02:00 - The best time to pray?Bruce Gardiner Crehan - 3 Sep 2012
2am (02:00) is really my favourite time of the day, well, night really. I’m definitely a night person, and can easily stay up to all hours, even see the sun come up... but I’m rubbish at early mornings!
Whenever there’s a 24-7 Prayer sign-up, I always take the middle of the night slots, it’s when I feel my sharpest towards God’s presence. The stillness, the quietness – they all help me when I’m sat reflecting on the character of God.
Praying at night means you can experience various extremes: I could be praying in silence, reflecting upon God’s peace and waiting on Him. I love those moments when you’re meeting with God and sensing him coming close. It’s a beautifully holy moment. Conversely, I could be praying at 2am with the sound of a DJ in the background, amongst a throng of people milling about you, taking prayers out on the streets and into the clubs. I love both of these scenarios, and both are important and valid. I think it’s time we made sure we experienced both of these options.
Praying at 2am reminds me of my time working in Ibiza for 24-7 Prayer. 2am was the time of night right in the middle of our shift, and we’d be seeking God’s heart, his voice and inspiration, and ultimately seeking a fresh infilling of God’s Spirit to keep us going.
The Bible features many moments of 2am prayer. Isaiah says:
through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you’ (Isaiah 26:9).
Jesus, we’re told, quite often spent the night in isolation, connecting with His Father in prayer (Mark 1:35). These are seemingly the moments when Jesus renewed all his energy that enabled him to do all the amazing miracles and tell all those God-stories. King David is quoted in the Psalms as saying ‘at night his song is with me (Psalm 42) and in Psalm 134, David speaks of ministers who raise up hands before God at night.
For me, the ‘2am-middle-of-the-night’ prayers are moments when you meet with God. Sometimes it feels like the secret place, where you breathe afresh God’s presence. Other times it’s just resting, hearing God’s song of love for you and for the lost. Above all, it’s just ‘being’ before a Holy God who touches us with his holiness.
Can I encourage you to go for the late prayer slots, enabling others to take the easier times? It will be a sacrifice, but the benefits far outweigh the cost. You will find God will give you all the energy you need to keep going the next morning!