For some reason, the time slot I always sign up for when we do these 24/7 prayer emphases at church is 4:00 a.m. Usually I try to do it on Wednesdays so that I can just grab some coffee afterwards and jump right into my sermon (which is what I'm doing now...except I'm blogging). Plus I can just stagger out of sleep at 3:50 and throw a baseball hat on with shorts and t-shirt. that's the practical side.
But 4:00 a.m. around here is atypically quiet. A simple light on the cross highlights literally hundreds of prayer requests. Little notes of faith and seeking God. It both overwhelms me and comforts me. I often sit by the cross in solitude, simply reading the multi-colored post-it-note prayers and just ask God to move in His mercy. I'm often drawn to the place where I preach. Just sitting on the stage and staring out into the empty seats and thinking/praying about who might be sitting in them - asking God to work mightily in the preaching and worship that is upcoming. I often just thank Him for allowing me to be the pastor here.
Sometimes I just wander through the building (being scared by and sometimes scaring Dan our night time custodian) praying for all the ministries that happen around here. Sometimes i sit in the seats and sing (old hymns mostly - funny how the songs of my heart always seem to go back to my childhood faith. I listen to lots of Christian music and love it all. I love the songs we sing on Sunday's at Eastview, but the hymns of my youth are always the ones that come to mind most quickly when I desire to praise God in song). Sometimes I'll catch a glimpse of the person before me or after me in the prayer effort and I'm encouraged that there is an unbroken chain of prayer before God.