Early Morning Prayer
I remember after professing faith in Christ as a teenager I was motivated to do daily devotions. During those teenage years I was not too keen on the early morning hours. In fact, the thought of getting up early did not have much curb appeal!
Several friends in the same stage of life conveniently agreed that the important thing was that we did our devotions – not when we did our devotions. The going question that I would occasionally ask was “are you are morning person or an evening person”?
Interestingly the example that Christ modeled for His disciples was early morning prayer time. He would slip away early in the morning while it was still dark (Mark 1:35). Obviously there were many demands on His life and we see that He prioritized prayer in the morning before he was distracted with the chaos of the day.
As I reflect on my life, pre-COVID & post-COVID, my schedule does not compete with the many demands that we see in the life of Christ. I do find however that there are still countless demands on my time. E-mails are waiting to take me a thousand different directions. If I don’t prioritize my time with God, any number of distractions will keep me from focusing my mind on the Sovereign God of the Universe. I am thankful however that over the years I have come to value the devotion time with God in the morning.
I have also found that my time with God in the morning tends to shape and set the tone for the day. This past Sunday we talked about the importance of the command found in Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession”. Here the author of Hebrews gives the command to focus on Jesus. When you focus on Jesus during those morning hours it set the tone for your day. When I woke this morning my first words were “consider Jesus”.
German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in Life Together, noted this reality when he wrote, “The prayer of the morning will determine the day. Wasted time, which we are ashamed of, temptations that beset us, weakness and listlessness in our work, disorder and indiscipline in our thinking and our relations with other people very frequently have their cause in neglect of the morning prayer. The organization and distribution of our time will be better for having been rooted in prayer.” (Life Together, 71)
Here is a good question to consider- How would the trajectory of your day be altered by spending time with God in those early morning hours? I plead with you and myself to start each day during those early hours with the great King of this Universe.
Here is a great Psalm to remember:
Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my groaning.
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God,
For to You I pray.
In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
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