I didn't plan to spend the night praying. It's just that I'm in the middle of a Situation. And when I'm in the middle of a Situation I can hardly think of anything but the Situation. Of course I pray about my Situation. But--I have to confess this--sometimes my prayer sounds more like worrying than prayer. So, in the wee hours last night when my Situation loomed large and kept me from sleep, I handed it over to Abba one last time, then switched channels.
I decided to intercede
through the alphabet, asking the Holy Spirit to give me someone or
something to pray about for each letter. Sometimes He gave me more than
one prayer for each letter. Usually I prayed for family and friends,
but when I got to H, it was Haiti He led me to pray for, and when I got
to O, He urged me to pray for our President. I dozed off a few times,
but each time I awoke and my mind raced toward the Situation, I pulled
it back to where I'd left off in the alphabet.
When I finished
that, I was still awake and tempted to go back to my Situation, so I
started the alphabet over again, this time naming something about God
that corresponded to each letter. I tried to use names and attributes
that had personal meaning for me and rest in those qualities of who God
is--for instance, my Deliverer, Glory, Healer, Lifter of my head,
Protector, Provider, Shalom, and Vindicator.
As before, I
dozed on and off, but each time I awoke, I'd pull myself back to where
I'd left off and continue centering on God and worshiping Him.
I didn't sleep much last night. But by handing my Situation over to Him
and focusing on systematically worshiping Him and praying for others, I
still got up this morning refreshed and much more at peace. And
somehow, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, the Situation isn't nearly
so large this morning.
How about you? If you pray the night watch, would you tell the rest of us about it?