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Why Can't Morning Prayer Time Be at Night?

     This might be the first time you will read this in regard to spending time with God…but here it goes. If you are a morning person and enjoy an early morning quiet time, good for you!

     If you aren’t, please don’t feel condemned if you don’t get up an hour earlier to pray. I have read SOOOOO many Christian parenting books that emphasize the importance of rising early in the morning before the children are awake to pray (better known as the “quiet time” concept). I agree that spending time with God is absolutely vital to life. I crave my alone time with God, but it isn’t at 5 AM.  

     If we consider how God worked in creating the world, He actually worked from evening until morning. Genesis 1 tells us In Jesus’s time, there were eight watches in a day. The first watch would begin at 6 PM, the second watch would begin at 9 PM, the third at midnight, the fourth at 3 AM and so forth. In “And there was evening, and there was morning—the first  …second….third….fourth…fifth…sixth day” (Genesis 1:4, et al, NIV). Matthew 14:23-32, we read that Jesus prayed in the evening and during the fourth watch of the night a storm came. He had already prayed about 10 hours before the enemy sent a storm and because of His prayer beforehand, He already had his strategy for the following day.

     The Jewish culture places great importance on nighttime prayer. The Jewish practice of cheshbon hanefesh occurs each night before bedtime. This is a reflective process where people ponder the activities of the day and takes an inventory of their soul. It prepares the heart and mind for the bedtime prayers known as the tefilah. Here again is another example that the concept of “quiet time” doesn’t have to occur early in the morning.

     We also know from occult practices that the “witching hour” is midnight. Before most Christians awaken for their 5 AM prayer, there have already been witches, warlocks, and similar evil spirits pronouncing curses and planning how to sabotage someone’s day. Wouldn’t it be effective if, like Jesus did in Matthew 14, we pray beforehand against such attacks and gain divine revelation and strategy for the next day?

     I’m the mother of three young children, and let’s face it, when you are raising little ones, it is a challenge to ever find a “quiet time” in your day anyway. (This is especially true if you have more than two children!)  Some of my most powerful prayer times have been in the shower or cleaning up dishes from dinner. I find that I need to pray often throughout the day. I believe this is what Paul meant when he said we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, KJV).

     If you have felt discouraged about sacrificing sleep in the morning to have a “quiet time,”  be released from that guilt. Raising little ones is only for a season and during this season, moms need rest!. God doesn’t hold us accountable to a rigid and legalistic “quiet time” ritual, especially since there are plenty of examples in the Bible that don’t conform to the “quiet time” concept.  Instead, God’s desire for intimacy with us means He is gracious to meet us where we are within the confines of the schedule we have as moms.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Dorena DellaVecchio, Ph.D.

Reader Comments...
2011-03-17 23:26:15
"My most powerful prayers, have been in front of the Eucaarist."
        - Liz
2010-07-26 14:16:32

I haven't heard anyone talk about this before....except me. I got set free from the "morning guilt" along time ago and it is refreshing to hear someone else share the concept. My favorite time is at night, alone with God just before I retire for the evening. Love it. Thanks for sharing."
        - Ann

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