My husband, Justin, and I have been at our wit’s end the last several weeks. It seems like our children are ganging up on us at night so that neither of us is getting any sleep. Between sickness, nightmares, teething and only the good Lord knows what else, we’re both relying heavily on caffeine to keep us vertical these days.
I learned a while back that it is much easier to avoid the temptation to throw my screaming child out the window at 3 a.m. (just kidding!) if I pray while I pace the floors. Actually, it really does make me much more patient in the moment. So, you can imagine I’ve been sending up a lot of middle of the night prayers these last few weeks.
Almost always, I pray for my children during this time, specifically the one who is awake at the time. But for the last couple of weeks I’ve started praying for other things too, which is a testament to just how much time I’ve been spending out of bed. I remember when it started, though, one night a couple of weeks ago, I was praying for my youngest, Scarlett, as I tried to soothe her back to sleep. Yet every time I would start to pray for her, I would get distracted by thoughts of a close friend of mine who is going through a hard time. The first few times that it happened, I thought I was just overtired and having a difficult time concentrating. Then, I began to realize that God was laying my friend on my heart at that particular moment. So, I began to pray for her and the situation that I know she has been facing. For several nights in a row, she was on my heart as I was up with Scarlett, so I prayed for my friend.
Now, I’m possibly the world’s worst about face-to-face contact with my friends, but with Facebook and text messages we pretty much keep our friendships alive. A few days into my praying for my friend, I began to see the evidence in her life that my prayers were being heard. It was amazing. I have prayed for most of my life and I have seen my prayers answered many, many times, but it never ceases to amaze me when God works.
After that, I began to be more sensitive to the small voice that was prodding me pray for my friend, and I found that there are lots of times during the day that God lays people on my heart who need prayer. He knows the need better than I do and so I follow His lead and pray for the people that He lays on my heart.
The sleepless nights aren’t getting any better, but my attitude toward them is. And it is amazing how God gives me the strength I need to get through the day even after a night where I have gotten literally no sleep at all.
So, next time you can’t sleep, or you’re stuck in a traffic jam or you have some time on your hands, consider that maybe God is calling you to pray for someone who is in need at that moment. Be sensitive to His voice and He will bless you in mighty ways!
I serve an AWESOME GOD, who loves me and provides for all my needs. All He asks in return is that I love and obey Him. How could I refuse? And yet, I do – every day, in a thousand ways. But I’m working on it, and He is working on me. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for every breath you give me, for being patient with my humanness and for loving me enough to work on me, making me into the woman you want me to be!