God said: ‘I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.’ And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night.
– 1 Samuel 15:11
For years, I slept like a log.
The demands of a growing household often left me exhausted at the end of the day. I often collapsed into bed and fell immediately asleep. Now I’m older, and our household is shrinking as our grown children have moved on to new lives. I’m in the season where the night has become the time to think and worry and pray for those I love. It has all become more intense, as well, the thinking and the worrying and the praying. The days are still filled with exhausting duties, but now my life feels more out of control, the burdens heavier.
Jesus often spent nights in prayer. His night watches, unlike mine, surely consisted less of thinking and worrying and more of communication with His Father. Losing sleep is frustrating, but it can be a time of fruitful communion with God if we do it right.
So, what should we do when night descends, and sleep doesn’t come? When the enemy whispers in the dark, how are we to respond?
Remember whose child you are, and the name you wear.
O LORD, I remember Your name in the night….
– Psalm 119:55
Praise Him in gratitude for all He has done.
I will remember my song in the night;
I will meditate with my heart,
And my spirit ponders.
– Psalm 77:6
At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You.
– Psalm 119:62
Recognize His many qualities and divine nature.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
– Psalm 63:6
Soak in His Word and listen for His direction.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
– Psalm 1:2
I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;
Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
– Psalm 16:7
Wait patiently for His answer.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness….
– Psalm 77:2
My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
– Psalm 130:6
At night my soul longs for You,
Indeed, my spirit seeks You diligently.
– Isaiah 26:9
Sometimes the night is the only time the Spirit of God can reach us through the noise of the day. In the darkness His voice whispers to our souls what we can’t hear in the light. Perhaps, when sleep escapes us, and the pain and desperation for answers closes in, we can simply respond to His call with the words of the prophet:
Speak, for Your servant is listening.
– 1 Samuel 3:10