Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Got Insomnia? Try Prayer

When I go to bed at night, I fall asleep almost immediately and rarely have trouble sleeping through the night. Sometimes, though, I'll wake up and have trouble falling back asleep. Although I hate to admit it, if I start to pray, I'll usually fall back asleep pretty quickly. I feel sort of bad about it; I mean, here I am talking to God, and I fall asleep mid-sentence. But then again, maybe it's not such a bad thing; talking to God brings me the comfort and rest that I need.

Last night, my cell phone rang, waking me up at 10:35 (yes, I go to bed quite early). Now, it's rather unusual that my phone rings at home because we don't have a good signal out where I live. I knew that it had to be a student because everyone else that knows my number would be in bed asleep. I thought about just letting it ring, but I got up and answered anyway. Indeed, it was a student calling to inform me that he wouldn't be in class the following morning. The cellular signal was pretty bad, and the call was cut off pretty quickly, but before losing the signal completely, my student was able to tell me that he was in jail and would be there for three days. He mentioned his girlfriend (the mother of his baby son), and I heard the word "frustrated" and that was all. From what I could gather, some sort of domestic disturbance occured, and he's going to jail for it.

I know that this kid has been through a lot. His mom left when he was a baby because she was addicted to drugs; he just found his dad using cocaine; his relationship with his son's mother has been on the rocks, and he told me that he suspects that she's also using drugs. He works a regular job in addition to attending school so that he can provide good support for his son, and he's been a very good student--he writes very intelligent papers. He's a good kid, it seems, who is going through a really terrible time.

So last night's phone call was a little unsettling. I knew there was nothing I could do for him, so I got back into bed and tried to fall back asleep, realizing finally that I really needed to pray for this kid. It took nearly an hour of intermittent praying and dozing before I finally fell back into a sound and restful sleep. I guess he really needed somebody to pray for him last night, and God wouldn't let me sleep until it got done.


Tony Arnold said...

Not the first time our posts have coincided in circumstance and relevance although not necessarily exactly on the same subject. God uses us in ways we never see coming. God is using you in your career for much more than just being an educator.

I too find prayer very helpful as a sleep aid although I do feel a little guilty. I don't purposefully use it to get back to sleep, but if I cannot rest, I might as well do something constructive so I pray. I have come to feel that the ability to return to sleep may because of peace rather than the counting sheep effect.


jettybetty said...

I love this--because I am just learning this discipline. Just ask PH--I have been a flipper and a flopper--I am learning to use that time for prayer.

I am so thankful you were able to pray for that student--I believe God will honor your prayers!

Random Rich said...

You are so right about prayer. What is it about that? My wife and I try to avoid praying at the end of the day in bed, cuz we as a matter of course, lose consciousness. Something that causes me to NOT be able to fall back asleep in the middle of the night after one of my jaunts to the lavatory is seeing the time. Especially if it is a time that is close to when I have to get up. Ugh! How frustrating.

Your story about the troubled student is a sad story that unfortunately is more prevelant than we know. My wife and I will lift this young man up in prayer (prior to going to bed) and believe that God will enable him to effectively deal with the life that he has. God is the God of the impossible and if anyone can help this young man, God can. Thanx for sharing ... . By the way, does this young man know Christ? If not, we will pray that God will draw him to Himself. Viya con Dios!

JMG said...

Thank you RR! I spoke to my student this morning, and he is doing better. Yes, as far as I know, he knows Christ--but probably like most typical college students.