TERRE HAUTE —
Sleep. I love a good sleep. But, like a lot of us, there are times when I can’t fall asleep or when I wake up in the middle of the night, knowing it will be hours before I can go back to sleep. I toss and turn, fluffing and flattening the pillows, covering and uncovering my feet and shoulders. I keep stealing looks at the clock, worrying about how tired I’m going to be the next day. That’s when all sorts of things run through my mind — how many tasks I left undone before going to bed, how many tasks I have facing me between breakfast and supper, things I said the day before that I shouldn’t have and things I should have said that I didn’t, daily troubles that seem intrusive and insurmountable in the darkness of my bedroom.
It’s frustrating, but I know what “experts” say about why I can’t sleep: before I go to bed, I have too much caffeine, too much stress and too much activity. So, to help my sleep “problems,” I have cut back on my caffeine consumption: no caffeine after 5 p.m., I pray for God to give me the strength to reduce the stress in my life, and I don’t exercise or do housework (ha!) before I go to bed.
But what’s even more frustrating is when my sleep is disturbed by God.
For instance, last night I woke from a deep sleep. My clock said it was 12:18. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, but I kept seeing the printout of the clock in my mind’s eye: 12:18. I fell asleep thinking about the phrase “live at peace” and vowing that the first thing I would do this morning was to apologize to my husband for something I had said to him yesterday.
Was it God who woke me at 12:18 with the words “live at peace” ringing in my ears? Could be, for Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” I guess that includes husbands, huh?
Once, my husband heard Jack Hayford, TV and radio evangelist and author of the chorus “Majesty,” say that when God wants Hayford’s attention, He will wake him at 4:44. When this happens, Hayford begins praying. If God doesn’t give him an idea of what to pray for, Hayford begins praying for his family, his congregation, his ministry and whatever else God brings to his mind.
Since hearing that, God has awakened my husband numerous times at 4:44, resulting in fervent prayers for whatever God has brought to his mind.
“Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,” (Ephesians 6:18). “Devote yourselves to prayer,” (Colossians 4:2). “Pray continually,” (1st Thessalonians 5:17).
I hope you remember those verses the next time God wakes you in the middle of the night. It’s always the right time to pray, no matter what time it is.
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, may be reached at email@example.com.