Crying Out at Night

Read: Romans 8:12-17

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (v. 15)

It was four o’clock in the morning the first time my daughter said my name. Her first tooth was coming in and she woke suddenly, crying out in pain. I heard one tearful, sustained “Maamaa” coming from down the hall and was by her side in a second. I couldn’t believe how naturally the word came to her when she was in distress. She had never come close to saying Mama during the day!

As children of God, doesn’t it come just as naturally to us when we cry out to him, especially in times of distress? Even if we have never called on him before, or haven’t in a long time, suddenly we find the words in those desperate, painful, or dark moments. We cry, “Abba! Father!” just as Christ did on the cross.

Babies instinctively cry out for their parents, but what instinct urges us to cry out for our heavenly Father? Paul tells us that we have received the Spirit of adoption, and it is by the Spirit’s urging that we call on God. He says that when we cry out for our Father, it is the Spirit himself interceding for us (v. 26).

These are words of hope. When we are in the darkest places, we are not alone. Even if we don’t know the words to pray, the Spirit is there with us, crying out on our behalf. —Elise Johnson

As you pray, know that the Spirit is praying with you.

About the Author

Elise Johnson

Elise Johnson is a creative writer and professional communications consultant living in Toronto, Canada with her husband Andrew, an Anglican priest, and her daughter Beatrice. Her writing explores life as a new mom, being a minister’s wife, and more.