Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues

Have you ever fallen asleep in the middle of praying in tongues? Well, that has just happened to me before I started writing this article. It is not the first time for me to fall asleep while praying in tongues. It happens very often.

I do feel guilty when I fall asleep while praying in tongues. Do you?

If it is guilt that has made you come read this article, then let’s encourage one another.

Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues: The Guilt

Just because you fall asleep while speaking in tongues doesn’t mean you don’t value God. It is the nature of humans to fall asleep when the conditions are conducive.

God does not count falling asleep while praying in tongues as a sin. He knows our nature. If God does not count failing to pray as a sin, how much less falling asleep while praying?

Every time I wake up after I fell asleep while praying in tongues I console myself that it has nothing to do with how much I value God.

It is true that brushing off the guilt is not always easy but it is doable. The first few times the guilt will bite hard but after many occurrences, you will get used to it.

The fact that you are not the only one who experiences it should also make you feel less guilty. I do my best to be prayerful and love God but I still fall asleep while praying.

Is Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues an Attack from the Enemy?

Some people claim that falling asleep while praying in tongues is an attack from the enemy. I don’t deny but I believe it is more complex than that.

I know there is a demon of sloth. This demon causes people to be lazy. I also know that people who suffer the influence of this demon struggle to pray.

Many of them feel too tired to pray and postpone the session. I believe the same demon causes some people to fall asleep while praying but not everyone.

In my opinion, you shouldn’t start solving the problem of falling asleep while praying in tongues by casting out devils.

The disciples of Jesus fell asleep on the night Jesus was arrested even though Jesus had asked them to stay awake and pray.

When Jesus returned, He didn’t blame their sleep on anything. It was as if Jesus expected them to fall asleep.

There is also the case of Eutychus who fell asleep when Apostle Paul was preaching. The incident doesn’t blame the sleep on any evil forces. Rather, there is the mention that it was late in the night. That points towards fatigue being the cause.

But we can’t ignore the possibility of devils being involved in causing people to fall asleep while praying.

Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues: Causes

1. Peace

The Bible tells us that if we cast away our anxieties and make our requests known to God, we will experience peace that surpasses human understanding.

The peace that we receive when we pray causes us to fall asleep. Praying in tongues is very relaxing. The fact that your mind is not involved makes it even more relaxing.

The Bible clearly associates fervent praying with distress. We are told that when Jesus was in distress in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed more earnestly.

In the book of James we are told that if anyone of us is in trouble, he should pray. Jesus also told us that we should pray that we may not fall into temptation.

From the Bible’s description of prayer, it seems the more painful the situation, the greater the desire to pray. Prayer seems to be a way for us to regain peace.

What then do we expect when we get peace? Of course falling asleep will come naturally.

2. Fatigue

Sometimes we fall asleep while speaking in tongues because we are physically tired. If you go to pray at night, expect to feel sleepy.

Falling asleep when praying during an overnight vigil should not come as a surprise, should it?

If you are in distress, even if you are physically tired, you won’t give in to the desire to sleep. Remember Jesus went to pray at night. His disciples didn’t know what was coming and so were at peace but Jesus knew and He was greatly disturbed.

3. Surrounding

Though I have fallen asleep while praying in tongues in church a number of times, it happens mostly when I am in my room.

Our minds know that our rooms are meant for sleep. Praying from your room prompts your mind to calm down your body to rest. As a result, you fall asleep while praying.

The fact that we pray with our eyes closed makes it very tempting to fall asleep.

If you pray in a dark room, your body will naturally assume that it is time to sleep and cause you to sleep. Our bodies have senses that help us adjust based on surrounding conditions.

Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues: Remedy

1. Fall asleep and then wake up to pray

I find this to be the easiest way to solve the problem of falling asleep while praying in tongues. If you feel sleepy, allow yourself to fall asleep and then continue praying when you wake up.

I have done this many times and it worked well for me. Usually, I only sleep for less than half an hour then I wake up. Sacrificing 15 minutes of my praying time to be sober for an hour isn’t a bad deal, is it?

This strategy works well if you have enough time and it is daytime. If you try this method at night, be sure you will sleep till morning.

2. Pray with Someone

Praying with someone significantly reduces the urge to sleep. Accountability is important especially if you find prayer boring.

When you have someone around, there is the natural urge to impress. You will work harder to pray than when you are alone.

Also, someone will wake you up in case you fall asleep while praying. But this method only works if you are the kind of person who is comfortable praying with someone.

Some people prefer to pray alone.

3. Drink Coffee

You can use the usual ways of keeping yourself awake like drinking coffee. But only use these methods if you prefer them.

I used to attend prayer night vigils where tea used to be served to help us keep awake as we prayed. I can’t really tell if it helped but if it works for you, do it.

Falling Asleep while Praying in Tongues: Conclusion

We all experience falling asleep while praying. Don’t feel guilty about it. Instead, use any of the above methods to stay awake when praying.

And remember that sometimes sleeping is the wisest thing to do.


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