Lover of God, wife, mother, British missionary in Peru... click here to learn more about Anna and this blog and how it can serve you.

Taking Captive the Sleep Monsters

Taking Captive the Sleep Monsters

I need joy! I crave joy - that sanctified radiating witness of the Holy Spirit in my life.  The empowering strength of the Lord, that springs into praise of my Creator.  

 

I need the joy of the Lord to be my strength but I often find that joy does not come easily or naturally to me.  Despair, grief and lethargy seem to creep up on me and try and cloak my spirit instead. 

 

Praise be to God who has promised a garment of praise instead of the shroud the enemy offers me! 

 

For the next 21 days I plan to look through many different ways the Bible suggests I can embrace joy in my life.  I desire to be robed in His garment of praise rather than the shroud of the enemy. 

 

What are the practical steps I can take to get dressed in joy daily? How does the Bible express joy? I hope that these steps will be helpful to you as well as we seek together to live in the fullness of life with God.  

 

and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor
— Isaiah 61: 3

Taking Captive the Sleep Monsters 

As my three year old looks into my face and gives me an eye-wide smile and I look at the clock and it is barely sunrise, I face the first major decision of the day - to rejoice or to invite the sleep monsters to groan in my heart.  

 

Today it is hard to resist that toothy grin and I snuggle him close and then race him to the bathroom.  

 

Other days it takes all my strength just to push back the bedcovers, the grumpy sleep monsters grabbing at my neck and trying to get a free piggy-back ride as I step into the day. 

 

How do you take captive the first thoughts of the day? What is the first thing you allow your mind to wander to? Is it dread that fills up your heart or anxiety or do you roll over and un-plug your phone in a semi-conscious daze to check the emails? I know that those things are holding their arms out to me and whining at me to pick them up.  

 

Recently I have learned about the Modeh Ani, a prayer that observant Jews pray on waking.  For a few weeks I prayed this prayer as soon as I woke (Actually I had it named as an alarm on my phone to wake me up!) and this is the prayer: 

 

I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, 

for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; 

Your faithfulness is great. 

 

The prayer is based on Lamentations 3:22-23:  

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for his compassions never fail. 

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness. 

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

therefore I will wait for him.” 

 

Praying the Modeh Ani as I woke was a step into joy whatever the circumstances.  The prayer doesn’t thank God for good health or prosperity or make any reference to anything my heart can question in my current circumstances.  It simply thanks God for my soul being restored and what a merciful act of God that is.  What simple miracle that I slept and am now awake again!  And that miracle happens, day after day! It acknowledges a King over my life, one who was before and who will be for ever, and who is living - alive today! Acknowledging His faithfulness and that it is great, leads me to recognize that He has indeed been faithful in my life, not only despite but in the midst of all the struggles life cyclically throws at me.  

 

So as the day begins today I give thanks for all that God is.  I can always give thanks for who He is.  And I am thankful that He is faithful and eternal and so much bigger than me.  And I choose to give thanks for life, for waking once again. 

I offer thanks before you, living and eternal King, 

for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; 

Your faithfulness is great. 

 

Let's put on joy together: 

How are you going to take captive the first thoughts of the morning?


This is Day 1 of a 21 Day challenge to put on joy in practical ways.  You can receive these posts by email by clicking to sign up here. 

 

Key to the gates of joy

Key to the gates of joy

When grief is a community affair...

When grief is a community affair...

0