Since I posted on Monday about prayer and my habit of trying to work everything out on my own before I consider lifting my requests to God, I’ve woken several times in the middle of the night. From that supine position of near-sleep, I find I’m less likely to jump into action mode and more likely to grumble a prayer, “Lord, I’d really like to get back to sleep, would you mind holding on to this worry for me? Would you please guide me toward a decision? Would you care for this person I’m worried about?”
I’ve not been a consistent pray-er over the years, but I am continually provided with opportunities to improve — like waking in the middle of the night. I first posted this piece in December of 2014; I repost it here in August of 2019. Whether you choose to read it or not, I pray that you would be drawn more and more to prayer.
I woke up more than sixteen hours ago. I had a pretty full day — 50 minutes of walking, 45 minutes of Pilates, some housework, some cooking, some laundry, a chiropractor appointment, several cups of tea, work on a jigsaw puzzle, and guests for dinner and chatting.
Such a full and rich day — so why, at 1:00AM, am I awake?
I can’t figure it out myself. The rest of the house is bedded down, even the dog, and here I sit. Is there something unsettling on my mind? Not that I know of. Did I drink too much caffeine? Not really.
But here I am — wide awake.
A pastor-friend once said that if you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, you might consider praying. Perhaps God has you awake for such a time as this — to intercede for someone in your life. To stand in the gap.
Do I know anyone in need of prayer? Do I know anyone who is not in need of prayer?
So, here I am lifting you up — my friends who laugh and cry with me and love me through the highs and lows, my parents who instilled in me a faithfulness to God and continue to provide examples of love and care for family, my siblings who kept (and keep) me humble and who grow more dear to me each day, my husband who is — more than ever — my partner in life, our sons and daughters who are strong and passionate and dear and who continually cause us to grow into more thoughtful, more compassionate people.
And for you, too, those of you who are hurting because you have lost someone dear, those of you who are lonely, those of you who are ill, or injured, or angry…
And for you, too, those of you who are celebrating, and excited, and scared, and confused.
I speak your name before your almighty Creator, because that’s the best thing I can do for you. He’s already holding you in the palm of His hand, so let me say your name and watch Him shift His gaze a little closer. He knows you and sees you, and when you are this close — right inside His gaze — the light of His presence will touch you, and you will be changed.
Many years ago, my youngest, lying next to me in bed one night asked me, “Does God know who I am?” I answered that of course He could, and right in that moment I made up a little song that I sang to her for years:
He knows you, He knows you. He holds you in His hand.
He knows you, He shows you His ever perfect plan.
He knows you, He watches, He sees you every day.
He knows you, He listens, and answers when you pray.
That’s why I lift you up tonight — because He knows you. He sees you. He loves you. He’s listening. He’s answering.
So, having lifted you up, I will now try to sleep in peace, knowing He’s got us all in the palm of His hand.
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”Psalm 4:8