When our daughter Jessica Joy was born, day and night ceased to be what we'd grown rather comfortably attached to. Jessica did not necessarily want to go to bed when we wanted to go to bed. Neither did she wake up when we wanted to wake up. For those first weeks we were probably as tired during the day as during the night. And the first time that we slept through the night without disruption we had forgotten to set an alarm clock! Jessica certainly was, and is, her own person. And like countless other parents, beyond the customary moaning, we never doubted that she was worth it.
From the Psalms you get the impression that King David too knew sleepless nights, perhaps many of them drawn to the tabernacle. Which puts to us the question: Why was David restless?
In Psalm 127 we’re reminded that David was all for building the Lord a house, until the Lord stopped him in his tracks. If the Lord wanted a house, the Lord would indeed have a house - but the Lord did not need David to build it. God did so much with & through David, but all of it was in vain when it became about what David could build for the Lord. All of it was in vain when David lost sight of what God had done it for him. God’s passion, & all heaven’s response to it never ceases! All the extravagant passion that David could muster was as nothing before what he glimpsed of heaven. Everything, even our unceasing night and day worship, is as nothing compared to His all-consuming passion.
Like our daughter, God is certainly His own person! His plans will not always be our plans. His time will not always be our time. But unlike us, He does not need us to drop everything for Him, nor does He demand it of us. Instead, He invites us to find Him worthy of it. His invitation to David was to be captivated by Him & to get carried away with Him, who unlike us does not sleep or slumber! His passion & His work do not fit into our schedules. His love ruins us! When we talk about night and day prayer we don’t simply mean the hours of the day - although He certainly is worthy of that kind of extravagant devotion. In some sense, night and day prayer means that we’ve found all else in vain, as nothing compared to Him - & that we can’t go on living in the same way.
I wonder how often I treat my devotional life like it’s something I can do for God, getting carried away with my own, even godly, aspirations. Yet God’s invitation is to be captivated by One whose passion doesn't fit nicely into our night & day schedule! Am I prepared to be ruined by His love? How might God want to captivate me further than I’ve allowed Him so far?
Pieter is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. With a heart to see families grow in prayer together, he is developing our Family Prayerwatch. He also serves in the prayer room as a worship leader, singer and prayer leader.