Stirring Ourselves to Pray

I recently awakened one morning at 1:30 and the words "Stir yourself" were in my mind. I found the word "stir" in Isaiah 64:7: "And there is no one who calls on Your name, Who stirs himself up to take hold of You." (NKJV)

I looked up the word stir and found it means "to rouse oneself, to awaken." It also means to "be hot, be ardent, be alert, watchful." The opposite is to be asleep or idle.

These words follow Isaiah's cry to God: "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down...come down to make your name known to your enemies and cause the nations to quake before you" (Isaiah 64:1-2).

Isaiah desperately wanted God to come down and cause the nations to quake, but it was a sad time. There was no one who would rouse himself awake and stir himself to pray.

Our stirring ourselves to pray during the night or in the early morning makes a strong statement to God of our sincere desire for Him to rend the heavens and come down in revival fire. He wants to know that that we are not so sunk in spiritual lethargy that we cannot even awaken ourselves to pray.

Before going to sleep at night, I often say, "Please, Jesus, wake me up tonight to spend time with You." I know from experience, though, that sometimes we can crawl out of bed but find that being alert is a different story. I've learned to add to that prayer, "And help me be alert so I can pray and read Your Word."

John Angier wrote in 1647, "Worship that is performed with a sleepy, drowsy body is a weak worship." The same can be said of prayer. Perhaps that is why the psalmist wrote: "Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song." (Psalm 57:8 NLT). A. W. Tozer stirred his heart in the mornings by reading two worship hymns.

Dear Jesus, help us to know how to "stir" ourselves so we are alert enough to seek you early.

"Now it is high time to awake out of sleep" (Rom. 13:11).