Why do nightmares occur when the Bible says that God will give us peaceful sleep? Sweet sleep is the result of full obedience to God in our conscience. Conversely, nightmares may be the result of spiritual oppression. Some entry points include unconfessed sin, suppressed emotions, traumatic experiences, self-hatred, curses and affiliation with people or places with demonic strongholds.
Proverbs 3:1-2,24 ESV My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you… If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Just as God’s angels can appear in our dreams, like what Joseph experienced on a couple of occasions (see Matthew 1:20 and Matthew 2:13), fallen angels or demons can also disrupt our sleep. They enter through any part of our subconscious minds that is not surrendered to Jesus Christ.
A prayer against nightmares before we go to sleep.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank you for the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and that at His name, every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth must bow. I declare and remind myself that You have already delivered me from the domain of darkness. It is in Your power and authority that I pray to claim my victories.
Colossians 1:13 ESV He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
Philippians 2:9-10 ESV Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
Thank you for today. Father, I confess that I have been under the influence of earthly pressures and repent of (name any thought or action that has dishonoured God).
Holy Spirit, please search me and convict my conscience of anything else I need to confess, even if it occurred long ago – particularly my unconfessed sins, suppressed emotions, traumatic experiences, self-hatred, curses and affiliation with people or places with demonic strongholds. I wish to have a spirit that is cleansed and made guiltless by Jesus. (Please wait for anything that comes to mind and confess it).
Psalm 32:2-3 ESV Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
I thank You for being my strong tower and invite You to please be my refuge against any enemy that tries to invade my dreams. In the name of Jesus, I cleanse myself of unclean spirits that have tried to attach themselves to me and command you to leave me. I also cut off ungodly spiritual ties with any persons that I have been in contact with who may be oppressed by unclean spirits, particularly (name anyone who may come to mind). I choose not to be unequally yoked with any known or unknown form of unrighteousness that has not been redeemed by Jesus Christ.
Psalm 61:1-3 ESV Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
In the name of Jesus, I dedicate my dreams and sleep to my Father in heaven. I give the Holy Spirit full access to my conscious and subconscious mind and ask You to please cover and protect me. In the name of Jesus, I forbid Satan from coming against me in my sleep.
James 4:7 ESV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Father, please continue to teach me how I can stand against any future invasive nightmares in my sleep and what I need to learn so they don’t recur. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for being faithful and good, and for hearing my prayers for help. I declare Psalm 121 for myself:
Psalm 121:1-3,5-8 ESV
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your (my) foot be moved; he who keeps you (me) will not slumber.
The Lord is your (my) keeper; the Lord is your (my) shade on your (my) right hand.
The sun shall not strike you (me) by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you (me) from all evil; he will keep your (my) life.
The Lord will keep your (my) going out and your (my) coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
In Jesus’ name, amen.”
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