I have a dear friend in Indiana who writes these great short devotions on prayer that she emails out pretty regularly. Being an insomniac myself, I really appreciated this one and asked her if I could share it on facebook.
I don't know about you, but there are nights my brain is in overdrive about one thing or another and sweet rest eludes me. During an intense, spiritual battle many years ago, I felt God leading me to pray during bouts of insomnia. Sometimes very specific people would be on my heart so I would pray for them and I would find out later they were going through a very difficult time. Lately, I have experienced probably just regular insomnia but I have tried to keep up the habit. Sometimes I don't know who I am praying for but that never seems to be the point...He just wants me to pray. Praying is a worthwhile activity....and there is always someone to pray for.
Next time you find yourself wide awake at 3am, maybe it is a Divine appointment and God has an assignment for you! (It could also be that late night pizza, BUT, you can even use that for God's work!) We are encouraged to 'pray continuously'....so look for those moments when God places someone on your heart and mind and lift them up in prayer. You may never know the full situation and that's ok. God does. And He delights in our communication with Him!
In Colossians 1:9, Paul (and Timothy) wrote "For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding..." Probably anyone you know could benefit from a prayer like that. Praying through Scripture is a great thing. And remembering that you and I see only a small portion of a situation is important. God always sees the bigger picture. And He does amazing things through very difficult and painful situations. I find it is easier to pray in a more general sense than to get too specific.
God's blessings on your day!!!!
And never being able to shut myself up, I had to reply to her email with my own contribution:
One might assume that the Transfiguration was in the middle of the night or very early in the morning on Mount Herman because the Bible says that Peter James and John were sleeping. Moses and Elija appeared and began speaking with Jesus when Jesus had finished praying.
When He walked on water, He had been praying in the wee small hours of the morning, the Bible says it was the Fourth watch of the night (Matthew 14:25). The fourth watch, as the night was divided by Jewish or Roman soldiers, is between 3:00-6:00. It's always darkest before dawn, right? Quiet, still, lonely. One can imagine that this is the time when God called young Samuel's name in the temple.
PERFECT time to pray... and to listen.
There are those (both Christian and those involved in the occult) who think that this is the time when the spiritual realm is most active, and therefore God's people are somehow mist vulnerable- thus some Christians feel that it is powerful and vital that if God wakes you at this time, you should enthusiastically welcome the opportunity to become a prayer warrior at that time.
I don' t know the particulars to metaphysics here, I tend to either be so theologically conservative that I'd say we should trust God more than to get the heebie geebies about not being able to sleep in the middle of the night. I also tend to be rational, materialist, and of this world enough that I tend to be skeptical of such romantic perspectives on spiritual warfare. Be that as it may, I do know that God does incredible things when His people pray- so whether it's God gently seeking your attention, your spirit being jarred awake by the clashing of angelic swords on demon helmets, or whether it's total coincidence, midnight prayer is meaningful, powerful, and beneficial.
Liz commented on my noncommittal on the metaphysical possibilities here: "I, too, try not to get too wigged out about spiritual warfare, and at the same time, don't want to be disarmed either, if you know what I mean."
It's real, but in God's hands, we can rest in the victory that Jesus won on the cross. Or as the first Veggie Tales cartoon taught us, "God is bigger than the Boogie Man."
I always figure if my insomnia is caused by diet or illness or stress or bad dreams, rather than God's nudging- it's STILL a good idea to pray and nuzzle into God's arms. What better way to seek peace or security. Many's a time when I can finally find sleep, because He grants it while I'm praying.
You can try warm milk or hot tea, Tylenol PM or Benedryl, but there's nothing quite like prayer to get you back to sleep.
Click here to read a post I wrote about Fourth Watch Prayer a few years ago