Waking at 3AM – A Spiritual Phenomena

Waking in the middle of the night
Waking in the middle of the night

During a period when I was seeking God, something strange was beginning to happen to me. I was starting to wake up during the middle of the night – specifically at 3AM.

It was odd because I was waking up at exactly 3AM. Not a minute before or after. So, I googled to see if anyone else was experiencing this weird phenomenon. Of course, I learned that thousands of people were going through the same thing, and as I suspected there was often a spiritual reason that this was occurring.

There seemed to be scores of people who were experiencing the same 3AM awakening that was happening to me. One man admitted that as he was preparing to become a priest, the 3AM phenomena started to happen in his life. Among Christians, there seemed to be a consensus that waking up at 3AM was a nudge from God to be with Him and take the time to make it sacred – by prayer or worship – or lying still as Samuel did and saying “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”

One thing I’ve learned in my spiritual walk is that if I wake in the middle of the night, I assume that it’s time to pray. I assume that it’s time for worship. I assume that there is a spiritual battle that has intensified around me, or that there is a unique anointing present in the atmosphere. And I take the time, even if it’s for a brief moment to pray because God has me up for a reason.

* If you have more interest in this subject, an article here or here on prayer watches may be helpful to you.

Difficult Season for You? Fast!

fastinpic

Are things going a little crazy in your life? Are you dealing with confusion? Are you mentally or emotionally drained? If you are going through a difficult time – I have one recommendation – fast!

Fasting exposes the enemy.

I know what it’s like to be in a position where you are wondering “Why God?” “Why is this happening to me?” I know what it’s like to feel stuck. But, I also know that fasting brings answers.

Fasting brings revelation. Fasting brings understanding. Fasting opens your eyes and makes you more sensitive.

Whenever you deny something as essential as food to get closer to God, you become more sensitive to spiritual things and the voice of God. You receive revelation because you’re not focused on yourself – you are focused on Him; and when you’re focused on Him, wisdom and understanding come.

True story: my husband and I bought a beautiful bohemian rug for our living area. We spent a lot of time on the rug. We didn’t know that our rug was leaking dye. The skin is your largest organ and absorbs anything that you place on it – in this case, we were absorbing synthetic dye. We didn’t know it. We weren’t aware of what was happening to us.

For some reason, we felt compelled to go on a fast. During the fast, we discovered that the rug was leaking unbeknownst to us. There was a danger in our home that we were completely unaware of, and I am certain that fasting exposed the danger.

Fasting exposes danger, but it also reveals revelation.

I’ve experienced scenarios like this on more than one occasion, and I know that many, many other Christians have experienced the benefits and power of fasting.

Fasting provides direction, revelation and understanding but another key component of fasting is that it exposes the enemy. If you are going through a difficult season, fast and get answers. If you are enduring hardship, then fast, gain clarity, and get free.

How Often Do You Pray for Your Country?

Via Unsplash
Via Unsplash

Every Shabbat, my family and I follow a ritual. There are certain prayers that we pray, and included in our prayer time is a small time of prayer for our country. This prayer is usually very short and simple: “Have mercy on our country!”

As the elections proceed, we pray this prayer with more intensity than ever. I feel like an echo when I say that the US is in trouble, but it needs to be said. We are in trouble, and if the Church doesn’t pray, the foundations will continue to crumble.

However, I find comfort in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah when I think about the state of our country. While many Christians (and theologians) see impending judgment when comparing the Genesis account to America’s cultural climate, I see the mercy that God extended before the judgment.

God said that if there were just ten righteous people in Sodom, God would extend his mercy.

Do we have ten righteous people in California? Do we have ten righteous people in New York? What about Texas, Washington, North Carolina and all the other states that the enemy wants to destroy?

Let’s never forget to pray for our country. Let’s never forget that the prayer closet is more powerful than the voting booth.

Please pray for America.

Praying the Hours: We Need Spiritual Discipline

Via Unsplash
Via Unsplash

Acts 3:1 – One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer–at three in the afternoon.

When I first heard of praying the hours, I thought it sounded mystical – I assumed it was a spiritual practice associated with monastics or nuns. I was a little surprised to learn that praying the hours, also known as fixed-hour prayer is one of the oldest forms of spiritual disciplines, which roots back to Judaism.

Most people in the modern Protestant church are unfamiliar with the idea of praying the hours – or having a set, disciplined schedule of prayer. Yet praying the hours is a beautiful ancient practice seen in scripture.

King David perfectly understood the idea of praying the hours. In Psalm 119 (the Psalm of renewal) we learn that he prayed seven times a day.

Some might argue that by forcing yourself to pray each day (at appointed times) you are practicing vain religion – but I would counter that prayer at set times – even if it feels devoid of deep, emotional meaning is a way to become spiritually stronger.

Praying when you don’t feel like it isn’t a useless spiritual vanity. On the contrary, this is precisely when we need to pray – when we don’t feel like it.

Millions of people go to a gym each day, even when it’s tough, even when they’d rather stay home, even when their body is tired, and they would rather sleep longer. However, millions wake early for the gym because they understand that if they force themselves to go they will become healthier, slimmer, and stronger – praying the hours has the same effect.

Yeshua woke His disciples as night drew near. He forced them awake to pray. They were tired, exhausted even. However, Yeshua wasn’t going to wait for the disciples to feel motivated. He wasn’t going to wait until ‘inspiration’ struck and the disciples felt compelled to pray – He woke them to pray because the hour was nigh.

These are the last days.

The hour is nigh.

Let’s wake up and pray, even when we don’t want to.