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Pastor Chris White says to all of you: HELLO MY FRIENDS. May the Lord bless you today.
HOLA MIS AMIGOS. Que el Señor los bendiga.
Sleep paralysis can be a very scary thing. In it, you know you’re asleep, you try to wake up, but you can’t. It’s often accompanied by an irrational feeling of utter terror, and sometimes images of figures in black cloaks. Many cultures have developed supernatural explanations for sleep paralysis. In China, it’s called mèng yǎn, “ghost pressing on body.” In some Muslim countries, it’s associated with an evil djinn. In Africa, it’s called “the witch riding your back.”
However, there is an entirely physiological explanation for the phenomenon known as sleep paralysis. As we fall asleep, our minds may enter a hypnagogic state. It’s what happens when the sleeper’s still-aware mind is faced with dream images. As some people wake up, they experience a hypnopompic state, which is the dreaming mind faced with stimuli from the real world. In both cases, the dreams can seem very real, taking on a vivid, hallucinatory feeling. Often these images are of black smudges, which the confused mind interprets as human figures, sometimes called “shadow people.” The hallucinations can also take the form of sounds like a loud bang or a child’s cry. These episodes frequently begin with a falling feeling followed by a “hypnic jerk” where the body’s muscles violently contract.
One of the scarier experiences with sleep paralysis is the inclusion of lucid dreaming and false awakening. The sleeper recognizes he’s asleep and tries to wake up. He opens his eyes in relief, but soon realizes he’s still asleep. This can go on for some time, sometimes resulting in an actual awareness of his real surroundings—the pressure of the covers, the light of the room beyond his eyelids—but still the inability to fully waken. That awareness can slip away again, returning the sleeper to the hallucinations.
Muscle paralysis in sleep is a necessary thing. People who act out their dreams on a regular basis are prone to accidental injury—even jumping out of windows. Knowing that you’re asleep and paralyzed, however, can be frightening. You tell yourself to open your eyes, just to get caught in another false awakening. One theory is that sleep paralysis affects the larger parts of the body more completely. You can try to wake up by wiggling your toes or fingers. It’s also possible to pray during this time. This will often give comfort that lets you fall back into unconsciousness. You may be able to avoid sleep paralysis by getting sufficient rest and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
In probably the vast majority of cases, sleep paralysis is just a quirk in a person’s REM cycle, not a spiritual attack. At the same time, there is no denying that demons can and do attack us. It seems plausible, then, that demons can and do attack us while we sleep. In the Gospels, several instances of demonic attack involved clear physical symptoms. So, it is possible that a demonic attack could result in symptoms resembling sleep paralysis. Whatever the case, we have a God who watches over us, whether we are awake or asleep (1 John 4:4).
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).
If you experience sleep paralysis and you believe the experience to be caused by demons, you can try some of the following things:
1) It is important pray and trust in the Lord to protect you whilst you are sleeping. Therefore, meditate on God’s word and pray for God’s protection before you go to bed. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”
2) Call on the name of Jesus Christ during your sleep paralysis. Remember that every knee shall bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
Jesus Christ has the name above all names and demons are known to tremble at the name of Jesus Christ. In fact, in the scriptures, demons are cast out at the name of Jesus.
3) Do not go to bed with anger or unforgiveness in your heart as the devil can take advantage of your mental stress whilst you sleep. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.”
4) Do not go to bed with any anxieties in your heart. Instead seek God’s peace by giving all your anxieties and worries to God before you go to sleep. Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
5) Put on the whole armor of God in your life. Ephesians 6:13-18 says: “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
Therefore, whilst it is possible that sleep paralysis can be the result of natural or biological causes, it is also possible that the devil may spiritually attack or oppress people under the guise of sleep paralysis.
So, where sleep paralysis is believed to be linked specifically to a demonic attack, it is necessary to rely totally on God during any spiritual attack of any kind. God is the One who fights our battles.
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