Why I love the NightWatch…
I’m sure this will be the first of many such posts that I write on this topic whilst I have a blog… that being said, its probably been too long coming. At the end of it all, no matter what the reasons… I love the NightWatch.
1) There is something in the air when you have realigned your entire life to stand before God. It is hard to explain and even harder to understand, but if you have experienced the NightWatch lifestyle… then you know what you need to.
2) You have a justifiable reason to tell the world to wait. When you stay awake all night to pray, you have a perfectly legitimate reason to set “unreasonable” boundaries on the world around you. “No, I can’t come in to work those hours… my other job is overnight, so I will be asleep then.”
3) It is biblically sound to be on the NightWatch (Psalm 134). As I sit here in the Justice Prayer Room for the first night of the second NightWatch in Kansas City, I’m struck at how “right” this feels. I realize that part of that could be that I’ve always been a night person, and part of it could be that I’m in the prayer room at all… but the fact is that there is something dynamically different between intentionally being awake all night to pray and merely trying to find time during a busy day in a bustling world to pray.
4) The leadership of the NightWatch(es) in Kansas City is/are full of amazing people. Having been here for almost a year now (more than that if you count track 1 of FITN), I can testify that these people are hardcore. Last year, the NightWatch decided as a group that we were going to begin a specific action plan to turn the NightWatch into a prayer furnace more than a prayer laboratory. To that end, we now ask people to not talk to one another in the Prayer Room, to not pull people out of the prayer room to talk to them, and we kicked up the praying in the Side Rooms of the Prayer Room into high gear. I was in the 4pm-6pm prayer meeting today (what with it being GBF week, I didn’t have class), and I was amazed at how many people were conversing in the Prayer Room rather than praying. Then I realized that I was distracted and kicked myself. When I’m in the NightWatch, it is a guarantee that if you get distracted, it is your fault that you are distracted. Thank God for grace.
5) There is an amazing lack of distractions when you pray at night. You aren’t watching the clock to see when you have to go to work (unless you are on a worship team… different topic). At IHOP-KC, you can’t go tell people that one thing that you keep forgetting to tell them (e-mail is a blessing). There aren’t a ton of people coming into the prayer room that have no idea what is going on (aside from interns, but they learn quick). There aren’t a ton of people PERIOD (but that’s going to change soon, I’m sure).
6) It is so counter-culture to do what we are doing on the NightWatch that it feels more radical. To be sure, praying for concentrated periods of time at any time during the day is counter-culture… but there is so much evil that happens at night, you know that there are very, VERY few people even thinking about communing with the Holy God while you are praying. After all, those who are drunk are drunk at night… and all the rest of that verse.
Now, there are dangers to being on the NightWatch just as there are benefits… Example, you can do harm to your physical body by not getting enough sun, excercising, or eating right. Not only can you harm yourself, but your immune system takes a hit when you switch your body clock so you get sick easier, and since there is so little sun available to you, you are sick longer. Another example, the lack of distractions can, in and of itself, become a distraction if you let it. Just my opinion, but if you can manage your life half-decently, the NightWatch is where its at….