What’s the first thing that comes to you when you wake up in the middle of the night? Maybe ‘Why am I awake?’ Or, ‘What was that dream?’ The next thought is probably ‘Will I get back to sleep before I have to get up?’ And then you might be tempted to begin thinking about the next day’s activities, or yesterday’s conversations, or those unresolved problems. In the darkness and stillness of the night, it is sometimes hard to stop the parade of problems.
Instead of being annoyed by the interrupted sleep or ruminating about personal problems, how about using this nighttime stillness to pray for the world? Somewhere someone is reaching out for help, for comfort, for light, for safety, for hope. Your ‘wake up!’ in the night can be exactly that: a wakeup call to offer your prayer of affirmation of divine Love’s all powerful good, and that no one anywhere is outside of Love’s comfort and tender care.
A friend of mine awoke recently in the middle of the night and started the ‘Why-What-Will I?’ questions. After a few minutes, another question floated above all the others: “Why don’t you pray for someone ‘out there’?” She remembered a lonely night many years ago when she was mentally struggling with a serious financial challenge. Suddenly and surprisingly she felt so totally embraced in tangible warmth, and so cherished and indescribably assured that all was well. She knew there would be a solution. Because she trusted that she was loved by the Divine and only good could be her experience. If there was ever a time when she needed to feel and know this, now was the time!
The financial situation was eventually resolved to the satisfaction of all – and she never forgot that overwhelming feeling of love that eliminated fear and gave her light and hope to move forward.
So this recent night my friend thought, “I want someone – anyone! – to have that same feeling of all-encompassing love and comfort that all is well, right in the middle of their darkest hour. Someone is needing help, and I can help.”
Her prayers began with the omnipotence and omnipresence of Father-Mother Love and affirmed that everyone’s spiritual being is inseparable from this love. Therefore, no one could ever be removed, by any supposed or competing power regardless of the situation, from the only and always life-force that directs, protects, supports, and guides. She resolved not to sleep until she felt without a doubt that her prayers would meet someone’s need. Within minutes that assurance and peace came, and the next thing she knew it was morning – a wake-up filled with light and joy!
To me, praying in this way – with deepest intentions and inclusive of all mankind – is like joining a chorus of angels who are singing a song of gratitude and praise to the all-knowing, all-seeing, and all-acting God. This song fills the atmosphere of Soul, the true air and breath of mankind, and blesses all who live and move within it. What a great reason to wake up and add your song! Every prayer is met and answered, every prayer is a gift to humanity.
In the midst of personal tragedy in the late 19th century, a well-known hymnist (Horatio Spafford) wrote what would become a much-loved Christian hymn. This version (click here) offers a beautiful example of many voice-parts blended to present a rich and powerful prayer of affirmation, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
Virginia Harris is a practitioner and teacher of Christian Science spiritual healing with an office in Wellesley. She was on the faculty of Harvard Medical School’s symposium ‘Spirituality & Healing in Medicine’ and today is a public speaker to medical audiences. More from Ginny at www.VirginiaHarris.com.