This morning I woke up at 1:50 a.m. ready to go. I’m not sure why as I am a solid 8 hour sleeper. I tried going back to sleep but no luck. So I laid there and thought about how the young boy Samuel was awakened several times during the night thinking it was the priest Eli. Each time he went to Eli who said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” Finally it occurred to Eli that God might be calling Samuel and sure enough God was. Eli told Samuel to respond next time saying, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3). Samuel did as Eli instructed and God spoke to him.

I’ve often prayed these words, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” when I wake up during the night wondering if my sleeplessness is a call to prayer. Sometimes it is. Sometimes a person or a group of people or a particular situation comes to mind. I pray for them until I am no longer awake, trusting the angels to finish my prayers (I don’t remember where I heard that about the angels, but I think it is a lovely idea).

You just never know when or where God might call upon you. This morning I don’t know if it was God or the cup of coffee I had late in the day. Either way, it was nice to spend a few quiet moments with God, when everything around me was dark and still and silent. Praying in this way helps me to develop the habit of being open and responding, even if it is at 1:50 a.m.