by Violet Nesdoly (reprinted with permission from September 22, 2010)
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5:33-6:16
TO CHEW ON: “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day He called His disciples to Himself and from them He chose twelve whom He also called Apostles.” Luke 6:12-13
As I grow older, one of the changes I’ve noticed in myself is that I don’t sleep as well. What I try to remember to do during the minutes and hours of wakefulness, is pray.
I find I am in good company. As I study Bible characters who did the same thing, I discover that they spent time at night praying instead of sleeping for a variety of reasons.
1. Jacob spent all night wrestling with an angel of God the night before he had arranged to meet his brother Esau, from whom he had been estranged for years because he had tricked him out of his birthright.
2. Samuel, grieved and angry, “cried out to the Lord all night” after God told him that He regretted choosing Saul as king.
3. David woke at midnight with his heart so full of joy at God’s “righteous judgements” that he got up to give thanks.
4. Jesus prayed all night before He chose His twelve apostles (our focus verse today).
5. Paul and Silas were still praying and singing hymns at midnight after they had been arrested, beaten and locked up in a Philippian prison.
Watching these people pray during a time when folks normally sleep shows us:
– they were confident that God never sleeps.
– they believed praying would make a difference.
– they were eager to include God in every part of their day.
So, whether you’re awake at night because tomorrow is a big day, your emotions are riled-up, or you’re in too much physical pain and discomfort to sleep, take it as an invitation to join the crowd of night praye-ers. In fact, your night prayers are probably way more important to the situation than the sleep you’re missing is to your next day.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You that You never sleep. Remind me to use the times at night when I can’t sleep to commune with You. Amen.
MORE: Thoughts on prayer
“As a camel kneels before his master to have him remove his burden at the end of the day, so kneel each night and let the Master take your burden.” — Corrie Ten Boom
“It’s so easy to promise to pray for people, or just plan to pray for people, and forget. So many afflictions, so many tragedies or desperate hopes that cry out for intercession. Only an instant of my time, only a few words, a thought — and who knows? It may be the only word of prayer that person will get.” — Marjorie Holmes
“Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.” — Matthew Henry
“Prayer is not something we do at a specific time, but something we do all the time.” Richard Owen Roberts