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I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I wake up in the night and am unable to get back to sleep. I’m sure it is partly due to the physical, since I am facing major surgery in the next few days. I am also sure it is partly spiritual, since this was happening, to a lesser extent, long before the need for surgery. Sometimes, when I wake up, I do so with scripture on my mind. Often the scripture comes in the form of a song or hymn. I remember many years ago, confessing this rather unusual habit to my mother, who replied, “My prayers have been answered. God has given you my song.” Then she confessed to likewise awakening with music on her mind. Both of us felt OK with this, since we were in good company – with each other, as well as with the Psalmist, who said, “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word” (Psalm 119:148). Other times I awake with people on my mind. Since this is frequently former students or friends who are serving as missionaries on foreign fields, I assume they are in need of prayer in the middle of their day, even though it is the middle of my night. Even when the image is not of missionaries, I begin to pray for members of my family and then on to friends as they come to mind. Even though I eventually go back to sleep, I guess for a time, I become somewhat of a watchman of the night (Isaiah 21:11). I share this to challenge you – when you awake in the night, consider that it might be in order to pray for someone in need.

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