In wireless sensor networks (WSNs), there are numerous factors that may cause network congestion problems, such as the many-to-one communication modes, mutual interference of wireless links, dynamic changes of network topology and the memory-restrained characteristics of nodes. All these factors result in a network being more vulnerable to congestion. In this paper, a cross-layer active predictive congestion control scheme (CL-APCC) for improving the performance of networks is proposed. Queuing theory is applied in the CL-APCC to analyze data flows of a single-node according to its memory status, combined with the analysis of the average occupied memory size of local networks. It also analyzes the current data change trends of local networks to forecast and actively adjust the sending rate of the node in the next period. In order to ensure the fairness and timeliness of the network, the IEEE 802.11 protocol is revised based on waiting time, the number of the node‟s neighbors and the original priority of data packets, which dynamically adjusts the sending priority of the node. The performance of CL-APCC, which is evaluated by extensive simulation experiments. is more efficient in solving the congestion in WSNs. Furthermore, it is clear that the proposed scheme has an outstanding advantage in terms of improving the fairness and lifetime of networks.