Prayer on another sleepless night…

Joakim

It was a great evening where we got to see one of our teenagers become a Christian. So why am I not sleeping?

Because I’m traveling tomorrow.

I often have problems with insomnia (described in my “tough questions’ page) and traveling usually provokes it.

However this insomnia probably isn’t depression related, it’s stress related.

I’m worrying. Will I forget something? Did I pack enough for my daughter? Will we get to the airport on time? I can’t shut my mind off.

No sleep. oh well.

In an effort to not worry, I have spent the past year studying about prayer. As the new year often brings contemplation about future goals and aspirations, so it brought me to the goal of worrying less. But like telling someone not to think of a pink elephant (you’re thinking of a pink elephant) I decided to make my goal the opposite of “stress less.” I feel the opposite of “stress less” is to “pray more.”

So I’ve set off the use the entire year to deepen my prayer life. I did not think I could spend the entire year learning about prayer but only being 5 months into it, I see I easily can! It has been so inspiring! Here is one of the scriptures that has impacted me the most:

Acts 4:24-31

New International Version (NIV)

24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:

“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.[a]’[b]

27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Being let go from the Sanhedrin, they pray to God, lifting him up and asking for boldness. This prayer has usually inspired me to have great boldness when I share my faith. But after reading the Matthew Henry’s commentary (available on biblegateway.com) I had a change of perspective.

In a threatening time, they didn’t pray that their trouble be removed from them. They simply prayed for their character to be changed in order to endure.

The prayer was not, “take this away,” but that they could speak with great boldness. And in times when we can be tempted to fear men more then God, God shook the ground. Perhaps as a reminder that God is bigger than men.

So what am I being called upon to learn in this ‘threatening’ (sarcasm implied) time of insomnia?

I don’t know.

But I think I’ll pray for my character to be changed, instead of the insomnia to be taken away.

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2 thoughts on “Prayer on another sleepless night…

  1. I’ve been struggling with insomnia for the last couple of years. At first I would panic about not getting enough sleep. But now I have learned how to cope. And most days it’s not as bad as I think it’s going to be.

    I love that verse – and many others – that talk about being strengthened rather than being removed from a difficult situation. I’ve always been a runner from difficulty. And like you, I’m learning to stand strong instead. One thing I have learned in the last two years to trust wholly in God. I never realized that I wasn’t before the insomnia. Romans 8:28 at work! God is good!

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