It’s 3:00 AM and you’re wide awake–is God calling you to pray?

January 30, 2012

Embracing Life

Years ago, when Bishop Lee Piche was the pastor at St. Joseph’s in West St. Paul, he gave a homily that I think about often: “When you lie awake at night it could be that God is calling you to pray.”

It's 3:00 AM...Is God calling you to pray?

Used with permission from

Parents always have a lot on their minds when it comes to their children. I picture Mary’s tender heart which was pierced seven times according to Simeon’s prophecy. I’m sure she spent a lot of sleepless nights in prayer. Thankfully, I have not experienced the same sorrows that the Blessed Mother has; not many of us will, but we still have a myriad of concerns for our children.

As a mother of nine, I have said many prayers when the moon is up…and so were our babies. Our youngest are twins, and they will turn three soon. Unfortunately, they don’t know what the word SLEEP means. By eight weeks all of our other babies slept through the night, but since our identical boys were born, they get up anywhere from 1-12 times most nights. I’m praying on overdrive these years! Sometimes I begin with the best intentions, the people closest to my heart, but often I find myself in the middle of the night saying (Er…begging!) “Please God, don’t let the twins wake up screaming…please, please, please!” And mercifully, a few times my prayers were answered, and then each twin was rewarded with a chocolate from an Advent calendar. (Okay, I’ll admit, I resort to bribery some days.)

On the nights when I find myself awake with the coyotes and owls, and I’m not so desperate, I  remember to pray for the needs outside my family and loved ones. Namely, I pray that we all feel called to build a culture of life by using our God-given talents. My New Year’s resolution is to pray more often for this–day and night. And yes…I’m still going to pray that the twins sleep until their night light changes from the moon to the sun.

As people who embrace life, we have a lot for which to pray:

  • For an end to the courge of abortion as we usher in the 40th year of Roe V. Wade
  • That mothers choose life for their unborn and find the help and support they need
  • For those who are at death’s door–that St. Joseph guide them toward a peaceful death
  • That the sick will be comforted, and that those who take care of them will have the help, strength, faith and perseverance needed
  • That traditional marriage will be upheld
  • That our country will be protected, and for the military men and women who defend our freedom
  • For those who wear a badge and risk their lives for our safety
  • That respect for all human life will increase
  • That all children–before and after birth–will be protected and loved
  • That those with disabilities–including the pre-born–will be shown respect
  • That those who work in the medical and legislative fields will be guided by the Holy Spirit

We must also remember our prayers of thanksgiving for:

  • A surge of youth who are  determined to turn the tide
  • Clergy who speak beautifully about building a culture of life
  • Pregnancy help centers which assist mothers and babies in need–sidewalk counselors who save lives–Safe Place for Newborns
  • Hospice caregivers and medical staff who lovingly work with families at the end of life
  • People with disabilities or illnesses, and their families and caretakers, who teach us about the beauty of life by their example
  • Birthmothers who choose life and make a selfless decision to place the child for adoption
  • Adoptive families and the agencies who assist them

Readers: If you think of any other prayers to add to the list, please write them in the comments box. Thank you!


About Kathy Schneeman

After graduating from The College of St. Thomas, I taught at Nativity in St. Paul until our oldest was just about born in the classroom (What a great lesson on life that would have been for my students!) I then became a stay-at-home-mom while teaching religious education classes and working very part time at UST. Recently, I served as the Archdiocese's Life Coordinator in the Office for Marriage, Family and Life until twins arrived (I was almost 43!) When I have a few minutes of quiet time, I like to run, eat chocolates, scones and Mexican food (that's why I run), read, and have a beverage with my husband at night. We have a whopping nine kids (yes...same husband and same wife; we get that question a lot!) and we attend St. Joseph's in West St. Paul--where we first met when we were in grade school.

View all posts by Kathy Schneeman