full moon
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

3 a.m. is an unholy hour.

Not because God is absent, but because in the exhaustion of the soul,

Idols creep in, hauling their own plinths behind them.

The petty gods of anxiety and frustration fight over the floorspace of your mind

While slinky griefs and self-doubt drape themselves cunningly in the most conspicuous places.

I sit up, gasping for breath, shaking my head, cooling my shoulders.

I refuse to enter this museum of atrocities.

I pray. A rosary. A contact list. A walk through remembered joys.

I whistle in the dark past the idol chatter,

Knowing the air is my sister, the water my mother, and the sky my friend.

I ask for the strength not to let twisted sheets, dry eyes, and a scratchy voice

Define my day.

Shaped by the holy aspects of 3 am- stars, nocturnal animals, wind, dew, anticipation-

The dark night of the soul is another sanctuary in which to worship and be brave.


The Reverend Julia Seymour serves Big Timber Lutheran Church (ELCA)  in Big Timber, MT. She blogs at lutheranjulia.blogspot.com and readsallthethings.com. She contributed to There’s A Woman in the Pulpit and is President of the board of RevGalBlogPals, Inc.

RevGalBlogPals encourages you to share our blog posts via email or social media. We do not grant permission to cut-and-paste prayers and articles without a link back to the specific post. For permission to use material in paper publications, please email revgalblogpals at gmail dot com.

2 thoughts on “Friday Prayer: The Small Hours of the Soul

  1. It’s also the hour when medical staff’s courage and optimism “bottom out,” I’ve noticed, and they send for the chaplain…


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