When Angels Call

Wednesday 22nd March
Luke 6:12
All night Jesus continued in prayer to God

When you pray you rise to meet in the air
all those who are praying at that very hour,
and all who are need of that prayer.
– Kahlil Gibran

In the Sufi tradition if you wake up in the middle of the night,
or in the early hours of the morning,
it is said that the angels are calling you to prayer.
More than that, it is seen as a precious invitation
and a privilege to be called to such a task.
I once read an article written by a woman in the Orthodox tradition
whose method of praying was to pray the Jesus Prayer
(see Wednesday 15th March.)
She wrote of the problem she had of constantly waking up at 3am
and not being able to go back to sleep.
Finally she decided not to fight it but when she woke up
to simply lie there and say the Jesus Prayer
on behalf of everyone else who was struggling to sleep.
She soon found that within 15 minutes or so she fell back to sleep.
She continued to wake up at that time each night
but from then on saw it has a call from God
to pray for those in need at that time.
How often do we wake up in the middle of the night
and struggle to go back to sleep?
Maybe we could see it as a call from God to pray for others,
and as a precious invitation and privilege rather than a nuisance?
That way we get to stop being worked up
and others get to benefit also.

The Other by R.S. Thomas
There are nights that are so still
that I can hear the small owl calling
far off and a fox barking
miles away. It is then that I lie
in the lean hours awake listening to the swell
born somewhere in the Atlantic
rising and falling, rising and falling,
wave on wave on the long shore
by the village that is without light
and companionless. And the thought comes
of that other being who is awake, too,
letting our prayers break on him,
not like this for a few hours,
but for days, years, for eternity.