Points to Ponder: Pillow Talk With the Divine
Points to Ponder
Pillow Talk With the Divine
When our oldest daughter complains about being unable to sleep, I tell her to pray. Not pray about it, but just quietly pray - about anything and everything. Soon enough, you will fall asleep. That seems like a strange thing to advise; perhaps implying that God will bore you to sleep. On Sunday mornings I may put a few people to sleep, but that's not God's doing. He is too awesome to be boring.
Sleep is not a picture of being bored. Is it not the deepest and most comfortable kind of rest? And don't you have to feel safe, trusting in the security of your place and the comfort of being able to lie down?
I find that if I'm having trouble nodding off, or I wake up at 1 a.m., I simply begin a quiet conversation with my heavenly Father. He's up anyway; so I can just pick up from where I left off in an earlier prayer time or I'll just jump into something I'd been pondering. Sometimes, I just literally count my blessings and thank the Lord for how good He has been to me. I trust that He is with me all day and all night, and I can easily pick up a conversation with Him as you might do if you had a friend in the car with you as you cruise along to wherever. Does He then respond, talk to me, in these conversations? Not so much in the audible hearing-a-voice sense. His responses can be in terms of an insight that comes at a time when I needed it. Or someone I meet, unbeknownst to them, will say something that turns out to be the answer to a question I'd asked or a confirmation of an answer I already had.
All day and all night, out of the six billion people on earth, God knows and cares about me. That's an incredible comfort. He actually cares about every one of the six billion men, women, and children on earth. So many of them don't know it. Some know it as a matter of fact, but they put nothing into the potential relationship there could be if they would just turn to the Lord. Day and night His comforting kindness, His rock-solid principles for daily living, His "grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16) are there for you.
"I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8).
Notice the origin of this prayer-life is in God Himself. His loving-kindness (steadfast love) and His Song come from Him to "be with me." The psalmist calls this 24-hour presence a "prayer to the God of my life." It comes from Him and goes to Him by passing through you.
So falling asleep while praying is sort of a divine pillow talk. You lay there in the stillness of the night, hearing the hum of your refrigerator, the tick of the clock, the rumbling furnace in the basement, the crickets outside, the overnight travelers on the trains and driving the highways. Life is busy all day and all night, but you have a quiet moment with the Best Friend you could ever have - the Creator of your soul. You can talk to Him. Sometimes you may not even know the words to say; you may not need words.
"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26).
Maybe finding a quiet time during the day is near impossible for you right now. The only time some of us can manage to sit down is when we lie down. Bedtime is that longed-for respite from the demands of life. The beginning of that deeper devotional life you wish you had - and feel guilty about because you don't - is to start where you are. Make due with the moments you do have.
"Be still and know that I am God . . ." (Psalm 46:10a)
It's wonderful to hear about the amazing perseverance of prayer warriors. Some people can pray for hours at a time. The rest of us look at them in admiration and then look at ourselves and wonder if something's wrong with us. Do I have P.D.D. (Piety-Deficit Disorder)? The Bible warns us to not compare our righteousness with that of someone else, whether we think we are comparatively not as good or in some ways not as bad as someone else (see Galatians 6:3-5).
Dig deeper and reflect on David's words in Psalm 62:5-7:
"My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God."
Don't you think that every other area of your life can be dealt with more calmly, confidently, and patiently if you truly realized in your own soul that God is your expectation (hope), your rock, your salvation, your defense, your glory, the rock of your strength, and your refuge? (Read that again, slowly.)
What kind of quiet, deep talks can you have at 10 p.m., 1 a.m., 3 a.m., or five minutes before you hit the snooze button (again)? These quiet prayers may lull your body to sleep, but they just may be the wake up call for which your soul is longing.
"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us" (Psalm 62:8).
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles are also found at www.HilltopChristianFellowship.com.