The Power of Night Prayer
March / April 2013
Following Jesus' Footsteps
We all know that from time to time, Jesus withdrew himself to a mountain to pray. And He often did so all night. Some say He did this to replenish His energy by spending time alone with God, His Father (after giving so much to people during the day). Some say He did this, so that He will have the power for healing, preaching, performing miracles the next day. In any case, the most memorable for me was the last night Jesus had in which to pray; the night He was arrested. We know the prayer of that night was crucial - through which Jesus was strengthened, and He was thus able to complete the salvation plans of God for mankind. Jesus's habitual practice of night prayer intrigued me. There was something about it that could not be easily explained. I knew I had to experience it for myself in order to understand it, and so I was inspired to do it.
Sisters in Prayer
Easter 2013, I invited 5 ladies to pray with me throughout the night. Besides allocating time for worship, singing, reading scriptures, and thanksgiving, we prayed to repent of our sins. After that we prayed for our enemies, for the needs of the world, for the churches, for our countries, for our friends, for our families, and finally for ourselves. The event itself was an awesome experience for everyone, but what followed was even more amazing. Could all six of us be experiencing that unexplained power that comes through night prayer? Each person had their share of miracles, some are very personal, so I shall only share here what I can.
The Miracle of Rainfall
We had been experiencing a severe drought for a couple of months. An outdoor water ban was in place, with no certainty as to how long the ban may continue for. Many people were using "grey water" (washing up water) to water their garden. There were worries that businesses may be affected, and if no rain were to fall in all of April, water rationing would probably have had to be implemented. The lakes and rivers that supplied our water were reducing not just with the usage, but also with the heat. We prayed for rain that night, we asked God to heal our land, so we asked God for favour for our country. The following morning, just as we finished praying, as the sun was rising, raindrops started to fall. We could hardly believe our eyes! Our prayers were answered so soon. We gave thanks, praised God in shouts, laughter, and smiles! The rain continued throughout the week, and by the end of that week, the outdoor water ban was lifted. Since then, we have had generous downfalls, and the water supplies are now more than sufficiently replenished. God is good!
Miracles at Work
One of the ladies (praying that night) usually works as a cleaner. Although a hard worker, she was not favoured by her manager. She was never given enough cleaning materials to cover the area she had to clean. When she asked for hand gloves, the answer was always "no". When break time arrives, she would continue to work, whilst others drank their teas and coffees. That night she prayed for her manager. The following week, when my friend went back to work, her manager approached her out of the blue with a box of hand gloves and a generous amount of cleaning material. My friend could hardly believe her eyes, so incredible to her that she kept asking her manager (several times) if these things were really for her? And the answer was continually "yes", followed by a smile! Then at break time, the manager went looking for her and asked her to stop working, and drink tea with her. How incredible is God to change someone's heart like that!
Miracles amongst Families
The son of one of the other ladies praying that night had been very challenging to bring up. Being in his teens, he often spends his time listening to loud, dreadful music which he stores on his iPhone. He was also unhelpful, and would often leave the house in a mess for his mother to clean up. Furthermore, he would often scream and fight with his sister. My friend is a single mother, and things were taking their toll on her. So that night we prayed for her children. A week later, she experienced the most amazing transformation on her children. Her son came to her and said, "Mama, I don't know why but I don't like my music anymore, it doesn't satisfy my soul. I remember the music you used to play to me when I was little -- that Christian music -- please can you tell me what they are". At this, he deleted his dreadful music off his phone right before his mother's eyes, ready to download the Christian ones. My friend was so happy, she thanked God profusely. And in addition to this, her son & daughter now behave so much better, they rarely fight, and they even help with the housework! God has a heart for single mothers, He helps them bring up the children. Praise be to God! He is so good!
This next story is almost unbelievable. One of our friends has a big family. He and his wife have 10 children. He is the only one working to make ends meet, and is the only one in the family that believes in God. He would often ask the family to go to church, but they would rarely go. In fact, his children (again being in their late teens) would often go night clubbing and get drunk. So he (the father) was very unhappy and was often depressed. He asked us to pray for him. So we prayed for him that night to ask God to lift his spirits and to help him bring up his family. In the following weeks, things began to happen. One night, one of his daughters was very drunk after her usual night clubbing. In her drunken stupor, she was given a vision, to see the devil advancing at her, trying to kill her. She screamed and yelled, "God help me!", and at that point, she saw Jesus coming down fighting the devil off from her. After the devil was defeated, Jesus spoke to her and told her to be a good daughter and to listen to her father. Since then, she stopped getting drunk, stopped night clubbing and now goes to church -- and even more amazing, the whole family now goes to church! I guess what happened to her was a real witness to all the family. Now the father is so thrilled, depression has left him, and he has more energy than ever to work hard for his family. Praise be to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ!
A Miracle for My Husband
For years my husband has been slack in spending time alone with God. He would rarely read the Bible, and when he prayed, he would often do so in a hurry. There was hardly any special time set aside for God. And when he saw me having miracles, he admitted that he was often jealous because things like that do not happen to him. My answer to him was always, "You need to spend time alone with God daily. You need to have a relationship with Him." But this answer nearly always ends up in an argument. That night, I prayed for him. I asked God to inspire him, to make him hunger and thirst for God's word. A few days later, after listening to a sermon called, "How to experience God", he stood up from his chair and pronounced that he shall set aside a daily time with God. He said it just like that, with no prompting from me and with no arguments, it was just amazing! My husband is meticulous about having every appointment in his on-line calendar. Sure enough, he made himself a daily appointment with God, and to this very day, he has never failed to keep it. Since this was such a long time coming, this was a huge miracle for me. I am so grateful to God because this will be so good for our marriage, so good for the people we witness to together, and ultimately so good for him, himself.
A Miracle of Protection
I was shopping at a homeware shop on a weekday, in the middle of the day. So, as expected there was hardly anyone around. I had parked my car in the car park. When it was time to leave, I got into my car, started the engine, looked left and right, and started to move gently. Then suddenly coming from nowhere, a car screeched into a halt to my left-hand side, missing me by centimeters! The lady driving the car had entered the car park a split second before, made a beeline for the entrance to the shop, cutting through all corners and empty parking spaces, and had nearly driven into me. The near miss was so close that in order for me to be able to continue to move away, she has had to reverse extremely so carefully without jolting. I went away certain in my heart, an angel had just intervened on my behalf, prevented a costly accident repair. My husband and I only have the one car, and we have to drive to get anywhere. I thanked God for His protection that day. It could have been a very different and unpleasant day.
A Miracle of Healing of the Heart
As part of the night prayer, we prayed for a blessing over our enemies. I have quite a few enemies, though not by choice. They just didn't seem to like me, and had hurt me with their words. Although I had already forgiven them in my heart, the hurt that they had caused still lingered, and conversing with them would often be difficult (because in doing so, I would make myself vulnerable to their hurt again). So, it's an area that God needed to help me with; something that I would not go out to do unless it was absolutely necessary. One night, a week after the night prayer, the doorbell rang. I was not expecting anyone. My husband was busy with God, so I opened the door. To my horror, there stood my enemies smiling sweetly at me saying that they have come to visit me. I knew instantly that it was God's doing. Inwardly, I wanted to resist, but then a peace came over me, a little voice in my heart urging me to receive them, and that it would be OK. So I invited them in. The first half hour of that visit was stressful and horrible as the air was being cleared, but after that we were all good again. Then a week later, just as I was shopping, I (almost literally) ran into another one of my enemies. I thought, "Aha, God is at it again. OK, I have done it once before, I am ready to work with this one, too". I was happy to converse with this person for a few minutes until the conversation came to a natural end. The most amazing thing about these experiences was not that I now have less enemies (though I'm sure they still don't like me), but that I was being healed. Their words did not hurt me anymore like they used to. God is a wonderful healer. He knows just the medicine to heal me.
The Miracle of hearing God's voice
One morning as I was praying to God, I had the most incredible experience. I was in mid-sentence when I heard a second voice in my heart. Let me explain, when I pray to God, all I can usually hear (in my heart, not in my ear) is my own voice talking to God - just the one voice. Also, in the past, when the Holy Spirit had spoken to me about something, it had been in the form of a gut feeling, or a soft voice like my own voice; and again there would only be just the one voice in my heart. But this time was different, I heard a clear, second voice (different to the sound of my voice), and this second voice was interrupting my sentence. All the voice did was called out my name, "Elma!" and that was it, but its sudden presence and loudness caused me to stop me in my tracks. I asked, "God, was that you?" I have never heard God audibly before (not in the sense that you can hear Him with your ear, but rather hear Him with your heart). I quickly turned to the Bible, and read whatever it fell on (Exodus 33:17). It seems that God wanted to tell me He knew me by name. This was an amazing experience for me, I have never had anything like it, and I loved it. There is something about the presence of God - it is better than anything in this world.
Exodus 33: 17
17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
There are so many more miracles that happened that I cannot write about due to their personal nature. Nevertheless, the list of miracles above are enough to illustrate the hidden power of night prayer. There is something to be said, to be experienced in spending that intimate time with God in the dead of night. The miracles that happened were many and amazing; addressing the various parts of our lives. And more importantly, we see God working because we are more finely tuned to Him. I believe that even now, God is working to answer the other prayers that have been offered up to Him that night. In due time, the answers will come and if I can, I shall again share them with you.
Being inspired by night prayer, and being also cautious in my motives that it does not become a time of giving God my "shopping list", I am going to make it a monthly occurrence - to know my God better, to deepen my relationship with Him. I look forward to a time of fellowshipping with Him in praise and worship, and just to soak in His love and His presence.
1 Timothy 2:1-6
1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.