When you see someone geared up for vigil, and during praise and worship or the first one or two prayer points, that person is bouncing up and down round the hall, shouting on top of his voice, etc., know that this one no go last. In the next 20 minutes, his eyes will begin to expire.
Why is that? It is because there is a skill to staying awake all night during vigils. It has nothing to do with how holy or unholy you are, or how long you slept or didn’t sleep during day. During vigils, it is a different ball game. There always seems to be a demon of sleep prowling around, and I am going to give you strategies to conquer this demon. These strategies work. This is not an OR circuit, it is an AND circuit. It means you must implement all the strategies to get the benefit.
1. Kopiko or any other coffee sweet is your friend. This is very important. You must bring enough kopiko for yourself and the people sitting beside you. When you open the pack, ask your seat neighbours if they want. They will most likely say yes, as people don’t really are very open and down to earth during vigils. Whether they accept or not, at least, they will know you are ready for serious business, and don’t intend to sleep. And if they know what is good for them, they will not sleep too. If your eyes are threatening to close, just slip kopiko into your mouth. If your head or hands are going limp, slip in the kopiko. Any sign the demon is coming near you, slip in the kopiko. The idea is that by the time the vigil is coming to an end, you must be high on kopiko.
2. Come armed. Not with charms or guns to kill the sleep demon. In your bag, pack sweets, water, Fanta, and other sugary drinks. Don’t pack eba or pounded yam o. In any case, the goal is not to consume all these things you came armed with. It is actually the fact that the knowledge that you have something in your bag to keep you awake, will actually keep you awake. Don’t ask me how, but it works. I guess it’s a mind thing. If you feel your eyes getting closed sometimes, you can just take a gulp of water from your ammunition, every 30 minutes.
3. When praying, don’t stand on a spot. Standing on a spot when praying will make you feel relaxed, and let the tiredness descend on you. Before you know it, you will be sleeping and standing at the same time, and people will think you have entered the spiritual realm, not knowing you are in dreamland.
4. Never sit down. If you didn’t do number 1, 2, and 3, you must do this. This singular point is why people succeed or fail when it comes to sleeping at vigils. The only time you should sit down during vigil is if the pastor is giving a sermon, and by that time, I expect that you are high on kopiko. If you are sitting and standing, you think you are saving your strength, but the truth is that you are giving your knees more work to do, and giving yourself a faster chanced to be tired. Don’t sit down when a scripture to back up a prayer point is being explained. Don’t sit down when a prayer point is being read. Don’t sit down when someone wants to pass in your front. I don’t care if the vigil lasts 3 hours or 6 hours. Whatever you do, never sit down. I know it sounds harsh, but the problems that chased you to vigil in the first place too are also harsh and not smiling, and remember you have your bed to embrace all day, so delay the gratification. If you sit down, you will be tempted to sit for 10 seconds more, and another 10 seconds, and another…. Before you know it, you will deceive yourself into believing you can pray effectively while sitting, and then what happens, BAM! the sleep demon wraps itself round you. What do we have here? Another one bites the dust.
So here are fail-safe ways to keep yourself awake during prayer vigils. That problem that gave you the idea that you should leave your comfortable bed, and go to church all night must die o. You cannot let sleep deny you your breakthrough, lol.
Try all these four pointe, and you will be an expert night vigil-kipper in church. If you are lucky, you will even receive an award for it, by becoming the head of your department in church.