Pray to Stay Awake

Over the years I have had times where it has been difficult to fall asleep. Not full on insomnia, but definitely long nights laying in bed wishing I was sleeping.

I prayed to help me fall asleep. Not because I am super spiritual and wanted to redeem the time. No, praying actually lulled me to sleep. Which has always made feel sort of bad.

But now I get up in the middle of night, every night, and sometimes I’m up for a while. My daughter seems to fall asleep best when she is walked. I walk around the house with her for 20-30 minutes until she is succumbs to deep slumber.

And I pray during those walks. Ironically, because it helps me stay awake now.

But also I sense the need to pray more regardless of sleep or no sleep. There are some big things to process through and some big dreams I/we have about the future. As a staff we reflected on this this week, and so I will continue to work on prayer even when it is not helping me stay awake or fall asleep.


Sarah posted the other day about trust and I liked what she had to say a lot. Ironic because I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself.

We live with a great deal of uncertainty: when will the baby come…will amy have to work after the baby gets here…how will we balance work and ministry and parenting…will our funding come through (which will help us answer some of these questions)…and there’s several other questions there as well.

I pray a lot when I run, and the prayer I keep coming back to is essentially a paraphrase of Mark 9:24: “I trust, help me with my un-trust.”

One of the thing that strikes me from this passage is that they guy who is asking for help with his unbelief is a dad. The scene in question revolves around his child.

I can relate to that. I know belief and trust and closely related, but it has been incredibly helpful for me to meditate on this father’s cry for help as a plea for the ability to trust. I believe it, but do I really trust it?

And so my prayer these days is help me with my un-trust!


I’ve been re-reading some Eugene Peterson stuff on prayer. I tend to stink at praying and yet, for a whole bunch of reasons, I find myself praying more and more these days. Here are couple of thoughts that have been helpful:

“His prayer took him into a world far larger than his immediate experience.”


“Every thing and every person has an interior. Prayer goes beneath the surface and penetrates the heart of the matter. Unlike mere action, prayer is not subject to immediate evaluation or verification. If we are addicted to ‘results’ we will quickly lose interest in prayer. When we pray we willingly participate in what God is doing, without knowing precisely what God is doing, how he is doing it, or when we will know what is going on–if ever.”

From Tell It Slant.