In my Masters of Ministry Class this semester, we are focusing on the spiritual health of the minister (or ministry worker). One of the assignments had to due with self-examining ourselves at night. The term for this kind of prayer is Life-Centered Prayer.
Since coming to the Lord, I have been more comfortable at night with opening the Word to summarize my day and to pray for the next day. However, to self examine myself is very different. The concentration is not on the Lord but on me. How did I represent the Lord throughout the day? Typically, confession and repentance prayers are self-examination. When really aligning ourselves with the Lord to confess and repent over the things that break His heart take mental and physical strength to be still and quiet our spirits to align with the thoughts of God.
At night, we are more tired and looser in our convictions. Think about Peter and Judas, both sinned at night. Our flesh is weaker and our minds are not as sharp. Even if we can study better at night, a big factor has to do with having our bodies finally calm down from following every distraction. By self-examining at night, I had a lot less grace for my shortcomings and a lot less strength for the battle.
Accountability before the Lord is everything when it comes to growth and being entrusted with greater spiritual works and gifts.. Spiritual formation from the rising of the sun until the time it goes down is a necessity. We need to take responsibility for our own behavior, acknowledge that behavior and move on thankful for His love and His grace to forgive us.
We worship a loving, giving and forgiving God. Regardless if it is day or night, let’s confess and be thankful that He forgives. Let’s take responsibility for our shortcomings. And let’s ask Him to remind us to not fall into the same traps that separate ourselves from Him or others again. We can trust Him without ourselves, good and bad, both in the morning and the night.