The alarm was a rude awakening. My mind a-jumble, I silenced the annoyance and stumbled downstairs. The bright light of the living room always woke me from my deep sleep.
I am NOT a morning person.
Let me rephrase that: I am not a WAKING-UP person. It can get ugly when a small child comes to my bedside mid-sleep, demanding a snack. They are lucky to get out alive. Don’t wake the sleeping dragon and you will have a good day. Hassle the beast and who knows what will happen.
Almost robotic, I entered the kitchen and brewed a cup of coffee. Staring out the kitchen window, I pondered the purpose of my 5am wake-up call:
The smell of a local coffee shop filled my home as I graciously sipped the warm liquid, happy to have a jolt of caffeine. I sat and adjusted the pillow on the couch to fit the small of my back, careful not to get too comfortable as I have been known to fall asleep while sitting up. Each person’s prayer time looks unique- kneeling, standing; silent, vocal. I know myself well enough to take the necessary precautions to resist falling back asleep: eyes open, sitting up, praying out loud to an empty room, keeping track of my prayers in a journal. How do I know these things about myself? Because I have tried this “praying early” thing before, only to be overcome with sleepiness and wake to my children demanding breakfast.
Why do I rearrange my schedule to accommodate this early morning moment with God? Why not pray throughout my day or later when my body doesn’t require an infusion of coffee to function? That’s an easy answer:
My husband led the way.
My fun-loving, laid-back husband, Joey, was challenged by our pastor to get up early and pray. He accepted the challenge, rising every morning early before going to the gym. A 4:30am “good morning” was radically changing him and our family. God was speaking to him in ways he had never experienced. The voice of God became so clear that I felt, as a wife, I could completely trust anything my husband asked our family to do. It brought a whole new perspective to “submitting” to my husband. By carving out time specifically for God, changing his pattern of life to give God priority, he was seeing amazing things happen in his life. His faith, our bank account, searching for a new job- every piece finally falling into place.
I, too, wanted to feel the warmth of God’s hand holding mine as we traversed the bumpy topics of “future” and “finances” and “trust.” So here I was in the dark of early morning, grasping for a relationship with God that trumped anything I had experienced in my faith prior to that moment.
“Speak to me, God. Tell me anything and I will be faithful to follow through.”
God didn’t just meet me halfway on that request. He showered me with answers to my prayers! My Bible came to life. Obedience to God came easier, even though the challenges to change my life were bigger than ever before. I was braver to step out and try things that terrified me- things that could send me falling on my face- all for the sake of following God’s call.
If you have never connected with God emotionally; if your faith is beginning to taste stale; if life has become routine, take this challenge:
Get up at 5am, for 5 weeks, 5 days a week, and PRAY. Even when you are tired, sick, overwhelmed.
See God transform your life.
For those that are already in the midst of this challenge (Restore Community Church), this is week 5! Congrats on making it this far and for remaining faithful to step out of your comfort zone! If you have given up, today is another chance to finish strong. So brew that cup of coffee and know that someone in Texas is praying for you at 5am. You are not alone.
How have you seen God answer your prayers?
*Check out BB on Facebook later today for the list of our contest winners and #MCM’s Joey Willis answering your relationship questions for Valentine’s Day week!