Originally published Friday, 18 January 2013.
I LOVE to sleep. Love it.
Sadly, my love of sleep often conflicts with my love to rise early and read God’s word. It’s been a problem as long as I can remember. The alarm goes off, and I sleepily slap at the snooze button and roll over. My mantra is “five more minutes.” But five more minutes never comes.
The real alarm – what does come – is bouncing, loud, and very awake children demanding to be fed. So rude.
This week my family returned from Christmas vacation. The husband and I had great and noble plans of what our “new normal” would look like. That didn’t happen. But I did get up a little bit earlier. And folks, in this season, that’s grace. I had more time in the word this morning than I did a week ago. I’ll take it.
After talking about our morning struggles, my husband asked me to pray that spending time in God’s word would feel as important in the dark early hours of the morning, as it does when he makes plans to get up and sets his alarm each night. I loved this. What a simple thing to ask God for. I must admit, I stole his prayer and made it my own. I prayed it for him too though.
The next day, I came across this statement in reference to King David’s early rising recorded in Psalm 63:1:
“David’s desire for God broke the self-indulgent chains of sleep: ‘Early will I seek Thee.’” -Richard Foster, “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth”
God was answering my prayers by convicting me of a much deeper problem than morning grogginess. I’m shackled to self-indulgence. This next week, my prayer will be a little more specific. May my desire for God break my self-indulgent chains of sleep. I trust He will be faithful to do it.
How are your times with the Lord? Sweet or stale? What self-indulgent chains do you need to pray for God to break in order to draw you to a deeper relationship with him this week?
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. -Mark 1:35