A woman in a grey T-shirt and jeans with a a white coverup sleeps on a hillside overlooking the ocean as she experiences spiritual serenity.

Spiritual Serenity: How Cultivating Inner Peace Helps You Sleep 

The night before big events usually goes like this for me: My heart rate accelerates, my stomach churns, my thoughts tumble around like rocks in a dryer. Sleep eludes me as I go over and over the plans for the upcoming day. I need serenity if I’m going to find any rest at all. 

Sound familiar? Maybe it’s not a big event that keeps you awake. Perhaps you’re facing a difficult decision, a health crisis, or an emotional conversation. Even exciting things can keep us awake. I know if I’ve got a trip coming up, those plans and the anticipation can rob me of much needed sleep.  

That’s when I lift my hands as I’m lying in bed and ask the Lord to take what concerns me. I don’t need to carry it, whatever it might be. Spiritual serenity comes when I let God be in control. 

What Spiritual Serenity Means 

The simple definition of spiritual serenity is a feeling of peace no matter what comes. You’re calm, you’re peaceful, you’re untroubled. Picture a perfectly still lake. There is no breeze to ripple the surface, and there are no monsters churning the depths. The fish below swim silently and gently, not disturbing the glassiness. It means being undisturbed because you know God is sovereign. He knows everything about your life, and He is in charge.

What Breaks Our Serenity 

The problem comes when we remember all the things that could go wrong. I like to float on my back in my pool sometimes. I could stay there forever. It’s so calm and peaceful. 

But I’m aware of the edge of the pool. What if I bump into it? Gosh that sun’s bright, even with my eyes closed. Is that someone coming?  

All these thoughts flit through my head if I let them, breaking the feeling of spiritual serenity I could enjoy, if I’d just let go of the worries.  

What do you need to let go of? 

  • Financial worries? 
  • Health concerns? 
  • Future plans? 
  • A broken relationship? 
  • A desire to be in control? 

God’s got you. Allow His peace to permeate your mind as you cast all your cares on Him. 

A woman floats on her back in a pool experiencing spiritual serenity.

Steps to Cultivate Inner Peace 

Life happens. My son and I were driving to a graduation ceremony the other day when a car accident happened right at the intersection where we waited to turn. Everything was running smoothly when pow! One car T-boned another as it was going through the intersection and the other tried to make a left turn. In a split second, a traumatic experience shook all of their worlds. 

You can bet that all serenity was lost in that moment. I know it was for us who witnessed it. Even though we weren’t literally impacted, our hearts were racing for quite a while after that. I prayed for all involved, but I wonder, what steps can we take to cultivate serenity, even in the face of tragedy and trauma? 

Hide God’s Word in Your Heart 

There’s a truism that says if you jostle a cup of coffee, coffee spills out. What spills out when your world is jostled? In Luke 6:45 Jesus says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” 

Memorizing Scripture helps keep truth at the forefront. Here are some verses that might help cultivate serenity when chaos comes: 

  1. Isaiah 26:3 (ESV): “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” 
  1. Romans 8:28 (ESV): “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” 
  1. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV): “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” 
  1. Deuteronomy 31:6 (ESV): “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” 
  1. 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 

Make Time to Meditate on Scripture 

Memorizing Scripture and meditating on it are two different things. You can know God’s Word but still not live it out. In Matthew 15:8 Jesus quotes the book of Isaiah when He says, “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” To meditate on something means to mull it over, to really think about it. Ponder it. And then put it into practice.  

So when you recite “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” you then, well, cast your cares on Jesus. Don’t take them back. Don’t hold on to them and try to figure things out yourself. Talk to God about them and then let them go. You might have to keep doing it, but eventually, your heart will release them. That’s when you can begin to feel that spiritual serenity set in.

A woman meditates on Bible verses to gain spiritual serenity.

Keep An Open Dialog with God 

Philippians 4:6-7 contains some of the most comforting words in Scripture: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  

The more often you talk to God now, the more often you’ll talk to God in the future. Make it a habit. Let Him in on every part of your life. Recently, we had a lid that we just could not get off a cup. Everyone in the household tried. We let it go till the next morning, thinking it might need time to depressurize or something. Next morning, I picked it up again and prayed, “Lord, we need Your help.” Again, I couldn’t get it off. But soon, my oldest son, the one who works out and is very strong, came over. I handed the cup to him. Within moments, he had that lid off. 

Did God send my son to my house for just that purpose? No. He was coming anyway. But telling God I needed His help calmed my heart. I was frustrated. Nothing I was doing helped. But God’s peace entered my heart when I just gave this very small problem to Him. 

Prayer changes things: mostly our hearts. When we’re sad, mad, frustrated, afraid, God’s presence soothes us. Even though we can’t see Him, He sees us. Prayer brings the peace and spiritual serenity we all need. 

How Serenity Helps You Sleep 

When my kids were little, my presence or their dad’s presence helped bring them peace. If they were crying in their cribs, they would stop as soon as I picked them up. Sometimes just my hand on their back was enough. They knew I was there; they knew they were safe and loved. Quickly they would fall back asleep. 

Your constant awareness of God’s presence and love will help you find restful sleep because He brings peace. Psalm 4:8 is often quoted when it comes to peace and sleep, and for good reason: “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.” 

Listen now to a short segment of an Abide sleep story based on Psalm 4:8. All our Bible-based sleep stories exist to help you experience spiritual serenity.

When you spend your days living in the peace of God, abiding in Christ, your natural bent will be toward serenity. When you are filled with peace, even if you’re jostled, peace spills out. 

Let Abide help you find that spiritual serenity you seek. Our more than 1500 guided meditations, daily devotionals, and sleep stories, like the one above, can all be accessed with a premium membership to Abide. Download the app and get started today. Use this link for 25% off.

Stephanie Reeves is the senior editor for Abide. She and her husband live in Orlando, Fla., as do their three adult children and one adorable grandson.