Friday, February 1, 2013

Songs in the Night

When you're trying to fall asleep, laying in the dark with your head on your soft pillow, you attempt to spin your mind into dreams. 
Solitude Reading by Robert Banh
Solitude Reading, a photo by Robert Banh on Flickr.

But then inspiration hits.

A story idea, a recipe you want to try, the perfect Facebook status, a to-do item for tomorrow, a few lines of song, someone you need to contact, the inspiration for a hits just as sleep comes to claim you.

And you have to write it down or else you'll forget it.

Isn't it interesting that sometimes our brightest insights come whenever we're doing something else?

"The LORD will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night--a prayer to the God of my life." - Psalm 42:8

"I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night." - Psalm 16:7

David was in constant touch with the Lord. From the Psalms it sounds as if he kept his ear out night and day, in the fields and on his bed, so that he could catch God's tiniest whispers on the wind.

Another question: do you ever find yourself praying and something comes to you, and you try to push it away because "that's not what's supposed to happen"? Maybe it's a song, or a story, or a task totally unrelated to your prayer.

I've always tried to ignore these, concentrating harder on the prayer. And that's a good thing--we need to stay focused and persevere in prayer. But at the same time, maybe these fleeting thoughts are not from us, but from God. 

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis calls the process of prayer "dressing up as Christ." He says that when you're doing this "it is extremely likely that you will see at once some way in which at that very moment the pretence could be made less of a pretence and more of a may realise that, instead of saying your prayers, you ought to be downstairs writing a letter, or helping your wife to wash-up. Well, go and do it."

Don't hesitate to shake the sleep out of your head and scribble down those late-night epiphanies, or stop your prayer for a moment to take note of sudden ideas. Who knows what you might discover....


  1. Petra ***2/16/2013

    Abigail, a few days ago I came across your comment on one of my posts which I wrote two years ago and I read that I'd promised to come to your blog to comment on it later. I don't know how busy I might have been at that time but the commenting has probably never happened... so I'm here now to fulfil my promise at last. :)

    Just yesterday, probably a few moments before I fell asleep, I had got an idea for a topic of my future post. I felt really inspired and realised that if I wouldn't get up to write down the idea, I would most surely forget it. As I was already flying on the wings of the coming sleep, I decided not to break the pleasant feeling and the result is that I just know I had the idea but am not able to identify it now! :(

    As for the prayer, the problem with the flying thoughts is that it is so difficult (if not impossible) to distinguish whether the thoughts come from God or are just the expression of our restlessness...


  2. Thank you for stopping by, Petra!

    Yes, it is difficult to discern it sometimes. I suppose it depends on the thought--if it is something that you know you should be doing (like helping Mom with dishes or writing an important letter), there's a good chance it's a poke in the ribs and God's way of saying, "Get on, go about My business."


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