I learned in conversation with my friend Kathleen that she keeps a dream journal. At some point she realized that we sleep a third of our lives, so she didn't want to "waste" that third. She also remembered Paul's earnest wish for us:
". . . that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him" (Ephesians 1:17).
So she asked the Lord if He would release His Spirit of revelation especially into the most receptive state of her mind, the sleeping state. She found support for her unusual request in various places in Scripture, including a few Psalms:
"I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me" (Psalm 16:7).
"My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night . . ." (Psalm 63:5-6).
Kathleen remembered how many times the Lord sent dreams in the ancient world-and not only to his prophets, but to the likes of Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and King Abimelech of Gerar (Genesis 20). Then she remembered that that spotty Old Testament use of dreams would intensify in our age:
"And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams . . ." (Acts 2:17).
What I am most enthusiastic about in this report about Kathleen is not the dream journal but her mind-expanding example of prayer that blows the doors off my heretofore-narrow set of requests. Matthew 7:7, Ephesians 6:18, and Philippians 4:6 look to me like invitations to ask the Lord for all kinds of things. Who knows, he may say no-but there's no harm in asking.
I have found that the more faith a person has, the more creative her prayers become. Once you get past the first 10 requests on your prayer list, you start venturing into some strangely wonderful prayer territory.