I had quite a few bad dreams last night that left me fitful and restless. One nightmare in particular bothered me to the extent of waking up and pondering what I had just witnessed. After a few more bad dreams that I don’t remember now, I broke into prayer, asking God to remove the demon that was affecting me. I don’t know that I have ever awakened in the middle of the night to pray such a prayer, but it was definitely needed – my soul required it and called out to the One who had the power to remove this oppressive force.
Germanic and Slavic folklore says that nightmares are caused by a demon that rides on people’s chests while they sleep; the entity is called a mare. Of course, I don’t know about human constructs of spiritual beings, but that has never stopped me from writing about them. There is even a German prayer recorded to help ward off the coming of the mare at night:
Here I am lying down to sleep;
No night-mare shall plague me
Until they have swum through the waters
that follow upon the earth,
and counted the stars
that appear in the firmament
That help me God father, son, and Holy Ghost
Of course, my prayer didn’t sound like that, but it had the same intent – for God to remove the evil that was plaguing me. Deuteronomy 33:27 says, “The eternal God is thy refuse, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.” Even in my unconsciousness from the daze of sleep, my spirit knew what to do to find comfort. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).
I am thankful that I have someone to cry out to when I am helpless to do anything about my circumstances. I praise the Lord for a spirit that is sensitive to His will and helps me to abide in Him.