Sleep-Deprived Prayer

How exhaustion can lead to having an ongoing conversation with God.

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Posted in , Jan 14, 2015

Tired woman. Photo by NADOFOTOS, Thinkstock.

At church on Sunday I sat behind a young couple and their newborn. Not surprisingly, the mom and dad didn’t get a whole lot of worshipping done. I smiled, for watching them brought to mind my own sleep-deprived days of new motherhood.

One of my big challenges back then was finding ways to stay close to the Lord when life was dominated by a fussy baby. Long “quiet times” were out of the question.

Tired woman. Photo by NADOFOTOS, Thinkstock.Though I was desperate for the peace prayer could offer, I couldn’t figure out the logistics needed to pray the way I used to, before motherhood. On the rare occasions I scored a bit of quiet time, I invariably fell asleep.

So I did what I could, and sent up a million two-second prayers a day. It didn’t feel like praying, for it didn’t give me the serenity I craved. But slowly I learned a few things.

The first was that my life was different when I turned to God constantly, when my prayer was so frequent it was almost without ceasing. The second was that communicating with God is less about my desire for serenity than it is about, well, communicating.

Sometimes I fall in the trap of equating good prayer with how I feel afterwards. That’s a problem, for good prayer isn’t about my warm fuzzies. Prayer is simply listening and talking to God.

Now that my kids are bigger it’s easier to set aside quality time to pray. Yet the fact remains that I need to tell God I love Him regardless of my bandwidth.

I need to serve Him regardless of my exhaustion, to turn to him all day in all things, to listen for His wisdom before every decision I make and seek His guidance before I ever open my mouth.

Perhaps I could have learned that without my new-motherhood season of "quiet time" deprivation, but I'm grateful I learned it then, for it's helped me ever since.

Tags: Peace,Church
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