Friday, August 27, 2010


I've discovered that one of the characteristics of life in the early-menopausal, late-40's is disrupted sleep patterns. Waking up at random times in the wee hours of the morning - not completely rested for the start of a new day, yet awake and with an active mind. Sleeping straight through the night is now the exception rather than the norm.

When I was struggling to meet the needs of several very young children, I reacted to late-night wakefulness with dread, tossing and turning and praying for a return of sleep. I'm one of those people who needs lots of sleep in order to function rationally, and I knew I wouldn't be in any shape to face a new day without it. If I missed sleep, everyone in the house suffered.

But this new phenomenon is different, and has presented itself as a blessing rather than a curse. Very often, I wake thinking of someone in particular for whom I can pray. It's almost as if God Himself is rousing me from sleep, saying "Camille, while the house is quiet and still, pray for your friend -------!". And that thought and prayer leads to another, and another, and often, when my mind finally begins to grow foggy with sleep, I find the wakeful time has sped by and seems to be ending too soon.

This morning, I woke in the wee hours thinking of one of the young, newly-wed couples at Grace. They are expecting their first baby in January. Such a precious family! Thinking of and praying for them led me to think of another young couple at Grace, just recently engaged. Then of another couple who are planning a spring wedding. Then another young family who have just recently joined our fellowship. Then my own newly-wed daughter and her dear husband. And my young niece and her husband and their new baby. Seems this was the morning of newly weds and the soon-to-be-married!

But near the end of this morning's prayer journey, I had a sinking spell. It occurred to me that somewhere else, in the star-lit hours of the night, someone else was lying awake and praying for those God brought to mind. "Is anyone praying for me?" I asked God. "In the struggles and trials I'm currently facing, is someone lying awake burdened for my needs, for my faith?" I began running through a list of those who know me and love me best, those with their fingers on my heart's pulse. Hopefully, they were all sound asleep in their beds at 2:47 a.m.! Yet I felt so desperately in need of prayer. Who could I turn to at such an outrageous hour?

Thankfully, the God who wakes middle-age women and prompts them to pray, also teaches them how to pray. "Jesus, you must pray for me yourself. The world around me is asleep. Jesus, only you are here to make intercession for this weary child."

Great comfort came with that thought, that prayer this morning. I can pray at 2:47 in the morning, for others or for myself, and have confidence my prayers are heard - because God never sleeps. Jesus can pray for me at 2:47 in the morning, because He is always ready to intercede for the saints. And, His prayers will be heard and answered, being perfectly conformed to the will of His Father.

Scripture being the only sure basis of truth and any confidence I may claim, that's the first place I headed after showering and dressing this morning. "Tell me it is so. Tell me again that the assurances given in the night are true and reliable. Tell me I really can rest in the confidence that someone - Christ, no less - is praying for me right now." And here is what I found....

The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:23-25

Permanently. Forever. Always. Jesus lives to make intercession....intercession for me, to a God who "never slumbers, never sleeps."

That, my friends, is very great encouragement indeed!


Camille said...

Okay, just have to share this: When writing this post this morning, I typed out the Hebrews verse; when I hit "return," it disappeared. I typed it again. It disappeared again! I typed it a third time, and it didn't disappear. Think God was wanting me to get the message?!

Suzanne said...

One of the great joys I have as a Catholic is the intercession of the Church. I know that at every moment of every day somewhere in the world a priest is offering a Mass and praying for ME! He is calling out to God to shower me with all the graces I need to know, love, and serve God. That priest is part of what is called the Church Militant, all the Faithful alive now here on Earth. Another part of the Church is the Church Victorious, all the Saints in Heaven. At any moment of any day or night, I can plea for the intercession of Saints in Heaven. As easily as I might telephone my birth mother on a Sunday afternoon to ask for her intercessory prayers, I can ask my Heavenly Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, at anytime for her intercessions. I can ask for the intercession of a mother for problems with parenting, a faithful wife with marriage difficulties, a teacher with schooling challenges, a gardener with yardwork issues. The list is endless. There is a Saint in Heaven that has already faced and overcome with the grace of God all difficulties in his path to Heaven, the same challenges I am currently facing. Those Saints love me and willingly intercede for me, oftentimes without my asking. But like my Mom, they like to be asked. They love me and want to hear from me. They want me to confide in them and turn to them for their love and intercession. Those Saints in Heaven that intercede for me are some of my treasures in Heaven. Sometimes I wonder if St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, my patron and a mother that suffered the deaths of some of her children during her earthly life, had the joy of cradling my infants that died before being born into this life. Did dear St. Ann, the grandmother of Jesus Christ, care for one of my precious babies? Could St. Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist, be coddling my precious baby Rauzan right now? Also, my Guardian Angel is with me always interceding directly to God for my well-being. He never sleeps. He is not a wimpy little girl. He is a mighty warrior, capable of protecting me and directing me. So even when I am unconscious, Jesus Christ is offering Himself as my Sacrificial Redeemer to the Father, angels are watching over me, and Saints are interceding for me. I am never for a moment not being brought to the attention of God Almighty...even when Mom is sleeping soundly!

By the way, this little sister is already having those nightly wakeful moments and oftentimes fills her wee hours praying for you. It could be that I was praying for you right when you were wondering if anyone was praying for you! I would appreciate being added to your nocturnal prayer list on occasion.

Love, hugs, kisses, and prayers at all hours, dear Camille.