This morning as I was doing my devotions I read Psalm 5. There are some wonderful words in that Psalm that you can use to begin your day. David writes, "Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray." (Psalm 5:1-2 NIV) I read those words as if for the first time this morning (though I have read them may times before). And they gave new meaning to the times of prayer that I find myself in.
Last night I woke up for no reason. Now some of you do that regularly. You are asleep and then wake up at various times. You might even be one of those people who wake up and have trouble falling asleep again. If you are, I am so sorry to hear that. I am not one of those people. If i wake up at night, I find that I generally fall asleep when my head hits the pillow again. I thank God for giving me that ability. But last night was one of those rare times when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Maybe it is because I am getting excited over going on the train trip with Penny next week. Maybe. But I don't think so.
That kind of thing happens to me from time to time. What causes it? I think that it is the moment when someone is in need of prayer support. There is someone, somewhere, that is crying out to God for help. Someone is saying to God, "Give ear to my cry for help." Or perhaps they are silently saying, "Consider my sighing." And then, for whatever reason, they need extra prayer support. They feel alone. They are crying out to God, sighing in their needs, and they do not feel as though it is enough for them. So they need help, support.
That is when the Holy Spirit does something amazing. He nudges one of us, or several of us, or many of us, and whispers in our ears, "Someone needs some support. Pray for them." That is what I believe happens on those nights when I wake up and can't fall back to sleep. So what do I do? I pray. I pray for whoever comes to my mind at that moment. I lift them up to the God of all comforts. i carry their hurts, their concerns, their thoughts to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps they are so overwhelmed they cannot even pray. Or maybe they don't even know what to pray for. Or maybe they are even unable to pray. At that moment, they are still surrounded with the prayers of the faithful, taken to the throne of the Lamb. And their sighing and crying is heard.
I will lay there, praying. each person I can think of, figuring that the Spirit is putting them in my mind for a reason. So I pray. When I get done with that, and if I am still awake, I pray for those that I don't know yet. Those nameless people that need help and support. I lift them up. I continue to pray until - sleep takes me.
When sleep arrives, I know that I have prayed for all that needed that support. Last night, it happened twice. Each time, different people came to mind. Each time, after the list was exhausted, I curled up in my Father's arms and fell fast asleep.
I thank God for sleep. I also thank Him for those times when He wakens me for the support of my brothers and sisters in Christ. As Paul writes, "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thess. 5:17 NIV) How do you do that? That, my friends, is for another time.