Prayer By Night

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Pray by night. Pray alone. Pray using no book, no image, no thought. Just stay awake for ten minutes after you wake up to have a glass of water, after your child or a nightmare wakes you. Stand there in the dark, and make no move or sound. Make time stand still, capture that moment and bring it before Christ as your humble offering: this is me; this is who I am; THIS is who You must save.

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In fact, it may be useful to even forget that you need to pray. Most of us have such terribly deformed ideas about what prayer is, that it is better to simply forget you are meant to pray. Just stand there and look into the darkness outside your window. Other times, make a prostration and even close your eyes while you are on the floor; and stay there; wait there. Keep your body in a state of tension, but your mind empty. Say nothing. Think nothing. Imagine nothing. Do not pray. Do not move. Just wait for His presence. Wait for Him to notice your silence, your stillness, your death. Wait for Christ, and He will come, because Love forces Him.

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This is the advantage of praying at this time; night is a shield against thoughts, against images and feelings. Try to be present in that moment, try to be aware of the silence that surrounds you, let the void of that darkness embrace you, let it enter you and fill you with peace and silence. There is something almost sacramental in this hidden silence and stillness before Christ. This darkness, this solitude, this instinctive awareness of one’s mortality, they all force one to open up in ways which would be impossible by daytime.

Be aware that you are awake before Christ while the world lies asleep, defenseless and vulnerable. You are awake before Christ, fighting for the world; you have become an intercessor for this fallen, sleeping world which is one with you, and for which Christ has died.

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Ten minutes alone with Christ, night after night, will change your life. When you wake up and you face the worries of the new day, there is something in you that rejoices – you and Christ share a secret, you and Christ share a fight. Your soul knows that it has been fed, and it also knows that, whatever happens during the day, the night will always return with its silence and its stillness. You will live through the day waiting for the night, because when the night falls, you will again bring yourself as an offering before your Creator, and your Creator will feed you once more.

Source: Father Seraphim http://www.mullmonastery.com/monastery-blog/prayer-by-night/

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