For Pastor Nathan Heady, waking up at 3 a.m. means one thing…it’s time to pray. He and his wife have a history with prayers needed and prayers answered in the small hours of the morning. So when he woke up on the Saturday before Easter and the clock said 3 a.m., he knew it was time to pray.
Nathan shared with God his concerns for the day. Friendship was having a huge community egg hunt later that morning. They had done a prayer walk around the neighborhood, sent out invitations to 137 houses. They had a photographer lined up to take pictures with a live bunny, a petting zoo, all kinds of activities planned, and literally hundreds of eggs to hide.
Nathan talked to God about Easter morning. Every pastor is nervous going into big days and Nathan was no exception.
And the third request on Nathan’s heart that morning was for a situation that he has been praying over and waiting for an opportunity to bring healing to for the entire three years he has been at Friendship. In fact, he had shared with his church that he had asked God to answer this request during the 40 day journey. On that Saturday morning, the journey had recently wrapped up with no resolution to the struggle. Nathan brought it before the Father again that morning.
The day started and Saturday’s event was a huge success. Over 300 people attended, including over 100 kids. The people of Friendship heard comments such as:
“We never knew you were here.”
“I’ve always wondered what’s in this building.”
“I’ve always wanted to visit but just never have.”
To a church that is excited about reaching their community, these comments tasted sweet. They could see that God used their hard work to open new doors. Prayers answered.
The following day was Easter Sunday. It was a great day at Friendship. They had 109 people in service, which represents a high average for them, and saw many visitors come in the door. And the momentum didn’t end. On Monday, Pastor Nathan’s five-year-old daughter asked her dad about the Easter story, about Jesus and, at the end of the conversation, invited Jesus into her heart. Prayers Answered!
Finally, on Tuesday of that week, in a casual conversation with someone in the congregation, Nathan saw God starting to heal the very situation he had been praying for over three years and at 3 a.m. just a few days prior. God gave him the chance to speak healing words. It was the first steps of a healing journey. Nathan continues to see God working on the struggle, healing the hearts of those involved. PRAYERS ANSWERED.
I spoke with Nathan on Wednesday of that week and he was so blown away by God’s timeline. Every request he laid at God’s feet on Saturday morning had been answered by Tuesday.
Nathan said, “The prayer emphasis started in the 40 days, but this is just the beginning.”
In the week since Nathan and I spoke, I have had several mornings with 3 a.m. wake ups and I have been inspired to be intentional about using this time to talk with our Father, to really be still and listen before the noise of the day starts, to make this a purposeful moment instead of lost time.
Do you have 3 am wake up calls? Do you use them for prayer?