Midnight in the Garden of Prayer

When I find myself in a garden at night I sense a serenity there that is  accompanied by a sense of possible danger. That slight line of fear in the background of what I cannot see lurks there in the darkness- the unknown and unseen. There is a permeating fragrance in the darkness that I don’t notice in the daytime, sounds that are no longer subdued by the busyness of the day’s activities, and a silence that can be overwhelming. That’s what happens when I meet with the Lord in the late evening.  The fragrance of His Presence announces our time together. Quietly, He speaks to me. Things that go unnoticed during the day and the requests of the urgent bubble up to the surface. Both the things seen and heard, the things unseen and unheard require my attention. And I request His.


 Frequently, I share the result of a late evening conversation, a last look at email that brings a request, or the text that just popped up before I hit the pillow. It’s the needs of others in my life that keep us talking way past midnight some evenings. A poor report from the doctor, an accident, a sudden split of a marriage out of the blue, a child’s confession that changes the course of a life. My ability to grasp an understanding of these situations is almost non-existent. My ability to comfort those in need is so poor. I’m in a state of overwhelming inadequacy speaking straight from my heart to His Ear. There is a helplessness and a fringe of fear accompanying my requests for the urgent. 


He is gracious some nights and I confess that I fall asleep. Knowing that He knows what is on my heart is the comfort that lulls me to sleep. 


Could it be labeled as “my attention drifts and then I fall asleep because I’m warm and comfy”? 




Am I like the disciples who fell asleep as Jesus was wrestling in prayer in the Garden? 


Oh, yes. I admit it.


I know that I am weak.


I crave sleep-a lot.


And I ask forgiveness for leaving the conversation early when I fall asleep in my humanness.


Over the years, I’ve seen though, that usually the nights God allows me to fall asleep are when those things are so big that I’m so overwhelmed and totally helpless that all I can say is “Jesus”; and I know when that happens that I’ve handed them over to Him and He has taken them.  All. 


I don’t say this lightly. I don’t forget those issues that I’ve brought to Him by ticking them off one by one, marking them done, turning the page.  They have trusted me to bring their requests before the Lord. What I do know is  that He is the Author and Creator of all and that our only hope lies in His Hands. What is important is that I can leave those things with Him and not snatch them back- repeatedly. 


I say this because I’ve done it- repeatedly. I am still learning.


Trust. Small word. Big act. Prayer is extending my trust to Him and to His Will.


See you at 3 a.m. Sunday morning! 


Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10


“Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14


“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17


 “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27


 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8:26-27

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