“And I in righteousness I shall see your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with seeing your likeness” – Psalm 17:15 (NIV)
One of the defining aspects we see in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ is that He began the day with prayer. “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). As he was always surrounded by crowds and after such a busy day before of preaching and engaging the Pharisees in debates this must have been a therapeutic moment for Christ when he would have some good time to himself.
But there was also more. For Jesus
being away in a secluded place would also mean a chance to pour out His heart to God of the previous days events, plan for the day ahead and listen to Him. I suppose it is a moment He must have looked up to every day knowing it’s benefits. Conversations with His Father must have been real and intimate, bringing a certain soothing and uplifting of His spirit. You do not wake up and stick to something on a daily basis that is a drag – this must have been his best time of the day!
Martin Luther the leader of the protestant reformation is reputed to once have said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” Here is the point. In the olden days before the arrival of locomotive transport those who were setting out for a long journey on foot they had to start early with the first cock crow before the punishing sun came out. One of the things they had to start with also was a good meal, which was fuel needed to give them energy through the long walk to their destiny.
Sometime back I run into one senior citizen who these days the first thing he wakes up to in the morning is to hit the treadmill. It motivates him to jump out of bed and there he spends about an hour. “I can’t start the day without it” he said. I could see some of the benefits on his 81 year old energetic body.
There are no rules about waking up to pray as first thing- or even saying prayer at a defined hour of the day. God is everywhere and ever with us. He is accessible at any time of the day. But there is something special about prioritizing our lives that the first thing we do is to gently talk to God. Like the early traveller this is some fuel any of us needs, for the long tasks ahead!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a joy and privilege to make time that at the start of any day I first talk and hear from you, for there is little I can do without you!