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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Mary C. Earle

Tuesday, May 5

I remember your Name in the night, O Lord.
—Psalm 119:55

I have a friend who doesn’t sleep well. He also doesn’t mind waking up. Years ago, he discerned that when he awoke at 2 a.m. and could not go right back to sleep, it was possibly a call to pray. The odd thing about this is that he is not a particularly pious sort. He does not use a lot of “God language,” nor does he care much about programs at his church.

So I was surprised when he disclosed that he prayed in the “night watches,” as he calls them. “Why don’t you take a sleeping pill?” I asked. “Because,” he said, looking at me patiently, “I sense that I am to remember those who have no one to pray for them.”

In his quiet, hidden way, he remembers the Name of God in the night. He lies in his bed and remembers those who are sick, those who are lonely, those who are in danger, those who labor in bringing a child to birth. In the midst of night, while all around him sleep and dream, he hears the invitation to wake and to pray. He answers the invitation, and begins his intercessions.

And then he lies still and quiet in the darkness, waiting for sleep to come, listening to the sounds of his family breathing, the dog turning and scratching, the wind brushing tree limbs against the house. He lies upon his bed, remembering that to God darkness and light are both alike, remembering that God gives us gifts even when we sleep.

Gracious and gentle God, grant me the grace to remember those who have no one to pray for them, and may the night be filled with your presence. Amen.

The Signposts for May originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.