Posts Tagged ‘prayer life’

Psalm 119:56 – Lying in Bed

When I came ‘back to bed’ to read my Bible (after letting the chickens out of the barn), God said to read Psalm 119:56.  I opened my NIV Student Study Bible that contains little insights or comments regarding verses or sections of the Word.  I often find them quite appropriate to the moment and today was another one of those days.  Immediately, I noticed the bold highlighted verse and comment right above Psalm 119:56, the verse I was to read. Remember, I just returned to bed and am ‘lying in bed.’  

“Lying in Bed: “The psalms consider every aspect of life – even the thoughts that come while lying in bed at night.  You can easily become obsessed with other people’s wrongs against you.  But you can also turn your thoughts to God and quiet your anxieties while strengthening your commitment.”

Verse 56, my verse, followed this comment: “This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.”

Since I was a very little girl, I have prayed for people before I go to sleep.  Up until I was about 25 I had a list that took me probably 20 minutes to ‘recite’.  I can still reel off most the list to a certain point even though some of those people, like my mom, my Nana, and my grandparents,  have passed away.  Some people on the memory list I have no idea where they are on this earth while others are still part of my life.

The little blurb listed a few more Psalms that refer to ‘lying in bed’.  I looked them up and I can honestly say that I have experienced all of the emotions, thoughts, blessings, joys, and probing that David wrote about.  I have included a few other Scriptures to show the concepts and experiences are not limited to the Psalms.   

“You can be angry, but do not sin! Think about this as you lie in bed, and calm down” (Psalm 4:4, Ephesians 4:26)

“I am worn out with groaning; all night I drench my bed with tears, flooding my couch till it swims” (Psalm 6:6, Luke 7:38). 

“I bless Adonai (the LORD), my counselor; at night my inmost being instructs me” (Psalm 16:7, John 14:26).

“You probed my heart, you visited me at night, and you assayed me without finding evil thoughts that should not pass my lips” (Psalm 17:3, John 3).

“I am as satisfied as with rich food; my mouth praises you with joy on my lips when I remember you on my bed and meditate on you in the night watches” (Psalm 63:5-6, Philippians 4:8).

“On the day of my distress I am seeking Adonai (the LORD); my hands are lifted up; my tears flow all night without ceasing; my heart refuses comfort” (Psalm 77:2, 2 Peter 2:6-7).

“Because of my loud groaning, I am just skin and bones. I am like a great owl in the desert, I’ve become like an owl in the ruins. I lie awake and become like a bird alone on the roof” (Psalm 102:7-8, Isaiah 41:10).

“At midnight I rise to give you thanks because of your righteous rulings” (Psalm 119:62, Acts 16:25).

“For Adonai (the LORD) takes delight in his people, he crowns the humble with salvation (yeshua). Let the faithful exult gloriously, let them sing for joy on their beds” (Psalm 149:4-5).

‘Lying in bed’ is my special prayer closet where God has challenged me, blessed me, encouraged me, allowed me to weep, think, and grow.   He has given me visions. He has shown me events in my life (from before I have actual mental memories) that brought healing to my life.  He has even woken me up in the middle of the night to pray for some obscure person I haven’t thought about in years – some from childhood or friends of my parents.   I still pray for friends, family, my husband and children, and I also include praying for myself.  Then I listen,  listen intently for that still, small voice of the Spirit to speak to my mind and my heart that will take me on another unique spiritual journey while ‘lying in bed.’

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing

Praying Like Sha’ul

“Praying for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all the wisdom and understanding which the Spirit gives; so that you may live lives worthy of the Lord and entirely pleasing to him, being fruitful in every good work and multiplying in the full knowledge of God. We pray that you will be continually strengthened with all the power that comes from his glorious might; so that you will be able to persevere and be patient in any situation, joyfully giving thanks to the Father for having made you fit to share in the inheritance of his people in the light” (Colossians 1:9-12).

Lately, the Spirit has been guiding me to read all of Sha’u’ls prayers in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians.  The depth of his prayers challenge my own prayer life.  When I read how Sha’ul prayed for the believers in each of these cities, I am convicted by the shallowness of my prayer life.

Do I pray for the knowledge of God’s will for the believers around me?  Do I pray that they will be pleasing and fruitful in the fullness of knowing God?  Do I pray for strength, patience, and perseverance in whatever situation they may be in?  Do I pray that they will be fit to share in the inheritance of people in the light?

So often my prayers are about my own personal problems rather than focusing on the bigger picture and the needs in the Body of Messiah.  Though my issues are important to God, and the salvation of people I love are important to me, many unanswered prayers in the Body are caused by  focusing only on personal issues  rather than being prayerful, thankful, and grateful.

“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  I keep asking that the God of our Messiah, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.  I also pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his imcomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:16-19).

Is this how I pray for those who struggle with knowing the fullness of Yeshua through the Scriptures? Do I pray for those who don’t want  the complete message of ‘obeying the gospel’ to be given wisdom and revelation?  For those who walk in hopelessness and fear,  do I pray for their eyes of their hearts to be enlightened?  There is a rich inheritance for those who believe in Yeshua and the Spirit’s power to overcome all things through wisdom and revelation.  Do I contend for the holy ones of God to be overcomers?

“This is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Messiah, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Messiah Yeshua – to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1 9-11).

Do I pray that a brother or sister’s love for God may abound more and more with knowledge and deeper insight into the Word of Truth?  Do I pray for them to mature as a believer and have discernment between what is good and evil and what is righteous?  Do I pray that they are filled with the fruit of righteousness to the glory and praise of God?

When I read these prayers, I realize how I allow the little battles in my life to weigh me down and focus on the failures rather than on the strength and power given to me through the Spirit.    Sha’ul was in prison, beaten, starved, abused and everything in between, but he never focused his prayers on his circumstances.  He focused on encouraging the Body of Messiah so she would be prepared as a pure and spotless Bride for her King.

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Messiah, Yeshua” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Do I thank God for all of those people who have discipled and encouraged me, while all the time suffering persecutions and judgments for the testimony they had?  Do I mention in my prayers those who have faith works in spite of difficult circumstances?   What about how they labor in love and endure hardships because of their hope in Word?  Do I pray for endurance so that they do not weary of living out God’s call on their lives?

“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith.  We pray this so that the name of our Lord Yeshua may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord, Messiah Yeshua” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Are my prayers constant?  Do I desire that God fulfill every good purpose in the lives of my family and friends who are called by God into His Kingdom?  Do I sincerely desire that the name of Yeshua be glorified in them as they are in Him?

Yes, my prayer life is too shallow.   It needs to change.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.