Fireworks are one of my favorite things in the world! I adore their pageantry, creativity and grandeur. With childlike abandon, I look forward to the 4th of July, researching when all the fireworks displays will occur and trying to squeeze in as many as possible.
What I don’t like, however, are folks who purchase their own and insist on shooting them off into the wee hours of the morning. In the early morning hours of the 5th of July, I felt my house was under siege as the neighborhood booming and banging didn’t stop until almost 2AM. Who could sleep with all the ruckus outside my door?
Unfortunately, I don’t do well when my sleep is interrupted, so today I am bleary-eyed and irritable. I’ve been fervently trying to gut it out without a nap, so I also ardently pray, “Lord, help me get through this day.” Every few minutes I lift up this request because my eyes are droopy and my to do list is long.
Sometimes I feel a bit sheepish praying to God for something so trivial. I rationalize, “He has more important things to worry about like world peace, starving people or decaying morals. He doesn’t care about my lack of sleep.” But in 1 Samuel 1:15, Hannah states, “I am a deeply troubled woman. I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”
Now Hannah had some real problems. She was infertile in a time when women were judged by the number of children they bore. She was one of two wives – a cultural norm at this juncture in history – and was experiencing a rival wife problem. I’m sure these challenges left her feeling frustrated and devalued. But Hannah poured out all of her problems, her entire soul, to God. Not just the monumental concerns, but the entirety of them.
It is easy to believe God is not interested in my sleeplessness, but God cares about everything. He is faithful and longs to fill our souls with peace regardless of what is bothering us. When we explain our feelings to Him, He bears our burdens. What is important is not the size of our problem, but the time we spend with Him. For it is in His presence, we are changed.
My sleeplessness may pale in comparison to your concerns. Maybe you are dealing with financial woes, relational difficulties, a bad medical report. Your life may be peppered with seemingly impossible situations that won’t be solved by a good night’s rest. But when you pour out your soul to God, when you get really honest with Him, He will faithfully replace your empty with His fullness, regardless of whether He removes your burdens or allows them to remain. Only in prayer do we experience the One and Only life-altering God.
Going to God with whatever is causing your head to ache reminds us that God is able. He is powerful. He is caring. To get through the worries, fears and hurts bring them to Him. So when you are feeling alone, scared or just plain tired, pour your soul out to God and experience the relief of divine arms wrapping themselves around you.
The best way to pray is with deep honesty. To gain that transparency, pray often- frequently opening up your life to God. Even if all you are praying for is a little sleep.