I got up early this morning to pray. Early. Five o’clock early. That may not seem excessive to many, but it’s absurd for me, who usually goes to bed around one. Making it even more complicated, I didn’t get much sleep this weekend. Although that’s not really news, I rarely do. Normally, people are supposed to sleep in on the weekends and come back to work on Monday refreshed. I, however, actually sleep more during the week than on the weekends.
My church has a prayer meeting every Monday at 6am, and a lot of the youth go. I’ve always considered it too difficult, and only gone once before (when I had a plane to catch at 8am, so it was already getting up early, and church is on the way to the airport). A friend explained that getting up at 5 was a bit early for him, too, but that he considered it making a small sacrifice for God, and that the prayer really helped get the week off on the right foot.
Needing a good start to my week, I decided that, paradoxically, taking even more sleep away from an already sleepless week might actually make me more refreshed. Funny enough, after only about 4 hours sleep, I had no problem getting up on time and making it to church for prayer. So far, so good. Though I don’t always expect it to be this easy, I think God was just easing me in. The morning prayer takes about an hour, and starts off with reading a couple of psalms followed by group prayer. Baptists – so on your knees, no weak sitting-in-a-chair prayer! We have a small breakfast before going our separate ways to work, and it gives us the chance to wake up a bit more. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, deep prayer always puts me in a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.
I got to the office around 7:30, and was feeling pretty good. Amazingly, the whole rest of the day I had a wonderful, almost carefree attitude. Everything went smoothly, and my heart was filled with joy towards everyone I interacted with. “Want me to write or check something? Sure!” “Hey person who just cut me off in traffic, I hope you have a great time after work!” The morning prayer really seems to have had an elevating effect. Taking my normal attitude and view on everything up a couple of notches.
My friend was absolutely right. It is a sacrifice, but one well worth it that puts everything in perspective for the week ahead!