Prayer and Worship in the Night Watches

by Joel Ramshaw (2010)

Prayer at night is more powerful than prayer during daytime. Prayer and worship at night is the main time you encounter God and the supernatural. This is actually revealed constanly thoughout the Bible in hidden patterns and symbolism. Try praying at night when you need a breakthrough in your walk with God.

Prophetic Interpretation of Scripture:

This writing relies heavily on prophetic interpretation. Many passages of scripture have two or three tiers of meaning. The abomination of desolation will be fulfilled three different ways. Also the verse “He will rule them with a rod of iron” applies to Christ first, but has prophetic interpretation to refer to the overcomers as shown in revelation chapters two and three. Hosea says “out of Egypt I called my son,” the first tier of meaning being that God was Israel’s Father, and miraculously delivered them from pharaoh. Matthew however, recognizes the prophetic tier of interpretation, letting “out of Egypt i called my son” refer to Christ, when as a child He had returned from Egypt where He had fled from pharaoh. Prophetic interpretation is messy business, however it is obedience to the voice of God. We cannot refuse to believe what God has told us, simply because we want to have comfortable interpretations, and stick only to the first tier of revelation (the plain meaning).

The Biblical Command to pray at night:

     Praying at night is not just a nifty gimmick, it is a biblical command. Its really about praying God’s will, not our personal wishlist.

Lamentations 2:19 “Arise, cry out in the night, At the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him.”

      The Greek word for “coming” is “Parousia.” The actual meaning of the word is “presence.” The meaning of the passages on watching are not just “Christ is coming,” but rather are “Christ is present at an hour you do not expect.” Christ is specially present in the night watches.

Revelation 16:15, ““Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

Christ comes as a thief: at night. "blessed is He who watches" refers to those who stay up for the night watches. God gives a lot of special blessings and impartations to those who watch at night.

Luke 12:37-38, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.”

Mark 13:35-37Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Whereas the contemporary world runs time from 12am to 12pm, the Jewish day started with night at 6pm - 6am, and then had day at 6am – 6pm. Following the roman takeover, they also divided the night into four parts. The evening watch was 6 - 9pm, the midnight watch is 9pm – 12am, the “rooster crow” watch is 12am – 3am, the morning watch is 3 – 6am. We are commanded to “watch!” at these times. Mark 13:35 mentions each night watch by name. This is where we can often press into greater intimacy with Christ than usual.

Many people assume Mark 13:35-37, as referring to only to Christ second coming. The first tier of this verses’ fulfillment is indeed Christ’s second coming:

When Christ comes, it will be daylight for half of the world, and night for the other half. This some people will already be awake because it is day in their area when Christ returns. On the side of the earth where it is night though, some will live in an area in which the time will be 9pm-12am when Christ comes, others it will be 12-3am, for others, 3-6am. As a result, Christ will command those in His body to stay up that particular night. Those obedient to this command will be found awake (literally) by Christ at His return, and will be rewarded. Those who are sleeping, because they are not tuned into Christ’s voice, or are disobedient, it will be a huge loss.

The second tier of meaning though, refers to the time of Christ’s presence (Greek: Parousia). As English speakers, we think of Christ’s “coming” rather than His “Presence” which is what the original Greek word really said. Christ’s presence comes when we seek Him in the night watches.

Mark 1:35, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

     What the Bible refers to as “morning” here, is not the same time as the ‘morning’ the contemporary world awakens at.  This morning is “risen a long while before daylight”,  it is about 3:00 – 5:00am or so. The ‘morning’ here refers to the Fourth Watch of the night (3:00am to 6:00am). His morning is earlier than our morning. Christ knew that God released greater power for answered prayer at these times, and so you will  so often find Christ praying either in the “morning” (usually the fourth watch, 3:00am-6:00am) or praying in the night.

     The Romans called the Fourth Watch the “morning watch” even though it was 3:00am – 6:00am. As a result, in the Bible when the Bible talks of praying in the morning it does not just mean 6:00am – 12:00pm. Because of our contemporary culture, we assume morning to be 6:00am -12:00pm, but it was not this way in Bible times. We must understand this when reading the scripture, morning was a more flexible time that went from about 3am – 9am.

Psalm 19:2, “Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge.”

      The normal reading of psalm 19, is that every aspect of creation witnesses of God and His nature. There is also a hidden meaning though, that while the day witnesses of God’s care and love through creation, the night is the time when He reveals great amounts of heaven’s knowledge and new insights. Nighttime is a special time for getting insights, and prophetic revelation from God.

Matthew 14:15, When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying ‘this is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away...”

Matthew 14:23-25, “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.”

     Jesus had a pattern of ministering in the day, and praying in the night (and early morning 3:00am – 6:00am). Jesus here, prayed for about nine hours. From 6:00pm till 3:00am. It was only sometime in “the fourth watch”  that He finished His prayer.

1 Thessalonians 3:10, “night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?”

This tells us of the common early church practice of praying in the night watches. The phrase also is “night and day” rather than “day and night,” thus showing that in terms of prayer “night” was first in Paul’s mind.

     While Moses led the Israelites through the desert, God moved as a cloud by day, but as fire by night. The prophetic tier of meaning here is that God’s time of warfare is at night. The fire represents His warring side, and nighttime is when He will manifest this side of Himself in much greater measure.

     In the parable of the sower, the time the enemy plants His tares is at night. This is prophetic of how demonic influence from the second heaven, becomes much more powerful at night, and people come out to sin at this time, because the darkness of their spirits are attracted to the darkness of the demonic spirits presence, this same presence which influences them to come out and sin at this time. Like a drug their spirit is addicted to it, though they do not know it.

Genesis 32:22-31, “22 And he arose that night and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons, and crossed over the ford of Jabbok. 23 He took them, sent them over the brook, and sent over what he had. 24 Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. 25 Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. 26 And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” 27 So He said to him, “What is your name?” He said, “Jacob.” 28 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel;[b] for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel:[c] “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” 31 Just as he crossed over Penuel[d] the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.”

     Abraham’s wrestling with the God is a prophetic picture of prayer, in particular the necessity of persistence in prayer. One of the aspects of persistence is seeking God at night. Just as with Jacob, it is at night when God lets us wrestle Him for special blessings and answers. Blessing seem to flow after spending at least one hour or so. Often we like to do 15 minutes, but that is not really enough to feel the breakthrough. Christ asked the disciples if they could not watch with him "one hour." It is better to power through for a bit longer and spend times with God for a whole hour. This is where we begin to have encounters. Brief prayers at night are the exact same as in the day and no more meaningful. Its only when we take some time to seek God, that we get His special answers to prayer, and blessings.

Luke 11:5-8, “5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”

     This verse about the man who comes at midnight and asks a friend for loaves of bread is speaking of prayer in the third watch 12am – 3am. Though the friend did not want to give the bread, because of the persistence of the man, it was given. This shows how when coming to God in the third watch and being persistent, He has special blessings and answers to prayer ready for us, which He would not otherwise give.

Seeking God at night was quite important to David and the Psalmists:

Psalm 1:2, “And in His law does he meditate day and night

Psalm 22:2, “O my God, I cry in the daytime and you do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent”

     Night prayer is unique and is spoken of as a “season” here. God did not answer his prayers in the daytime, and the writer needed to press through in prayer at night. It says it was the day prayers where the author wrote “you do not hear.” Sometime we cannot get an answer to prayer unless we also show our persistence by seeking God in the night like the psalmist.

Psalm 63:6, “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”

Psalm 119:62, At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.”

            David here tells us that he had a habit of waking up specifically at midnight, so He could seek God in the third watch.

Psalm 119:147-148, “I rise before the dawning of the morning [meaning the fourth watch of the night], And cry for help; I hope in Your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.”

Another verse is Psalm 134:

“Behold, bless the LORD, All you servants of the LORD, Who by night stand in the house of the LORD!  2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the LORD.”

            We see here that the tabernacle of David had 24/7 praise and worship. The worshipers took shifts in the night as well as in the day. God wills to be praised both day and night. As “the priesthood of all believers” we must make sure to seek God at night.

There is a special blessing when God sees us staying up to pray at night. One of the reasons there is more sin and demonic influence at night, is because most people are already done praying. While you are praying, God moves in the geographic areas near you (especially if you are praying directly for your immediate area. the cities nearby). We need to pray in the night. When we pray and worship at night as watchmen, the devil loses a lot of power to influence people to sin at night, and as a result of our faithfulness, there are special blessings to those who will intercede at night. Another key verse:

Luke 18:1-8, “1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

     If we cry out day and night to God, He will answer our request (as long as the request is not against His will). Christ did not say the elect cry out “all day,” but rather “day and night.” Seeking God only in the day will bring a lesser amount of power in the prayer. We must also seek Him at night.

Isaiah 62:6-7 “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

     This passage is prophetic. Just as Jeremiah was called a “watchman” of God, the “watchmen” God speaks of here are not watching in a physical war, they are prayer watchmen. There must be prayer both day and night.

Judges 7:19-21, “So Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outpost of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just as they had posted the watch; and they blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers—they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing—and they cried, “The sword of the LORD and of Gideon!” 21 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled.”

     Gideon’s army is prophetic of our warfare against satan. Gideon was able to overcome the Midianites with only three hundred people. Just as with Gideon, by far the most effective time for spiritual warfare is at night.

Luke 2:36-38 says, “Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years,[i] who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord,[j] and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

     Anna was a prophetess who understood the power of the seeking God in the night watch. Also, notice it does not say “day and night” it says “night and day.” In this unusual structure prayer in the night is put before prayer in the day, whereas the usual phrase would be “day and night.” This goes to show the significance night watch prayer had in Anna’s life.

     Oftentimes people are woken up at night to pray. They are usually led to pray for at least half an hour. Many of them don’t know that this is because there is no one else watching in prayer at that time, and God needs them to pray, so He can release angels to do His work at night. In stopping sin, stopping deaths and accidents, and conduction spiritual warfare, God waits until we pray to move. When no one is praying in an area, the devil has an easy time taking victories, where Christ has already bought the victory and we could easily claim it.

     Most sin goes on at night. Witchcraft, drugs, fornication, pornography, drunkenness, partying, burglary, murder, and rape all go on far more at night. This is because demons are able to saturate the spiritual atmosphere above a region at night, unless it has God’s covering. The demonic influence over people becomes much stronger and more intense at night, and thus most sin is done at night.

     Biblical culture knew of three stages of heaven. The first heaven (sky), second heaven (stars), and third heaven (domain of God). The prophetic community knows the second heaven to be the realm of demonic principalities. The sky is blue in the day, but at night you can see the stars all around. Stars in scriptures spiritually represent angels (“his tail cast a third of the stars of heaven to earth”). The fact that you can see the stars, prophetically represents the fact that the second heaven is open to earth at night. Demonic power and activity on earth increase greatly. Testimonies of missionaries reveal that demonic spirits have physically attacked believers, but in every case I have heard of, it has been at night. As in the parable of the sower, the enemy sows the tares at night. This spiritually represents the fact that the second heaven is open to earth, and the devil has this window of time to sow wickedness and evil, before demonic influence becomes much less powerful.  As a result of this, far more sins are done at night, than in the day.

            Fortunately there is a flip side to this. The second heaven is also open for us attacking the demonic. The influence they gain against us at night, literally pales to the power in warfare we get against them. When we pray in tongues or worship God at night, power is released against the second heaven, and havoc is wreaked against the demonic. As we begin to war in prayer at night, the spiritual atmosphere will be cleansed from the demonic. If enough of this happens, expect to see the principalities and ruling spirits in the region fall down to earth from their position of influence in the second heaven. The scripture speaks of this as well:

Revelation 12:7-12, “7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

            At the fall of man, demonic spirits were able to position themselves in the second heaven, above earth. This gave them spiritual control and influence over entire people groups and nations. Daniel 10 speaks of the demonic "prince of Greece" and "prince of Persia." That the archangel Gabriel had to fight.

     As people turn to Christ, the demonic spirits lose the “legal right” they once had to be in the second heaven, and they are cast to earth. There will be a time when satan himself is cast to earth from the second heaven. We will see this happen quite soon as it is the end times. This is one of the last things that precedes the raising up of the antichrist. Once satan, and every other demon is cast out from the second heaven, the church will operate in a fullness of the powers of the age to come.

Many members of the prophetic community believe that staying up to pray at night is more powerful than praying in the day.  I have seen this subject  brought up many times by members of  the prophetic community. There are several books that have been written on the subject

Matthew 26:40-41, ``Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

     This first layer of meaning, is the plain meaning of this passage. The disciples would not stay up to pray when Christ was about to be crucified. This was written as a prophetic message to modern believers though. We must read this passage, seeing ourselves as the disciples. . .  

     “Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?” this refers to the state of the modern church, not obeying God’s Holy Spirit nudges to stay up and seek Him at night. He asks us “stay up an hour,” but we dismiss it, and go to sleep.

     “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” Because Peter had not prayed, he did not have the strength of God he needed that night, and he fell into temptation and denied the Lord three times. This message is also for us. God gives special impartations to us at night, and it will be a lot more easy for us to fail in the trials and temptations in life, if we do not respond in obedience to seek God at night.

“The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” the meaning of this is obvious. Just like the disciples, we are all human, and just like them, we often value the desire of the flesh to sleep, rather than the desire of the spirit to intercede and spend time with God.

An example of praying through the night watches is in Herrnhut. In 1727, the Moravians in Herrnhut started a 24-7-365 prayer watch that was kept for 125 years. It started with 48 men and women who prayed in pairs for an hour at a time. Later more believers joined them, also young people and children. Within the first 25 years, the small Moravian church with about 600 members sent out more missionaries than the whole Protestant church over the previous 200 years. Amongst other things, the revival in the early 18th century, the planting of Moravian churches in many countries, and the origin of the Methodist Church can be traced to this prayer watch.

Intimacy with Christ in the Night Watch:

God did not put the Song of Solomon in the Bible as a biography of Solomon’s sexual life. It is a prophetic allegory of Christ and His bride. Song of Solomon chapter three is a prophetic picture of how when we seek intimacy with God, we have a better chance of an encounter when seeking our beloved at night:

Song of Solomon “By night on my bed I sought the one I love; I sought him, but I did not find him. 2 “ I will rise now,” I said,       “ And go about the city; In the streets and in the squares I will seek the one I love.” I sought him, but I did not find him. 3 The watchmen who go about the city found me; I said,  “ Have you seen the one I love?”  4 Scarcely had I passed by them, When I found the one I love. I held him and would not let him go, Until I had brought him to the house of my mother, And into the chamber of her who conceived me.”

When we are persistent in seeking God at night, we are going to encounter our beloved, and greater times of intimacy.

(The woman seeks her beloved again at night in Song of Solomon 5:2-8)

The Greek word for “coming” is “Parousia.” The actual meaning of the word is “presence.” The meaning of these passages are not just “Christ is coming,” but rather are “Christ is present at an hour you do not expect.” Christ is specially present in the night hour.

     

The intimate times in a marriage happen at night. This is a physical truth we can see patterned from the spiritual reality.

Genesis 24:63-64, “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel;”

      This is the first watch where Isaac and Rebbecca (Christ and His bride) meet.

* Matthew 25:5-6 “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard:Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’”

This passage has the prophetic tier, that Christ the bridegroom, comes to meet us at night. Most people “all slumbered and slept” though, thus missing out on meeting the bridegroom in a special way.

Ruth was found by Boaz at midnight also. It is well known that Boaz represents Christ and Ruth represents the church as the bride of Christ. . .

Ruth 3:8-11,Now it happened at midnight that the man [Boaz] was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing,[a] for you are a close relative.”  10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.”

- Ruth’s story has this prophetic tier, we need to wait at the feet of Christ in the midnight hour, and we will be found by Him in a special way, and also have our requests answered. Intimacy with God flows greater late into the night.

Acts 5:19,But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.’”

Acts 12:5-10, Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant[a] prayer was offered to God for him by the church. 6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. 7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. 8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.” 9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

Night intercession helps us overcome all the demonic strongholds we are trapped in. It “puts out” the demonic “guards” that keep us trapped in bondage, and God sends supernatural grace (the angel) to help us out.

Acts 16:25 Paul and Silas worship God at midnight, and God destroys the entire prison with an earthquake!

A prophetic passage about the power of late night prayer in breaking down strongholds that keep us from being effective for God.

Exodus 12:29, And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.”

Spiritual warfare. God commands the battle at night. This is the time for freedom from prisons and bondages.

Isaiah 17:14, “Then behold, at eventide, troubleAnd before the morning, he is no more. This is the portion of those who plunder us, And the lot of those who rob us.”

As shown in this verse, God releases great warfare power against His enemies at night.

2 Kings 19:35, “And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel[a] of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead.”

One of the greatest shows of God’s warfare power. He makes war at night if we will seek Him.

Acts 20:7-12, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. 8 There were many lamps in the upper room where they[a] were gathered together. 9 And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, “Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.” 11 Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. 12 And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.”

Whereas the modern church has services in the morning, the early church often did them in the night. This service probably began around 6:00pm, and “...continued till midnight.” (This covers the first and second night watch). After this, they “talked a long while, even till daybreak.” (Thus covering the third and fourth night watch). Thus shows that the early church valued seeking God at night, and knew of the increased power that comes from it.

    Eutychus falling from the third level, symbolizes when we become slack in keeping the night watch, we begin to lose warfare authority in the third heaven. The more one prays in the third watch of the night, the greater spiritual authority they will gain.

Genesis 15:9-21 “So He said to him, “Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. 11 And when the vultures came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away. 12 Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” 17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. 18 On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— 19 the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

      Though God told Abraham, He would make a covenant with him, Abraham has to sit there all day, until the sun was going down.  Then he received the message that his children would be slaved for 400 years. He still had to wait even more until “it was dark,” before God passed through the covenant.” We often must wait on God patiently in the night hour, to have encounters with Him.

Take Action!

Although we need to "pray continually" by staying in communion with God throughout each day, we should remember some blessings and communion with him is only possible by seeking him at night. Try it out sometime! Seek God for an hour at night. If you get weary partways through, just cycle different spiritual activities such as reading the word for fifteen minutes, pray for a while, worship for a while. If you feel prompted to pray at night, do not ignore this prompt. It can lead to an amazing time of communion with the Father. Some people pray in the evening, others find a powerful time at 3-6AM. Your watch may change as well depending on your season in God. Remain sensitive to the leading and try to pray at the times you feel the tug inside, rather than the time of personal convenience. God is the VIP in our lives. We need to adjust to his timing, not try to get him to adjust to ours.


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