Week 22 Wednesday

Night Watch

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 63-65

Key verses: Psalm 63:6-8

I was up early today, at least for awhile. A cup of “English Breakfast” tea warmed my body; a little prayer time warmed my soul.

I’m not much of a “morning person.” More often, if I am involved in something interesting and get a second wind I am more of a night owl type. This tendency is exacerbated by the fact that I drink too much coffee.

But, I do have my morning moments. It is so quiet; so dark. I stumble to the kitchen to fix tea, not quite ready for my morning coffee jolt yet. And, as I sit quietly, prayer comes easily. What I love most about these times of prayer is that they tend to be the times I spend listening for God rather than talking.

It’s not so much that I “hear” His voice. It’s more a sense of Holy Presence; a peacefulness that I can’t quite describe. And, often, I feel some clarity about an issue that I have been pondering.

I think King David understood such moments. Long ago he wrote,

“On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.”

Whether you are a naturally born “morning person” or a night owl – I highly recommend you spend some time thinking of God “through the watches of the night.”

Before the responsibilities weigh heavily upon you; before the children come screaming for attention; before the alarm beeps or you have to start answering your e-mail – just sit – and listen, maybe with a good, warm cup of tea.

God may just drop by for a nice conversation. And, even if neither of you say a word, it will still be time well spent.

Prayer: Thank you God, for your visits, whenever they come. AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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