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Biblical Meaning of Waking up at 3am: What does the Bible say about Waking up at 3:00?

Several years ago, I began having night terrors. I was convinced I was awake as creepy shadows and frightening figures moved around my room. I would often jolt up in the bed screaming and swinging for my life.

          The clock would often say 3:00 a.m. – an hour of the night many people refer to as the “Devil’s Hour” or the “Witching Hour” and I certainly felt like there was an evil presence hovering over me.

Maybe you have had a similar experience of waking up unexpectedly at three in the morning and wondered why? What is the real reason people wake up at 3:00 a.m.?

Some people believe our sleep can be interrupted by emotional disturbances like loneliness, sadness, or depression. Practitioners of Chinese believe that our sleep patterns can be affected by our mental or even physical state. Those who practice Hinduism believe the spirit world is trying to communicate with us during this time. Thus, not everyone believes that these early morning encounters are evil. Many spiritualists claim that the portal between the physical and spiritual worlds opens more fully at 3:00 a.m. as spirit guides try to communicate with us. For those who believe three in the morning is the devil’s hour, they claim that Jesus was crucified at the polar opposite time on the clock of three in the afternoon, and thus Satan is defiantly countering the event of the cross.

For me personally, I assumed that my night terrors were the result of some physical or physiological problem. So, I went to see my family doc who said to me, “Have you ever considered that this could be a spiritual issue?”

What?! I was stunned that a doc would suggest that my three a.m. encounters could be a wake-up call from some spiritual entity. I do not recall ever telling him I was a minister. Later that day, I opened my Bible, and I began to study the Scriptures to see if I could figure out why I was waking up at three in the morning.

What does the Bible say about waking up at 3:00 a.m.? Could there be a spiritual meaning to being awakened from a deep sleep at 3:00 in the morning? Is this really the ‘Devil’s Hour”? What is the actual Bible’s explanation of Waking up at 3:00?

The biblical meaning of waking up at 3 am:

biblical meaning of waking up at 3 am

While the Bible frequently mentions that God sends people messages in their dreams, (Jacob’s ladder to heaven, Joseph’s dream about the pregnancy of Mary, and Peter’s vision of a floating sheet are just a few examples) but the Scriptures do not have a great deal to say about the specific times of these encounters.    

The Bible actually discourages us from placing an emphasis on the observance of time as an indicator of a spiritual message. Deuteronomy 18:10 (KJV) says, “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.”

Yet, as I mentioned before, there are people who believe that a portal between the demonic world and earth opens more fully between midnight and three in the morning. They describe it as a veil being opened allowing the spiritual and physical worlds to intersect. This is intriguing because the Bible describes the death of Jesus in similar terms. In Luke’s gospel he writes, “Now it was about the sixth hour (noon), and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour (three in the afternoon). Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ Having said this, He breathed His last” (Luke 23:44-46, NKJV).

Theologians claim that the veil of the temple had previously separated man from God, but when it was torn in two that barrier was broken allowing us to have access to God’s spiritual Presence (See Hebrews 10:19-22). Other biblical passages indicate that three in the afternoon was a special time of prayer for religious people seeking to connect with God (See Acts 3:1, 10:3, and 10:30). Therefore, many people claim that a similar veil has opened for Satan and his evil spiritual forces at three in the morning. However, this is purely speculation as the Bible never mentions any type of veil or portal being opened at a specific time.

There is a popular song that says, “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” and so you should also remember that it is always “three o’clock somewhere” in the world. So, this idea of an “hour of evil” would have to also be geographical as the world rotates through the hours of the day and night. It does not really make sense that a horde of demons must all stay confined to one hour of time as the world rotates underneath them. 

In reality, we must realize that there are spiritual forces, good and bad, around us all the time. Our minds and bodies are simply more attuned to our spiritual nature during the middle of the night because we are not distracted by all of the noise and clutter of the physical world that we encounter during other hours of the day. Lamentations 2:19 says, “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.”

As I began to think more about my encounters with this supposed “Devil’s Hour” I realized that I have access to God every hour of every day, and therefore, I do not have to fear being awakened in the middle of the night. In the darkness of my room, instead of cowering in fear under the covers, I began to recall these Scriptures of reassurance:

  • 2 Samuel 22:29 – You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light.
  • Psalm 18:28 – You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

According to Psalm 139:11-12 God is unfazed by the darkness of the night. He sees all and can fully illuminate your path so that you do not have to be paralyzed in fear. The Bible assures us that the Spirit of God is greater and more powerful than the spirit of evil, and therefore, we do not have to be afraid if we are awakened at midnight, or three a.m., or any other time of the night. God is always with us.

Isaiah 8:19-20 declares – “When someone tells you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” Were my night terrors at three a.m. spiritual encounters with an evil entity? Perhaps. Yet, my God can illuminate the darkness, and the devil and his demons must flee!

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Biblical Meaning of Waking up at 3am: What does the Bible say about Waking up at 3:00?
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Dr. Richard Sams is a top Biblical and Religious educator, who holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (Evangelism and Church Growth emphasis) from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. He has two masters’ degrees (Master of Divinity and Master of the Arts of Religion) from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg and also serves on the Pastoral Leadership Advisory Board of Liberty University. Moreover, Richard Sams has been serving as a pastor (Pastoral Ministry) at Calhoun Baptist Church in Calhoun, KY, from the past Nineteen years. He loves practically imparting biblical truths to the next generation, while occasionally conduct spiritual challenges on his facebook page facebook.com/MakeItCountChallenge

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