One of the routines Nancy and I have established, now that I am retired, is to enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee in the morning, and then, as we are sitting together in our living room, to spend some time in prayer. With a family as large as ours, there is plenty to pray about. There is a verse in the book of Psalms that talks about the value of morning prayer:
"My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord. In the morning I will direct my prayer unto You, and will look up" (Psa. 5:3).
Here in Psalm 5, the emphasis David makes is on the importance of seeking the Lord in prayer in the morning. Why is the morning so important, as it relates to our prayer life? Why does the Psalmist feel compelled to share his godly habit with us? Because there are definite advantages of having a prayer time with the Lord in the morning! Here are those advantages:
•First, the morning hours reveal our PRIORITIES for that day. Our very first waking thoughts and desires should be for Him. God deserves the very best (the first) of all we have to offer Him. This applies to the stewardship of our money—the tithe—but it also applies to the stewardship of our time. Seeking Him early demonstrates He is first-place in our hearts and thoughts. “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You.” (Psa. 63:1) There is a real danger in putting off our prayer time until the day is over. God is not impressed when we give Him our “leftovers.” And if we are honest, waiting until nighttime when we are weary and tired sometimes leads to omitting time with the Lord altogether. Solomon captures the heart of God in these words: “I love those who love Me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” (Prov. 8:17)
•Second, the morning hours represent our POTENTIAL for that day. While the whole day is ahead of you, it is a good time to ask the Lord to lead you, and direct your steps. “Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness. Make Your way straight before my face.” (vs. 8). It’s good that we ask Him for direction. And when we pray for His guidance, we can anticipate those Divine appointments He has for us, and not miss them when they come across our pathway. Each morning we should pray for opportunities to share Christ before those opportunities have passed us by. Jesus was the perfect example of this. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed into a solitary place, and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
•Third, the morning hours consist of PREPARATION for that day. In the morning, we prepare ourselves for the day—we take a shower, get dressed, make sure the kids get off to school, etc. To be spiritually prepared for the day, it is vital we spend time with God. We are in a spiritual battle. We need to be ready for whatever comes our way. Jesus taught us to pray preventatively in Matt. 6:13. If we would seek God’s power before the problems of the day come, we wouldn’t be regretting our failures when the day is over!