Lay it down

Written by Emily Ley
Published on November 03, 2023

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).

The evenings can be tough, especially if you’re an anxious person like me. I tend to power through my days, but when I slow down at night, that’s when my worries and fears begin to surface. But when I fill my well with a little truth, like reading a devotion or reciting a Bible verse, I replace my worries with a bit of calm. And that keeps my mind from racing.

In the past few weeks, during those middle-of-the-night moments when I wake up and can’t fall back asleep (because my mind is worrying about tomorrow’s to-dos and yesterday’s mistakes), I’ve been hearing these words: lay it down. There’s nothing I can do about the worries flittering through my brain at 3:00 a.m., so I lay it all down.

When you find your mind clinging to a worry, acknowledge it. Then, just set it down. It will be there tomorrow, when you’ll have some time to think about how to manage it. To me, lay it down also means give it to God. Hand that problem to the One who already knows how tomorrow will go. He’ll carry it for you. Right now, it’s time for you to go rest.

The next time your middle-of-the-night worries keep you up, recite to yourself: “Lay it down.” Imagine yourself holding whatever concern or task is on your mind, then setting it down and walking away for the evening. You can pick it up again in the morning if you want.

A prayer for your evening:

Lord, be with me as I wind down for the evening.

Calm my racing mind, and focus my thoughts on peace and sound sleep. I lay down my worries and fears. Hold them gently while I rest. 

Soothe the muscles that have propelled me through my day’s journey. 

Replenish my energy while I sleep. 

Help my body to find stillness and do the divine, complex work of recuperating before tomorrow begins.

Settle my soul, the passion and heart with which I do my day’s work. Be near while I rest. Watch over me with love so that I might rise tomorrow renewed and ready to take on the day.


Recite this prayer tonight before you begin your evening routine. Allow God’s steadfast love to be a soothing balm as you end your day.

Taken from Near in the Night by Emily Ley.  Copyright ©2023 by Emily Ley. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. 

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Emily Ley

Emily Ley is the founder of Simplified®, a bestselling brand of planners and organizational tools for busy women found online and in Target, Walmart, Office Depot and Staples. She has spent nearly thirteen years empowering, inspiring, and equipping women in the areas of organization, planning, and simplicity. She is the host of The Simplified Podcast and author of national bestselling books Grace, Not Perfection; A Simplified Life; When Less Becomes More; and Growing Boldly. Her newest book, Near in The Night, is a collection of reflections on finding God’s peace and rest. Emily has been featured in Forbes, Glamour, and Good Housekeeping and was recently recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by Studer Community Institute. She also serves on the board of advisors for the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. Now, as an author, podcaster, entrepreneur, wife, and mother, Emily lives in Pensacola, Florida, with her husband, Bryan, and their son Brady, and twins, Tyler and Caroline. Learn more at

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