This morning, the time came for me to get up with God.  But it was too hard (and cold out from under the covers).  So I rolled over and bed and said this prayer, “Oh, God!  I know you’re asking me to get up in the morning to pray.  But it’s so hard!  I’m really struggling – and this is the moment of greatest weakness for me!  I know your power is made perfect in my weakness – so help me to obey!”

I didn’t intend to go back to sleep, but that’s what happened (as always!).  And then I had the most vivid dream.  I was walking through the streets of London and I went to a pizza restaurant that I had been to before and loved.  But when I got there, it had been converted to a house.  
The guy inside was sorry the restaurant had closed, but said it wasn’t a good time for company because he and his wife were dealing with something, had called a priest who wasn’t able to come, and were now trying to figure out what they were going to do.  I asked if I could help – I’d be happy to pray with her.  He looked skeptical, but was so desperate that he asked me to come back to a room to see his wife.
She was in a lot of pain, and distorted in weird positions.  She looked tortured.  It only took a second for me to realize what the husband then said, “We think she is possessed by an evil spirit.  We called the exorcist, but he couldn’t come.”  I thought, “yeah, you failed to mention that the ‘priest’ you called was the exorcist.”  But here I was, with a couple who desperately needed God’s help, and I happen to have a relationship with Him.
I began by asking her how I could pray for her.  As the couple was explaining all she was experiencing and how I could pray, more and more friends, neighbors, and even some people I knew were gathering into the house to see if she would be delivered.  I was feeling highly intimidated and scared about what I was about to do.  But I was the only one, and she needed help.
It was at that moment, as I was donning an “I’m a professional” face and FREAKING OUT on the inside, that I realized this:
  • I’m going to encounter moments like these.  There are going to be tests.
  • If I had been spending regular time with God and if I had been doing things like fasting, then this wouldn’t have been such a challenge.  I would have been much better equipped to pray for this woman.  “These kind only come out with prayer and fasting.”
  • Spending time with God in the morning is one of the ways He will train and prepare me for moments like these.
  • People who I love will witness God’s power work through me because of my relationship with Him, and as a result, they will be saved.  (Just as those who were shipwrecked with Paul were saved because of his relationship with God).  
For all these reasons, it’s critical that I “sacrifice” some sleep in the morning so I can develop an increasingly deeper relationship with the living God.  I’m hoping that this dream will be enough to empower me to get out of bed tomorrow morning when that weakness will inevitably hit again…