‘Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on the altar and wait for your fire to fall upon my heart.’ Psalm 5:3 (TPT)
This timeless idea of meeting with God in the morning is timeless because…it works.
This timeless idea happened for me many years ago and it still works for me today. I have never used an alarm to get up. Getting up for early morning prayer time is the joy of my life. And thirty minutes was no longer close to being sufficient, although in recent years when my obligations don’t allow me to carve out my time in the morning I now also spend time in the evening just being with Him.
Each morning I just can’t wait to meet the Lord in my designated place at the designated time.
Recently my early morning prayer was challenged again. Part of my daily life is my love of walking (see earlier blogs). I sensed I needed to walk in the morning before work and after having spent time with the Lord. This would mean getting up an hour earlier in the morning to begin my day with God. So one hour earlier, just before 5am, I am now wake to meet with God. The transition to the new time has been very smooth. It’s amazing how easy it is to wake up at 5am when you retire for the day before 10pm.
There have been some important aspects of preparation that I have learned that I have put into practice.
To get up early I must – this is not optional – I must go to bed early the night before. So I do.
Now while the time of prayer does not necessary have to be the morning for each person, for me the time of day matters for me. I am made aware again and again that a morning time in prayer is referred to in the Bible. Just look in the Psalms alone.
“In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3
“I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love.” Psalm 59:16
“I cry to you for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
“In the morning it springs up new.” Psalm 90:6
“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.” Psalm 143:8
These verses all encourage me, but it is the Lord Himself example of commitment that sets the compass for my early morning meeting with God – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35.
This is my anchor. It sets the spiritual compass regardless of the twists and turns I may face during the day. My morning focus always turns to God.
I would add that I don’t believe that God is calling all of us to rise before daybreak to pray but I do believe that He wants to hear from us first thing in the morning.
Have all my supplies ready right next to the place I am going to meet God in the morning.
At the side of my bed is a 3-drawer bedside table. I keep several different translations of the Bible, a small devotional book, a study notebook, a personal journal, my “doodle’ book (for thoughts during the night), my spare set of reading glasses, Bible highlighter pencil, pen, and the book I am currently reading. Gathering these materials required preparation that included selecting a Bible that does not leave my bedside but is used only for the purpose of prayer. In that way I know that everything will be available when I pray.
Set aside a room.
The Lord has always impressed upon me to set aside a room. In this season it is my bedroom where nothing else take place at that time except prayer.
Be encouraged by the saints
I have always been encouraged by the saints of God throughout history, one in particular is Hudson Taylor’s quote, “Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instrument afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer and get first of all into harmony with Him.”
Win the morning – It’s the perfect time to get instructions for the day.