The Spiritual Practice of Napping | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

08.4.23 | Celebration, Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

In these dog days of summer, you might want to try a new spiritual practice ─ napping! To be sure, this is not what we typically think of when we imagine prayer practices. Our ideas may tend more toward kneeling or sitting quietly, reciting memorized or improvised prayers, praying one of the daily offices in our prayer book, or perhaps meditating to clear our minds. Maybe we enjoy a walking meditation, or saying a rosary, or reading scripture, or gazing at an icon. And these are all wonderful practices (though maybe not the kneeling if you have bad knees!). But napping?! Seriously?

I was introduced to this practice many years ago by Episcopal priest Barbara Crafton, who wrote an email meditation about it. She referenced the gospel story of Jesus napping on his friends’ boats in the middle of a storm:

Jesus napped. He was such an experienced napper that he slept right through a storm at sea that almost swamped his boat, rousing only when awakened by his terrified friends so that he could order the water to be still. Maybe he curled up again after doing that and caught another forty winks.

So then, good news: napping can be Christlike! I used to think that I could trust my body to do anything I wanted it to do. That was not quite right — I can trust my body. But my body is not my slave. My body is my partner. It has rights of its own.

Napping can be Christlike! And taking care of our body by napping just might be a revolutionary spiritual practice. So I invite you to try it some day soon.

Happy napping, and happy praying!

PS You can read Mother Crafton’s whole email meditation here.

Rev. Susan Hill

Rev. Susan Hill


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.