Monday, March 26, 2012

All Night Prayers

"...Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray,
and spent the night praying to God."

I remember being at church camp a few years ago when I really noticed this verse. I was challenged that Jesus spent all night praying to God. All night! My heart was moved and so I decided that I would stay up that night and pray too. The camp had a dining facility that stayed lit so at first I stayed in there and prayed. Next, I walked around outside and prayed looking up at the stars. Then I went inside and prayed through scriptures I found and wrote prayers in my journal. I prayed that night until the call for breakfast the next day. And I was exhausted but talk about still feeling great! It was as though Jesus had been with me all night, encouraging me...and I was inspired and changed because in some way I was walking as Jesus walked.

Another time, my small group at church decided we'd put together an all night prayer night at a local building. We set up different rooms for different 'ways' of praying. One was a room full of praise music, there was a section where you could take prayer walks, one room was just for silent meditation while in another you could go on stage and have loud prayers to God. By the morning, people gathered together and we had group prayers. It was a stirring night...and although again I was exhausted as I drove home, my heart felt light because of all the time I'd spent praying.

What about you? Have you ever prayed all night? Maybe it's time you stretched yourself a bit? You can pray alone all night or ask someone if they want to spend all night praying too. The motive isn't just to accomplish it though...the heart is out of a longing to connect with God in a way you might not have before. Jesus prayed all night then selected the twelve apostles. If you have a big decision to make then maybe it's time to spend the night praying with Jesus? Maybe so much is going on in your life right now that having a night full of prayer could be a great way to pour it all out! If, like me, your health doesn't allow you all night prayers right about 3 hours? When was the last time you prayed for even 3 hours? I just picked a random number but you get the point.

...last Friday, I came home from work, had dinner, and went to my art/sun room to pray. It had been a hard, emotional week and I needed to share my heart with God deeply. The week had just been too crazy to provide me enough time. My prayers had seemed 'choppy.' So, I turned off the phone then wrote in my journal all the subjects I wanted to pray about and the people I wanted to pray for as well. Next, I just started praying...2 1/2 hours later I finished. What a great time I had with God! And what a special time that warms my heart when I think about it. My friend, as I encourage all the women around me in my personal ministry I want to encourage you, build memories with God now! Especially build a life full of deep prayers with your Lord. There is no substitute for that genuine relationship. Sometimes we just need to spur and awaken our heart, mind, and spirit with prayer...lots of it.

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