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Spiritual warfare is one thing in the daytime. But have you ever felt like you waged it at night -- in fact during your sleep?

Doubtless, we all have. You may have encountered it as "nightmares." You may have awoken with the sense of a presence. Perhaps you have encountered shadows. There may be a knock on the wall. Dark thoughts may enter your head.

Says a deliverance author named Alisha Anderson, "It is important to make sure you are protected. I cannot overstress the importance. Again, if you are conducting spiritual warfare you should pray prayers of protection over yourself and your family before going to sleep. You need to make sure you cover yourself after speaking with people on the phone, prior to lying down, prayers that will paralyze the enemy's operations [and cause] every arrow sent your way to backfire."

Praying before sleep is of obvious importance. During sleep we're in a "twilight" state during which it often seems like the mind journeys beyond the physical. Sometimes, it feels like a special time of communion -- as if the soul needs to be refreshed by the spirit, as the body at rest is also refreshed.

Many find their sleep interrupted around three a.m. -- sometimes in a good way (with pleasant experiences) and sometimes in a way the implies an intermingling of the demonic (or what Alisha calls "dream invaders").

"But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away," says Matthew 13:25.

The enemy plants evil seeds -- thoughts -- that can affect us the next day, and for days to come.

If we are having recurring dreams that are unpleasant, or wake up anxious, or simply too often, we need to ask the Holy Spirit why that is and pray to purge it -- to cancel any hold (use the word "cancel" in prayer) and break the cycle.

Thus also: praying immediately upon rising.

Praising God and Jesus and thanking Them as we fall to sleep sends darkness away.

Holy Water never hurts. At night, the mind opens to the spiritual realities around us. Many times, we may have experiences in hotels or hospitals, places where spirits abound.

During sleep, there can be "night terrors." There can be lewd thoughts or dreams. We must be careful not to replay these. There can be what seem like visitations from deceased loved ones (always be cautious about any "visitation"). One direct strategy of the enemy is to cause insomnia, sapping our energy.

When we are constantly fighting fatigue, we must step back and pray to understand and resolve the cause. Waking between two and four a.m. often devastates us the next day because it is during that period that the body often produces the hormone called melatonin, which regulates the sleep/wake "circadian" cycle. (Those having trouble sleeping can buy melatonin at the vitamin rack in a pharmacy or supermarket; as we age, the body produces less of it than we often require, or we are more sensitive to light).

"I will both lie down in peace, and sleep," says Psalms 4:6, "for You alone, oh Lord, make me dwell in safety."

During the night, curses may fly. We may receive telepathy from others. We may be vulnerable. The devil does not sleep.

No need to fear, just to practice due diligence in everything, which means prayer.

Fasting, in particular, brings wonderful slumber.

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Connecticut and Announcing two retreats in California]

[Michael Brown's books]

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