I fell asleep.
I woke up early to pray for the first time ever and I fell asleep. I had committed to being more consistent in my prayer life so I knew I had to do that in the morning (because after 9am my life went crazy every day), but I’m not an early riser by nature. I’m a night owl and I have a hoot after midnight.
See what I did there?
I’ve pulled my fair share of all-nighters; whether it be a twenty-five page term paper in college or a Netflix binge last week. I have zero problem staying up. It’s the getting up and staying up part that I’m not so good at.
But what I’ve decided for myself is the “night owl” excuse won’t cut it. If I really and truly want to connect with God, I am going to do what it takes. Plain and simple. Just like I would do for anything or anyone that became a priority for me. I would do what it takes to accomplish what I want to accomplish.
I love hanging out with the Edgewater Football Team and their coaching staff. The coaches push these guys hard and are constantly trying to stamp out any sign of laziness or slacking off, whether it be on the football field or off. One of Coach Duke’s favorite things to remind the guys of is this:
“Everyone wants to be a champion in November. But very few want to be one in January. “
“Everyone wants to go to the playoffs and win a state championship in November. But very few want to begin paying the price to win that championship in January.”
In my life I have come across some incredible women and men of faith. I’ve been blessed to know and interact with people of prayer who inspire me to want to know God more than I do. Their discernment in all issues encourages me to put my best foot forward in prayer and study, among other disciplines.
But sometimes I feel like the high school football player running sprints on a cold January morning. Sometimes I don’t want to get up at 5:30am to pray and study. I want to lay in bed and go back to sleep. I know, though, that if I don’t get up, I’m making the active choice to forgo my intentional time with God that day because life will soon be hectic. My daughter will be up soon and then I’ll be off to work and…well, you know how that goes, don’t you?
The “I’m a night owl” excuse doesn’t cut it because the justification is not strong enough to offset the incredible favor of interacting with the God of the universe. The fact that the God who created Jupiter and black holes and the like will listen to my worries and rejoice when I say “thank you” should be enough motivation to get out of bed. The whole reason God created us was just to hang out with us and have us enjoy each other! Jesus came to bring humanity back to God so that we could boldly approach God any time we wanted to.
I just have to remember that when the alarm goes off.
In the end, it’s a daily battle to be consistent, especially when you have kids or roommates around and they don’t like to stick to the schedules you set for them. But it gets easier. The more you do it and the longer you stick it out, even in the face of periodic failure, it gets easier. Here are some quick tips I’ve learned that might help you be successful in this prayer and study venture:
1. Get up before your kids/roommates. (This usually means go to bed early too.)
2. Be in a room by yourself. Don’t let someone else distract you.
3. Keep a list of people and things to pray for.
4. Have someone ask you how it’s going periodically. Let them remind you why you’ve decided to do this.
Those are my suggestions based on what’s been helpful to me in the past. Is there anything you would add?