Lately I have had some bouts with insomnia. I used to pride myself as being a great sleeper. I fall asleep quickly and easily while my husband usually tosses and turns before finally giving in. I am also an excellent napper. I can lay down and be out within minutes, usually waking up exactly 20 minutes later refreshed. The last few weeks I have been waking up in the middle of the night and I can’t go back to sleep. I am up for thirty minutes to an hour. This happened last time I was pregnant and I eventually gave in and got up and watched 30 or so minutes of bad middle of the night TV until I was bored enough to go back to sleep. This time instead of watching old Golden Girls reruns I am taking a slightly different approach. I have been praying. I am awake anyways. The house is quiet. There are no other distractions and to be honest I am not doing enough of it during the daytime.

I have never really been good at it (prayer). I occasionally do the quiet time thing well. I can read books about God. I can journal. I can go to bible studies. I can even lead bible studies. I can memorize verses. But I stink at praying. Outloud especially. Some people always seem to have the perfect words to say while I stumble over them. Words usually come easily to me, but when it comes to praying I freeze. The reason is obvious. I am more concerned with what people think I am praying than the One I am actually talking to. Even the alone praying is sometimes a struggle. I get distracted. I fall asleep. I try to hurry up so that I can do something productive. I wonder if I am boring God with my petty requests. I worry that I am not praying for the right things. I completely miss the point. My favorite kind of praying is the short and sweet all day kind. The“thank yous” and the “help mes”.

I don’t think I would have fared so well in the garden with the other disciples. The night that Jesus was to be betrayed he took the disciples to Gethsememe and asked them to keep watch while he prayed. They fell asleep three different times despite his rebukes and wake up calls. The first time he woke them with these words, “ Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. “ (Matthew 26 :40-41) Minutes later he would be betrayed. It amazes me that these men, who were just shared the last supper with the Christ, still struggled with prayer time. Jesus only asked for one hour. One hour, the length of a lot of TV shows, is my challenge for prayer. One hour of talking or listening to God. Being honest, specific and even occasionally just quiet. I hope this sleeplessness is just a brief phase of my pregnancy but I also hope to keep up some of these late night conversations. I hope that in the future I can manage to keep watch for one hour. Night or day.