Kendra recently tweeted about praying the "Nona Freeman prayer" and how God took her up on it and she wasn't sure if she was glad about that or not. (Posted tongue-in-cheek, of course.) We got several questions as to what we were talking about and the explanation takes up more than the 140 characters Twitter allots.
Here is the story behind what we call "The Nona Freeman Prayer for Night People":
Nona Freeman was a veteran missionary for many years to Africa. She told incredible stories and probably died with more stories in her head and heart than ever came out.
She was a woman of faith and of prayer and a believer that God could and would do anything for His people...the problem was/is that we just don't ask Him enough and specifically.
She described herself as a night person. One who was more alert in the evening, who would rather stay up late and sleep later in the morning. She was not one who woke up early, chirping with the birds, and ready to conquer the world. That came later in the day. She was a night person.
However, she was a firm believer that God needed the first part of our day. Therefore, she knew that in order to give that to Him, she must not sleep until the last minute, but must wake up earlier than necessary in order to have time with Him. So, she prayed a prayer that went something like this: "Lord, I know that I need to talk to you first thing in the morning. But it is so hard for me to wake up and even though I set my alarm to get up earlier, I end up shutting it off to sleep until the last possible minute. So Lord, I'm asking you to wake me up 30 minutes early every morning. YOU wake me up. Don't let me go back to sleep. Wake up my mind and my heart so that You and I can have quality time together before our day begins. I want to, Lord, but my flesh is weak. So YOU help me. YOU wake me up!"
I heard her tell this story at our church when I was just a young girl and will never forget when she said, "And the Lord has done just that. Regardless of what time I go to bed or how little sleep I have received, He always wakes me up 30 minutes before I must begin my day."
I didn't pray that prayer for many years, because I am the ultimate Night Person and, quite honestly, didn't want God to answer it. (Confession.) But as I matured in Him, I realized that it was absolutely vital that I spend time with him FIRST before anything else had a chance to enter my mind, my heart, and my spirit in the morning. I realized all the scriptures in the Word that speak of spending time with Him first in the day, and was convicted. So, I prayed the prayer. He not only wakes me up 30 minutes early...He usually wakes me up 1 - 1 1/2 hours early! And I'm fine with it! I love it...there is no sweeter communion than the communion of first fruits.
I have challenged many of the young women in our church to pray that prayer. I have tried to convey the necessity, the beauty, the love, the wonder that comes with meeting with Him first in the day. I let them know they must mean it before they pray it, because He WILL answer it.
So, it takes them a while. It's serious business. And when they are finally ready to get serious about it, they pray it. And He answers them.
It's "The Nona Freeman Prayer for Night People."
It's a prayer that will change your life if you are willing to allow your life to be changed.