might say they plan the next day’s to-do list. Others might contemplate tough stuff they’re experiencing—a difficult relationship, the pain of betrayal, troublesome money matters, or a recent loss.

Some might ponder more positive happenings—an upcoming vacation, the expected birth of a child or grandchild, recent answers to prayer, or the bliss of a life blessed by peace on every side.

I’ve done all the above. The former thoughts never work well for me; they only serve to keep me awake and increase anxiety. The latter might keep me awake, too, but at least they don’t compound worry and fear. But here’s another option, one that requires me to bring my nighttime thoughts into captivity and leads to calm, courage, and personal growth.

These nighttime thoughts are productive

When I wake at night, I intentionally lasso my thoughts and turn them to the wonder of God’s presence. I thank Him for His care and love. I recall ways in which He displays His power, and I bring His promises to mind.

I suspect the psalmist did something similar.

He wrote, “I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord…” (Psalm 119:55).

My hunch is that those reflections focused a lot on God’s unfailing love and faithfulness. Perhaps they also focused on His sovereignty, wisdom, and power. The result? An obedient heart.

“…Therefore, I obey your instructions.”

The more we meditate on who God is (based on the truth of His word, not on human misperceptions), the more courage and confidence we gain to walk in obedience. As we come to understand His love for us, we realize He’s fully trustworthy. As we understand His wisdom, we learn to rest in His plans for us. As we understand His power and sovereignty, we gain courage to say yes even when we don’t know the details.

Perhaps your nighttime thoughts wander down the path of worry or fear. Maybe they take you to painful memories. Perhaps they lead you to a place of despair. If so, choose to refuse to linger there.

Instead, do as the psalmist did—bring your thoughts into captivity, and focus on the character of God and the beauty of who He is. This practice will not only help settle your mind and enable you to sleep at night, but it will transform you into a person of courage and strength.

Know you are loved,


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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mary. I’m thankful, too, for God’s unchanging love and for the peace He brings in those lows of life.

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