About the Author

A writer of faith by day and mystery by night, Patricia Raybon is an award-winning Colorado author, essayist, and novelist who writes top-rated books and stories at the daring intersection of faith and race. More at patriciaraybon.com

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Reader Interactions


  1. Thank you for sharing your story! It was beautiful. As someone who also wakes up in the wee hours of the morning, I *try* to pray and thank God for my blessings or recite Philippians 4:7-8 to will myself back to sleep. Often my mind wanders to my own worries or gripes instead, prolonging the wakefulness. Next time, I’ll try reading His word, as you did, to help me keep things in perspective. Blessings to you.

  2. Patricia,
    I’m so glad that God neither slumbers nor sleeps. He’s better than a convenience store open 24/7….He gives us what we REALLY need. You said it – grace. I’ll add in His peace. I don’t know why troubles seem so much more monumental at 3 am., but they do. I think the enemy knows we are weak and comes after us as well. I’ve been doing what you do. If I can’t pray myself back to sleep, I don’t fight it and get up and go to the comforting pages of my well-worn Bible. Even just holding it in my hands, I find I take deeper, more restful breaths. Thankfully God is big enough to handle our gripes and grumbles. I agree writing them down helps to get it out of our system, but the next step is key….Cast all those cares on God and sometimes I literally say out loud, “I’m tired, Lord, can you please take this list of cares an concerns so that I can get some sleep?” God is more than happy to fight our battles and pick up our concerns if we will but lay them down. I thank Him in advance and then I lie back down…usually that works. Great reminder this am…Gripes to Grace…I’ll remember that the next time I’m tossing and turning…
    Bev xx

    • So well said, dear Bev. “I’m tired, Lord, can you please take this!” Casting our cares on Him certainly makes for more peaceful nights. Enough of tossing and turning, indeed! Thanks, as always, for sharing today. Wonderful to connect! Love and blessings, Patricia

  3. I love the idea of making a list and then handing the whole mess over to God.
    One discipline that I find very difficult is the practice of stillness, but I can see that a pencil in my hand and a goal to accomplish would be a big help.
    Thanks for sharing your middle of the night turn around, Patricia!

    • Thanks so much, Michele! Praying blessings on your practice of stillness. Meantime, having a beautiful and blessed day — and night! Love and blessings, Patricia

  4. I so need God and I need to write my own list and hand it over….
    Thank you for this inspiring post!

  5. Satan will want to get our minds of Gods word the Bible plus going to God in prayer and asking him tp help us. He want us to stay focused on the problem and what we are going through. So as he has where is want us. There are some people who love to stay focused in their problems. Especially if it a sickness. Especially if they are saved. They keep saying I am trusting God to heal me. But in one way that person needs alot of prayer and us a Christian not to talk about them or judge them as God would not want you to do that. He want you pray for them hand them over to God. As they want the lime light if you ask them how they are you get a run down of every ache and pain and problem. They will tell you I am in so much pain I can’t do this or this. They want all the attention to be on them. No matter what you tell them in Love it never sinks in. They are alway right. We have just love them and pray for them and leave them in Gods hands. I know people like that. They are the ones with all the cds dvds books on healing from this Christian speaker and that Christian speaker. When I believe you don’t need the half of them as this speaker will tell you this and this one tell you this. Yes they are good in there own way. You just need to have faith stand on the promises of Gods word the Bible and Prayer. May get someone to stand along in faith with you. Not Gripe if your problem or sickness not solved or healed as quickly as you liked. By God or the Doctors if God using Doctors. But keep looking up to God trusting prayer and his word the Bible. God will help us though it. Another Excellent Reading Love Dawn xxxx

    • Thank you so much, Dawn. Yes, you are so right — we just have to love each other. Complaining and all! Blessings on your day — and also on your night! Praying the Lord’s beautiful peace on you and yours. Love and blessings, Patricia

  6. Very timely devotion for the ‘woes’ I keep repeating in my mind! Thank you !

    • Blessings, dear Jessica, and thank you so much. Yes, cast all your burdens on Him. Then we might as well get some sleep! Blessings, indeed, on your day — and on your night. To Him be the glory! With peace and love, Patricia

    • I suffer from ocd depression need prayer these disease s have no cure prayers to help me cope

  7. Here is a we thing a friend gave me a saying so true.

    So True xxx

  8. Patricia,

    Thank you for your wise and timely words! I’m in a particularly rigorous season of suffering and Paul’s example keeps providing me with supernatural strength! I’m dedicating this season to studying his life so I can refine my ability to persevere and even thrive when my world feels heavy and often hopeless. I’ll be keeping this little nugget of yours close to light up my darkest moments!


    • Thank you, dear Allison, and may God bless you during this time. Oh, it’s not easy to have struggles. I pray the Lord’s rich help and hope on you and your circumstances. Meantime, God bless your wise study of the life and example of Paul. I love his story in 2 Timothy 4:9-18, where he laments openly that no one stood with him when he faced a Roman judge. “But the Lord stood with me,” Paul suddenly says — and his trusting words really rally our hearts! May your heart be encouraged much today — and tonight! Sending God’s peace and love! Patricia

  9. nicely written. I’m usually the type to hit the pillow and not care about my issues but as I get older I have more sleepless nights. I do the exact same thing..walk down the hallway and make my way to the kitchen to grab my bible at 3am. I freely fling it open and read whatever comes…usually it’s very grounding and I realize at that moment to take a deep breath , humble myself and pray…the worries and grip moments fade out. God’s good medicine for the worries, gripes and stress moments will always be looking back on the people who came before us and they’re struggles. love your write up.

    • Amen, dear Krissy! God’s good medicine is so soothing to our souls. What a mighty God we serve! With His love for today — and tonight! Much peace and many blessings, Patricia

    • Kissy you sound like me up at 3:00am like what you said god is good med. also i have a saying i try to always remember kind we all have issues and we need ALOT OF JESUS ❤️

  10. You are not alone, Patricia! I definitely have those night when I’ve said my prayers, written in my gratitude journal and thought I would be able to sleep. Nope…Then, it’s the tossing and turning as I lay awake and my mind continues to be in the wrong time zone, my body is tired my mind just has so many things going on up there , I just wish they could get on the same bedtime ritual, at least, lol

    I often will continue to say , “ God, I am tired, I am giving this all to you and you can work on this as I get some sleep”, often I feel like this is being selfish on my end. But in the end, asBev mentioned, he’s better than any convenience store open 24/7! I do need to remember to thank him when I do give it all to him, especially as I grow weary in the late night and early morning hours.

    Thank you Patricia for sharing, I’ll be trying to remind myself that when I a.m Weak, lean on God and turn my gripes into grace!

    Y’all have a great day !

    • Thank you, dear Jen (and Bev, too!) Yes, if God is up all night anyway, we might as well get some sleep! It’s humbling to remember that we are weak, but His grace really is sufficient. Oh, what a gift. May you be blessed by His grace today — and tonight! With His great love and peace, Patricia

  11. I’ve never thought of Paul’s list as him complaining but now that you mention it, it sounds just like I do when I’m holding on to my list of grievances (and gripes) instead of gratitude and grace. After being sick for several days in the middle of super busy weeks, I’m tempted to complain, too. Thank you for the reminder to rest in God’s grace instead.

    • Thank you, dear Melissa. Yes, I’m always caught off guard when I read Paul’s long and candid laments! (Have you read 2 Timothy 4:9-18?) His words make him sound so down-to-earth and ordinary, like all of us. Then, like David, Paul always comes back to say “but God!” But God strengthened me. But God helped me. But God stood with me. Yes, good reminders for us to, instead, read in God’s grace! His healing grace, indeed. I praying you’re on the mend and feeling fit and renewed real soon! Many blessings and much peace, Patricia

  12. Sometimes I can pray myself back to sleep when concerns won’t leave me alone. Other times I’ll recite memorized scripture in my head. When I wake up in the morning I realize I never finished praying or reciting! Indeed, Patricia, praise God for the strength of his grace–and the privilege to greet each day (or sleepless hour) with total praise to him!

    • Amen, dear Nancy. He is so gracious and good — during our days and our nights. He’s worthy of our total praise, indeed! May He bless you every hour all week long. With His great love and peace, Patricia

  13. Patricia,

    The devil is crafty. He does his best work in the dark. Loves to watch us toss & turn in anguish over problems & trials. The best remedy is to get up & write those pesky problems down. Like Bev said cast them to God-for good. Do it with open hands. Do not take them back. Pray & ask Him handle them & guide your steps along this journey. Read the Bible or recite scripture to abate your fears. Something I have found to help me when fear/jealousy grips me is to write out my blessings. Turn those bad thoughts to good. I start by listing “big things” God has given me like His son Jesus, death on cross, home in Heaven. I go so far as to include all items even small ones like rain, paper clips, pencils, pens, etc. You’d be surprised how many items fall on that list. Before you know it you’ve turned your gripes into grace. Thanking God for all He’s done & will do in your life. Soon you will be sleeping like a baby. Knowing that your God will handle the problems & you can rest in peace. I know not all problems are that easily forgotten, but just remember that He wants to bless you with the strength to handle & grace to handle All of life’s trials.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Wonderful thoughts here, dear Beth. Thank you so much. And, yes, turning gripes into gratitude is an empowering and godly tactic. (I used to write in my gratitude journal just before bedtime — and now, on some days, I find myself writing in it throughout the day.) So much to be grateful for if we take time to show our thanks to God. Thank you, Beth, for sharing your wisdom about turning from problems to praise. The Lord is worthy, indeed! With blessings and sincere thanks for you, Patricia

      • I’m learning sooo much from these posts.. all seem to be in the same boat! My husband got so tired of not sleeping ( I could fall asleep then wake for hours) we saw a sleep dr. Her first interview with us was to view our patterns before bed. In one visit she cured us.. No praying together at bedtime ! 20 minutes was our routine for years! She’s convinced taking the problems of life and the worlds to bed was our sleep problem… we tried and night one worked and has ever since! He’s sleeping as I text this:-) ONE problem… praying in the morning is harder! Busyness starts in, it already has been less praying together.. although we have our alone time daily with our Lord.. incredibly hard to practice but knowing satan warfare can be worse at night.. it’s been better in the light of day for us .. lovely to read your posts Patricia.. blessings to and through Him \0/

        • Thanks for sharing, Sadie. Your sleep journey is very interesting. Your sleep doctor sounds wise, indeed! My husband and I pray together in the morning. (He’s retired and I work from home, so we can make the time.) I pray you and your husband figure out a time together, too. (Up earlier?) It can be a battle, indeed. Meantime, I love your proactive measures — such as consulting with a sleep doctor. The Lord doesn’t intend for us to stay stuck and ineffective. May He continue to bless you and your husband — and your entire family — during all your days and your nights! Thanks so much for reading and connecting here. To God be the glory! With His love and joy, Patricia