Sleep Paralysis

I was doing Bible study with a prisoner who told me she often has sleep paralysis.

When this occurs she feels she’s awake.  Her hearing is keen,  yet she cannot move any part of her body. She cannot even open her eyes.  It frightens her and she feels vulnerable to demonic attack.

I told her I have experienced the same thing!  It is not uncommon.  It’s a phenomenon in which people, while they are falling asleep or shortly before waking, temporarily experience an inability to move. However, the few times it happened to me, I did not experience fear as she did.

This is what I suggested, and I believe it was from the Lord:  “The next time it happens, your mind will be awake. You will be able to pray in your thoughts, even though you cannot speak verbally. The Bible tells us to thank God for everything and in everything.  I suggest you use that time to thank God that He is bigger than this sleep paralysis. He is bigger than any problem you have.  Praise the name of Jesus in your thoughts and thank Him.  You will receive His peace and your fear will lift.”

She said she would.

  •  I will fear no evil, for you are with me.    Psalm 23:4 
  •  Give thanks in all circumstances;  for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.              1 Thessalonians 5:18
  • …always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.    Ephesians 5:20
  • 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.     Philippians 4:6-7
This life is temporary.  This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:

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About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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6 Responses to Sleep Paralysis

  1. 1ChristianSister says:

    Hello Kathleen,

    Sleep paralysis, when accompanied by the enemy, is absolutely terrifying. This has happened to me since I was 12 years old. The ONLY thing that makes the demons go away during one of these episodes, (and they get much worse than a temporary inability to move) is to evoke the Name of JESUS. The fact that one is paralyzed makes this impossible to the point where the best a person can get out is a grunting sound. The power of the Name of Jesus, however, can be heard if you scream it in your head. “Resist the devil and he must flee from you.” It’s one of the most difficult attacks to conquer, unpredictable, and most vicious at particular times. I totally sympathize/empathize with her. Your advice was right on target. I have hoped over the years that this phenomenon would stop but it actually gets worse from time to time, depending on the amount of spiritual victory I’m having in different areas. It’s a sort of barometer of how effective I am in the kingdom of God. Fewer and farther inbetween…….it’s not as easy to intimidate me as it once was…….but far more vicious when it occurs.

    I never tell people about this. It sounds crazy.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Thank you Christian Sister, for sharing your experience. I believe sleep paralysis is much more common than we think. You too were wise to focus on Jesus’ name.
    Truly, Jesus’ name is the most powerful word in the universe.
    Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

    Use Jesus’ name and the demons will flee.

  3. Susan L says:

    I have had a similar experience with demonic attacks, although I was not paralyzed. I called on Jesus but my fear continued as did my attacks. I actually visualized a rabid raccoon in my closet and could feel it walk across my bed toward my face. It happened a number of times. I talked to my pastor and he told me to praise God, because demons can’t stand to be around God being praised. So I did and the attacks stopped. A year later I had another attack, I praised God and it went away. They have never returned. So call on the name of Jesus and Praise God.

    • Kathleen says:

      Dear Susan, Your experience substantiates what the Bible tells us about praising God. I’m reminded of 2 Chron. 20:22 “As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” Also, Psalm 22:3 “He inhabits the praises of His people.” Remember what happened to Paul and Silas when they began to sing praises to God while in prison? Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26

  4. Frank K says:

    Interesting subject. I have experienced that paralysis many times in the past. It’s been over 10 years since the last time, but I still remember how intense the experience was. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is call on the name of Jesus in your mind. But God can and does work with that.

    • Kathleen says:

      I know what you mean, Frank! The body may feel paralyzed, but the mind is still alert and the one thing we can do is focus on the name Jesus. His name is powerful!

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