I am not a morning person. The older I get I am not a night person either! That being said, I have come to realize the power of the morning hours. A few extra minutes in the morning and the right priorities can make a world of difference in the entire day. Early this morning (as I tried to get myself awake) I read a few thoughts written by Oswald Chambers on the importance of mornings.
He wrote, “Specific times and places and communion with God go together. It is by no haphazard chance that in every age men have risen early to pray. The first thing that marks decline in spiritual life is our relationship to the early morning…When we are in touch with the earnestness of things, we begin soon…If you have ever prayed in the dawn you will ask yourself why you were so foolish as not to do it always: it is difficult to get into communion with God in the midst of the hurly-burly of the day…It is not simply that it is easier to get direction in the early morning, it is a profound revelation that that is the time when direction comes.”
It is unreasonable to think that everyone will love mornings! But it is realistic that those who love the Lord will want to give even their mornings to God. May I offer a few suggestions?
- Prepare the night before. The Jewish day actually started at 6:00 in the evening. This is why in the Hebrew mind a day always consisted of “the evening and the morning” – in that order. To make the most of the morning, begin at night. Quiet your heart before the Lord. Lay out your clothes. Gather all that you need for the new day. Get in bed at a decent time and allow yourself to rest. Don’t deal with “heavy” matters at night if at all possible. (For more on this subject read Pastor Clarence Sexton’s book, The Christian Home, Chapter 13, Family Evenings with God. Click here for more information.)
- Meditate on some good thing about the Lord before you even get out of bed. Now, this does not mean stay in bed!(“Meditation” can be another word for an extra ten minutes of sleep.) Work at directing your first thoughts toward God. Breathe a prayer for His blessing on the day. Give yourself to God as you rise.
- Build silence and praise into your morning routine. God does speak in the silence. Have some time each morning for quiet time in the Scriptures. On the other hand, “make a joyful noise unto the Lord!” Sing. I know you don’t feel like it! Join the club. Sing anyway. Listen to music that honors Christ and lifts your heart to Him. Too often the noise of the alarm clock and a grumble are the first sounds of the morning.
- Don’t just get up, get awake. This is different for everyone. Go on a walk or a run. Get the blood circulating. Take a shower. Get dressed. Have breakfast. Drink a cup of coffee, or two, or three…Figure out a way to get your mind functioning!
- Pray for definite things. Away with general, generic prayers! Ask the Lord for specific things for you and for others. Expect to see answers to prayer. Begin your day with faith in God and seek to live that way all day.
- Read a few paragraphs of a book. A nugget from a devotional can be the very thing that feeds your soul throughout the demands of the day. Spend a few moments thinking about the day ahead and considering how you can apply one principle that will make the day more of what God intended for it to be.
- Spend some time with your family. It may be around the breakfast table or in the car on the morning commute. It is important that the day begin with peace. Talk to one another. Speak kindly. Have a prayer together for the day if possible. Let the last words you speak be meaningful. “I love you” is a powerful thing.
Every morning will not be the same. But every morning can be given to God with a desire that every moment of the day will count for Him. It is now evening and I am still pondering on the brief pages I read from Chambers many hours ago. The morning really does set the pace. Try it for yourself…and remember to begin tonight if you want to make the most of the morning!