And All for Your Love’s Sake – Dawn

 Prayer in the Night – Chapter 13

Chapter 13 begins the final section, the final chapter, of the book. Just like a crescendo in an aria, this final line brings us to a final colmination that wraps up everything that has just been said and written.

“And all for your love’s sake.”

Do you realize the focus and power in our prayers is not in the requests? As eloquent or desperate as they may be, and no matter how much time we spend talking about them, they are not the centerpiece. Even in this prayer as it goes on line after precious line, the power is not in the beauty of the words or fears of our hearts. 

It’s in who God is. It’s what he is able to do.

We could have the most beautiful prayer but deliver it to the wrong person. And if we did, it would be meaningless. 

There is only one God who is able.

Not only is he able to fulfill our request, but he is also able to love us enough to fulfill the request. It is because of his “love’s sake” he went to the cross, to bring us into relationship with him, to adopt us as sons and daughters. It’s for his own “love’s sake” that he embraces us as we pray.

Nighttime can still be scary. And we may not get or feel the protection we have prayed for. God’s answer, for his “love’s sake,” may be to “wait” or even the dreaded “no.” But even then, it’s not outside of his love or ability. As much as it hurts us, it hurts him to see us suffer, even if he knows the end result will be for good.

His “love’s sake” helps us see to the dawn when the night is gone and light makes life clearer. 

As Tish puts it, “In the end, darkness is not explained; it is defeated. Night is not justified or solved; it is endured until light overcomes it and it is no more.” (171)


I hope you have enjoyed this book blog of Tish Harrison Warren’s book, Prayer in the Night. I hope you get your own copy to underline and mark up as the Lord teaches you how he wants to meet you, even in the night.

Shield the Joyous – Gratitude and Indifference

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 12

“Shield the Joyous” was a little harder to understand – why do we pray that those who are joyous would be shielded? The author goes on to comment, “Joy takes courage.” (151)

How does joy take courage? 

I usually think of joy as an emotion. It just comes. I don’t plan it, nor do I plan not to have it. It’s either there or not. And in those times I don’t have it, I always think I should. After all, Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; again I will say, rejoice!” (caps are mine!)

But Tish explains, “To risk joy requires hope…to hope is to ‘borrow grace.’” (152)

Being in a position to need grace is very vulnerable. Have you ever laughed at something only to find out the other person didn’t think it was funny? When I have, I felt like a fool. Not only had I offended them, I thought there was something wrong with me to find it joyful.

I remember once when I was young and Dad was on a ladder, doing something with the gutter on the garage. He started to lose his balance, swinging his arms like a cartoon character. I laughed because from my little mind, it looked funny. From his vantage point, it was not so funny!

It takes courage to be free enough to laugh, to feel the fullness of our joy, the fullness of our hope. Others don’t always share it with us.

So in those moments of spontaneous joy because of our relationship of grace with Jesus, we may need to be shielded from those who are doubting, who are not sharing the hope or the grace. We don’t want them to rob us of our joy. 

God doesn’t want us to be robbed of our joy.

Pity the Afflicted – Relentlessness and Revelation

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 11

What’s the difference between the “suffering” and the “afflicted?”

Afflicted refers to long-term or lifetime suffering. It’s suffering with no hope of relief.

Most of our human suffering ends with time. But for some, there is no end to their physical or emotional pain. Daily they live with pain or a disability with no hope in sight.

“We want suffering to have a clear beginning, middle and end, something we can get through, a story with a tidy resolution. We buck against a vision of Christianity with no immediate results, no clear payoff. The life of the afflicted remind us, uncomfortably that suffering is not simply a problem to be solved.” (142)

What can we do? We don’t want to pity in the sense of feeling they or we are hopeless. Instead, we enter into life with them, facing the challenges of their pain, helping them physically here on earth, hoping in the final resurrection when there is no pain or disability.

This of all the prayer is the hardest for me. Sometimes I despair, for myself and others. What I need is to realize God’s “pity” of us, how he enters life with us, completely attuned to our hopelessness.

He is the only one who can truly understand. He is the only one who can give us hope.

PS – This blog is reflections on Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night which I highly recommend.

Soothe the Suffering – Comfort

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 10

Tish defines suffering as when we are “in acute times of pain…We won’t always know whether the suffering we are enduring is temporary or permanent. Not knowing is a part of our vulnerability, and part of what makes suffering scary and difficult…Suffering strips away self.” (125, 126)

The pain can be emotional or physical. But either way, Jesus felt the pain and suffering we feel. He suffered from rejection and cried physical tears. Maybe it’s because of our vulnerability that God feels the closest when it is the darkest.

Tish writes, “The people I most respect are those who have suffered but did not numb their pain – who faced their darkness. In the process they have become beautifully weak, not tough as nails, not bitter or rigid, but men and women who bear vulnerability with joy and trust. They are almost luminescent, like a paper lantern, weak enough that light shines through.” (137)

Beautifully weak with light shining through…

Oh Lord, in the midst of my limited suffering, that is my prayer – for your unlimited grace to flow through my weakness!

PS – The book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night is amazing…I can feel the peace of the prayer over me as if I was snuggling into a comforter on a cold, dark night.

Bless the Dying – Ashes

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 9

“We pray to a Creator who has himself tasted death.” (114)

I love Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin.” 

Jesus knows us and our fear of death. He knows what we have not yet tasted in full, the moment of death, the thoughts of the dying. He knows unbearable pain, the desire to have it over but not knowing how long it will go on. He knows the temptation to think “what’s next” when this life feels as if it’s over.

“Ground zero of our human experience of vulnerability is the fact that we all will die, ourselves and everyone we love.” (116)

Everything we have lived for will be sorted out. Either it will be meaningless rubble or crowns to give our Lord Jesus.

Roger’s mother recently passed from this life. I would love to say it was a peaceful parting, but it was hard – hard for her and hard for us to watch. And it’s been hard missing her since she has been gone. From my limited life experience, mourning a loved one is the deepest emotional pain.

“When we pray “bless the dying” we remember those who are at the sharpened point of their own vulnerability.” (123) We also touch for the briefest of moments, our own vulnerability. 

Someday, it will be us…

PS – Just a reminder to get your copy of the book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night. I’m writing about what God is showing me through it, but there is SO MUCH MORE!

Give Rest to the Weary – Weakness and Silence

Prayer in the Night- Chapter 8

It doesn’t take much to get me into this line of the Compline – to give rest to the weary. I know weariness, oh too well! I know how my body aches for rest. 

I also know the weariness of the mind, overwhelmed with information it can no longer sort through, looking for answers.

And it’s circular – the body makes the mind weary and the mind makes our body feel weary.

Tish reminds us, “Jesus calls the weary to himself. He does not call the self-sufficient…He calls those exhausted from toil, from just getting through the day. He calls those burdened with heavy loads, those weighed down by sin and sorry.” (104) We are vulnerable to collapse because of the burdens put upon us or we put upon ourselves. 

So we cry out to God.

“Oddly, when Jesus calls the weary to rest, he also calls them to a yoke – an instrument of work, not rest…He offers his followers a different yoke – his. He says that his yoke is easy and light…In our weariness we are called to rest, but we are also called to learn, to be taught by one in authority. There is no yokeless option…Jesus’ yoke is light not because he promises ease or success, but because he promises to bear our burdens with us. He promises to shoulder our load…Is Jesus enough?” (107,108)

There is no “yokeless option.”

We either collapse alone under our burdens, our over-scheduled lives, the fantasy of perfection, or we take on his burden with him with us.

Why is this decision so hard?

PS – Want to hear more? Please buy the book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night! I can barely scratch the surface in this short blog!

Just an explanation about “Follow-It”

For those of you who have signed up for email notification when I make a post, Word Press is changing their systems and dropping their email service, resulting in my needing to change my way of doing things. So I signed up with “Follow-It,” which basically does the same thing. I’m not pleased with how the layout looks or the ads at the bottom, but until I find a new replacement (and I’m open to suggestions!), this is where we are at. I know I love the feature of getting the post via email and hope you will continue also — Maggie

Tend the Sick, Lord, Christ – Embodiment

Prayer in the NIght – Chapter 7

I know all too well we all are confined to bodies. Between cancer, fragile bones, and the germs of life (much less COVID), we are constantly reminded that we are limited by what our bodies give us – energy and intelligence to accomplice. 

It’s part of our vulnerability: “We are reminded in sickness that none of us is the master of our own destiny, the sustainer of our own life…We want to be indispensable, omnicompetent, and indestructible. But we are human, creatures of the dust. Embracing this truth about ourselves is the kind of humiliation that births freedom.” (95,96)

It’s in our most isolated, vulnerable state we cry out to God. We ask God to become once again involved with human bodies, our weaknesses. And through our weakness, we ask him to bless this world.

I look forward to the day when we will be with Jesus, eternal in our bodies. No sin, no disease, no death. Free from the confines, free from the fear of pain, harm or death. Free, just as Jesus was free in his resurrected body. 

I wonder if we’ll walk through walls?

PS – If you haven’t yet, please buy Tish Harrison Warren’s book, Prayer in the Night! It’s on Amazon – and there is so much more in each chapter!

Give Your Angels Charge Over Those Who Sleep – Cosmos & Commonplace

Prayer in the Night – Part Three: A Taxonomy of Vulnerability Chapter 6

Chapter 6 begins a third section of the book: “A Taxonomy of Vulnerability.” If you’re like me, I had to look up the meaning of “taxonomy,” which means “the classification of something, especially organisms” or “a system of classification” (thank you, Google!).

Earlier in the book, the author talks about the vulnerability of the night, taking us back into the era before electricity, police protection, and burglary alarms. But even more harmful was the way that our society has concluded that only what we could see and control matter. We make our faith “less enchanted,” trying to make it intellectual. So at night, our minds swirl to figure out everything we didn’t figure out the day before, robbing us of rest, true rest, of minds and hearts.

Tish writes, “We are all helpless when we sleep…every day, whether we like it or not, we must enter into vulnerability in order to sleep…Because sleep is so vulnerable, we sometimes have a hard time embracing it.” (88-89)

But we have to let go, in order to sleep – let go of all those things we can’t control during the day. She quotes James Bryan Smith, “You cannot make yourself sleep. You cannot force yourself to sleep. Sleep is an act of surrender. It is a declaration of trust, admitting that we are not God (who never sleeps), and that is good news…” 

Sweet release. Can’t you feel it? Only God and his angels can keep watch over us and protect us. We let go…and we let God…and then, we can wake up refreshed!

PS – Please buy the book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night, and follow along with this blog. I write about what God is showing me through it, but there is so much more I’m sure he wants to show you!

Those Who Work – Restoration

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 5

The last category is “those who work.” As Americans, we try to put this one first, as if all the glory and attention should go for what we produce. But if we jiust focus on our work, we’ll never be comforted in our grief or attentive to what God is doing.

We often do see spirituality in our work. Tish writes, “We leave our small mark on the world…Done well, it adds truth, beauty, and goodness to the world. It pushes back the darkness.” (page 65) She calls it participation “in God’s mending of a world unraveled.” (page68)

She also talks about how “work weaves us together as a human race, dependent and interconnected.” (page 66) What we produce is not meant to be owned but shared. That’s why greed is so devastating.

And she also talked about Jesus and how he worked. He didn’t live off the goodwill of others or God’s riches. He learned a trade and contributed to the livelihood of others.

My favorite quote from this chapter (page 76): 

“God became flesh 
and built some furniture.” 

PS – She’s got a great sense of humor in her book Prayer in the Night! Get it on Amazon or another retailer.