I don't seem to be getting the time to blog like normal right now. It's a case of priorities - at least partially anyway. By the time I've caught up with everyone and read what's happening on a couple of forums it's bed time.
Ah, bed time.
Things are changing a bit there.
For a while now I've been increasingly struggling to stay up later, and when I have then the following day has just been an uphill struggle. This weekend, for the first time in weeks I stayed up 'till 12+ 3 nights in a row, and although I'm not too bad today, I'll really need my bed by 10.30 tonight.
What's changed most is this extra hour praying in the morning, and it's change on several levels. I don't know quite the right way to talk about it because i don't want to make me look 'good' as such, but on the other hand it's been too good not to mention at all in case someone else wants to try.
Basically, I'm getting up at 5.30am every day, spending an hour praying, then going back upstairs to get ready as normal. I'll normally start off with a scripture, partly as inspiration, partly as guidance for where the praying should start from. As I go out to find the bible quite often I'll 'feel' God give me a chapter. Last week it was primarily about refuge and our response to times of trouble, and it was all very specific. This morning it was psalm 51 - all about repentance and being forgiven, which I'm happy to go with. The whole point of doing this - from my perspective anyway - is to see the power of God at work more, and it's not unusual to need to clean up so that we can be used. After that I'll usually focus on God, maybe worship a bit, give thanks, turn over situations, ask for help, pray through the various groups of people I care about.
Normally I'll end up praying in the spirit, anywhere between 5 and 25 min, depending on what's going off inside. Saturday and Sunday (not this morning) I also found myself on my knees (NOT normal at all for me) for the last 20-25 min.
It's making a difference inside - one of the things I've been asking to happen for along time. I'm getting a different perspective on things, feeling less drawn toward unhelpful things, being more aware of God moving, hearing a bit less fuzzily. Having said that, I have the distinct sensation sometimes that God is talking to me but I'm just not hearing it. It's curious that I feel a need to pause, to listen, but my 'ears' don't seem to have un-stoppered enough to actually hear the words yet. I had a distinct time of that yesterday leading worship, where I'd read a number of things out and was aware that there was a conclusion to be given, yet couldn't actually find the words for it. So we paused for a few moments, then just went on.
I am getting to pray for a lot more people than I have in ages. It's also made me more determined to press in where I'm not comfortable, in obedience despite not necessarily wishing to do certain things. All this is good changes.
So if you're feeling inclined to try it... don't hold back. After the first week your body will adjust to the early rise and it's much less of a struggle. And it might change your life too.