Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Pray the Alphabet

My son, a 26.2 mile marathon runner (45 of them now), runs without earbuds which, typically, provides for some distraction during a long endurance run. He is just "in the zone" when he runs. So, he got a kick out of me when I told him that when I go on a long run, I sing songs according to the alphabet which helps make the time go by faster. For example: A - "Amazing Grace"; B - "Because He Lives"; C - "Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia", etc. He said, "That wouldn't work for me -- because I'd slow down just trying to think of songs!" LOL!

I also use a similar strategy for the nights when I might have difficulty sleeping. I turn my thoughts into a prayer. It really is a great strategy.

In 2 Corinthians 11:27, the Apostle Paul lists “sleepless nights” as one of the trials he underwent. Maybe by that, he meant worry, restlessness or insomnia. Then there's Jesus who was so relaxed that when He and the disciples were on storm-tossed waters, He slept right through the whole turmoil. He even seems a bit annoyed when those boys woke Him up. Why didn’t they trust that He would look out for them, even while He was asleep?

Instead of tossing and turning, I’ve found the best use of time when I have trouble following asleep is praying the alphabet with all the attributes of God. For example: A - amazing, adored, awesome; B - beautiful, beloved, bright morning star; C - Christ, creator, crucified, etc. And now, I'm trying another prayer strategy that I read from an article written by Norman Vincent Peal. The strategy is to pray the alphabet, but pray it for others.

For example, starting with A, pray names of friends, some you know, and some you don't even know, like: A -- Andy, Anna, Allen, Ashley; B - Brenda, Bill, Becky, Brice, etc.

By the way, each of these strategies really works for me because rarely do I get very far into the alphabet before I've fallen into a deep, sweet sleep. And at the same time, I like to think my prayers are making a difference in other people's lives -- whether I know what they're going through or even if I know them, but somehow just maybe God is using my sleeplessness to benefit someone in a crisis and they needed me to call out their name.

Another idea is to pray the alphabet with things you are grateful for. For example: A - apples, ankles, antelopes; B - beans, breath, brain.

Proverbs 3:24 "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

Of course, you can run using your ear buds and you can count sheep at night if you want to, but if you’re up – and I just might be up with you -- let's pray and be thankful!