Night is the best time to pray.
Night is the worst time to pray.
Do you ever wonder how to pray at night?
I am defining night as the time that you are in bed with your head on your pillow and you are ready to drift off to sleep until the alarm goes off the next morning and you get up ready for a new day.
Night is the worst time to pray because your mind is not as focused, you are beginning to drift off to sleep, and you can’t record your requests.
Should I Pray At Night Time?
Since night is not the best time to pray it should not be your only prayer time. I encourage you to have another time in the day when you have some focused prayer, a time when you sit with your prayer journal and even pray aloud.
I enjoy my time usually in the morning when I sit with my prayer journal and spend time praying. I have shared my prayer journal here.
Use your prayer time during the day as a time to just ponder your petitions to prompt your thinking at night.
Just as night can be the worst time to pray it also can be the best time to pray.
The Psalms are full of David speaking about what he does at night. At night he remembers the Lord, cries out to the Lord, listens, and meditates. I imagine many nights as a shepherd boy that he sat under the stars, listening to the sheep, and just talked to God.
Paul and Silas were in prison and at night were praising God through hymns and songs. Your spouse or roommate might not like it you are singing aloud at night but you can be praying and praising God slightly as you drift to sleep.
There are numerous other encounters through the Bible of meeting with God at night. Abraham, Jacob, and Peter.
What is the Right Time to Pray at Night?
At the end of a busy day, the peace that can flood your heart as you drift off to sleep talking to God is reassuring. Psalm 3:5 David writes, “I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.” (ESV)
What makes that verse even more critical is that this Psalm was written when David was fleeing from Absalom. During that crisis in his life, David could sleep.
So no matter what crisis you may be facing, as you go to bed, know that the Lord will sustain you.
As you are in bed thinking about the next day, prayer at night can be a time to follow the advice that Peter gives in I Peter 5:7, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (ESV)
Use your night as a time to meditate on God. That is a way to satisfy our soul by focusing on God. Recount and declare to yourself God’s faithfulness.
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning and your faithfulness by night,” Psalm 92:1-2 (ESV) God is faithful.
We are commanded to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That means praying day and night. David knew the joy of crying out to God day and night.
Prayer is powerful and we need to be praying not worrying about what might happen. We need to pray and not daydream. Give the dreams and desires to God.
So, night is the best time to pray.
How to Pray At Night: Creative Ways
Here are some creative ways to pray and night and ways to keep your mind a bit focused on prayer even as you are nodding off to sleep.
Pray through the Alphabet
Personally, this is my favorite. Begin at the letter “A” and think of a friend whose name begins with that letter, pray for her. Then go to “B”, continue that until you fall asleep.
Sometimes if I want to stretch my brain a bit I will begin at “Z” that way I pray for my friends, Zia and Zoe.
Pray the Alphabet for an Individual
Pick someone close to you and make your petitions based on the alphabet. Maybe for the letter “A” you pray for his attitude about work, for “B” his body, and “C” his character.
Keep going through the alphabet. If you struggle with a letter, just skip it and go to the next. Pray specifically for that individual.
I have found this keeps my mind focused on praying. I have written two A-Z prayers guides that help you pray for missionaries and teens.
Pray around the Circle
My small group sits in a circle. We don’t have assigned seats but I know the group so I pray around the circle.
Praying for each member of the small group. You could also do this for co-workers. In your mind walk around the workplace praying for each individual.
Whole Body Prayer
Sometimes there might be an individual that is especially on your heart. Pray for that individual’s whole body beginning at the mind praying for their thinking and going all the way down to the feet and the places that they go.
Pray for your Local Church
Begin with the pastor and pray for the staff, volunteers, ministries, programs, and other areas that you are aware of within the church.
Pray your Neighborhood
In your mind walk through your neighborhood, praying for each person by name. Pray for their salvation. Pray that for your interactions with your neighbors.
Pray Around the World
When you are looking for how to pray at night, a great idea is to pray for missionaries you know around the world.
You could also pray for people groups. Combine this with Praying through the alphabet and pray for countries.
Night has been some wonderful times of praying. I will admit that most mornings I do not remember what I prayed during the night but I know that God has heard my prayers.
I wake up ready to face the new day. I know that at the end of the day I can again spend some time just worshiping and talking with God.
Live a life of prayer. Pray day and night.
Beth lives in England with her family. She is involved in outreach to international students in her city and volunteers at her church. She enjoys digging into the Bible, reading books, and talking with people. She is the author of A-Z Prayer Guides which can be found on her blog. She blogs at As He Leads is Joy which provides Guidance for Women who want to Grow.