A Thousand Sleepless Nights

a-thousand-sleepless-nightsHave you prayed something so many times for years, something that seems like a legitimate need, only to be denied by God over and over?

For me, that prayer request is for my husband to sleep through the night and be refreshed. But no. He’s not allowed, for some reason. God hears me when I intercede for other people; He does great and awesome things, even miracles in people’s lives because of my prayers for them. People say that I have a direct line to God. Really? Because when I’m broken over my own haggard husband (who has been burned out for two years), asking Him to please grant him sleep, He turns away. He says no.

β€œYou hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; You encourage them and listen to their cry.” (Psalm 10:17)

The Lord is listening to me. I’m certain that He hears me. He’s just saying no. To a legitimate request that is not evil. It’s not a sinful request. And yet for some reason it’s contrary to the will of God.

I don’t want to pray something that is contrary to the will of God.

So should I stop praying it? How can I?

I had this discussion with my sister back in June of last year. She had come to Spokane to visit, and we were sitting in a dark room, quietly talking about why God wasn’t answering my prayer. Then she suddenly said, β€œWhat if God wants Alan to have sleepless nights? What if those sleepless nights cause him to rely more on Christ for his strength?”

She grabbed her cell phone and started playing a song I’d never heard before. It made me weep, because it was true. I was reminded that our sanctification trumps every other request, that God will give us more of Himself instead of the thing that we’re asking, which is a smaller gift.

This is the song that made me bawl:

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8 Responses to “A Thousand Sleepless Nights”

  1. Melissa K says:

    Oooh, I knew it was going to be that song before I even scrolled down. Did you know she wrote that right after her husband had surgery for a brain tumor that God chose not to heal? She talks about it here: http://laurastorymusic.com/2011/09/story-behind-the-song-%E2%80%9Cblessings%E2%80%9D/

    Your post is so right-on. It illustrates the truth (that some of us can’t or don’t want to embrace) that God desires our holiness more than our happiness or comfort. But I say keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking because maybe it’s just not His will right now. πŸ™‚

    • Susan Evans says:

      I didn’t know about the brain tumor of her husband; thanks for the link.

      Yes, all of our trials are temporary, so I continue to pray, hoping that at some point God might decide to answer in the affirmative. Until then, I must assume that this trial is a blessing, since God always turns our trials into blessings, even if we can’t see it when we’re in it.

      • Melissa K says:

        I don’t really think I got that until my husband and I walked through some major trials in our marriage that came close to destroying it. If God had said “yes” to my pleading early on, I’m convinced that we would not be where we are today–both spiritually and in our relationship with each other, not to mention in our ability to relate and extend grace to other broken people.

  2. momto8blog says:

    I always go back to my knowledge that God is smarter than me…so His plans have got to be better than my plans too!

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