Finding Compline – Nightfall

Prayer in the Night – Chapter 1

The prayer begins with a time and place. It’s nightfall, but not like the nightfall you and I get excited for when work is over and nightlife begins. This is the nightfall of ages past, when the night was a fearful time, not being able to see dangers, evil stalking where it’s so dark, you can’t even see shadows. No lightbulb to turn on when things get scary…you have to pray through the scary…

We all feel more vulnerable at night. During the day, things are under our control, or at least we try to put them under our control. But at night, it’s harder. Tish makes the point, “each of us begins to feel vulnerable if the darkness is too deep or lasts too long.” (page 14)

She explains, “The term vulnerable comes from the Latin word meaning “to wound.” We are wound-able.” (page 15) During the day, we may have come to blows, but we have had counterblows we landed, or defenses to build, making us feel protected. But in the darkness of night, it’s easy to lose perspective, to not see our strengths but only feel our weakness.

It’s in those moments, the dark ones, we pray this prayer. We don’t need it at daybreak or even in the hot sun of noon. It’s when we are vulnerable, it’s too dark and we don’t know how much longer we will have to go through this that we call on God. 

God is not only the God of the day who leads us through activities.

He’s the God of the night.

PS – Please buy the book by Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night! There is SO MUCH MORE!

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