This morning I woke up at 3 AM chased by a nightmare. The dread of my thoughts kept me from falling back asleep. So I tried to pray, but the nightmare kept interfering. Finally in desperation I resorted to reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”
“Our Father… my Father… my loving Father, hallowed be Thy name.” Yes, the name of Jesus, like a breath of fresh air, began to push my nightmare aside, for holiness does not tolerate the unholy. “Thy kingdom come,” a kingdom of rightness, and goodness, the thought of which makes me rejoice and desire its coming. “Thy will be done, on earth (here and now in me in triumph over my ugly thoughts) as it is in heaven.” How wonderful to know He will impress upon me, and my life, His good and perfect will (blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rightness for they shall be satisfied). As I prayed this for myself, I also prayed this for my family, my church, and my friends. It was at this point I could see clearly that my thoughts set the stage for this day, by either allowing them to drag me into dark ugly places or through prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit to behold the beauty of the Lord and worship Him in His temple.
I cannot control my nightmares, but I can ask Jesus to push them away and fill me with His goodness. He even gave me a prayer for that very purpose.