requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
When my children were small, I had absolutely no time to myself. From the moment they woke up until they fell asleep at night I heard “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom” from three kids ages 5, 3 and almost 1. There is an old saying that having children is like being pecked to death by a chicken. Mercy.
I could not even take a bath without three little ones watching me and asking for a sandwich, a puppy, a drink of water or another brother.
My prayers consisted of “Lord give me strength – and patience – and more of both!” as I made sandwiches and fed the puppy and got each one a drink and explained why they were not getting another brother. There did not seem to be one minute, much less 30, that I could spend reading my Bible and in prayer.
Until one day when I was whining to the Lord that I just couldn’t fit time with Him into my “busy” schedule and He suggested to my heart the unthinkable: get up at 5 a.m. every morning for quiet time with Him. What?! Are you kidding me?
However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized He was right. If I was going to have any time alone with the Lord, it would have to be early in the morning, before anyone was awake.
Can I be honest with you? The first week I got up with an attitude. “This had better be good,” I would mumble to the Lord. Then I would make a cup of hot tea, grab my Bible, pen and paper and curl up on our sofa in the living room. And wait on the Lord. And wait. And then, in the quiet of the morning, something happened.
I began to sense that the Lord was waiting on me. I was physically up early each morning to be with Him but spiritually I was still asleep. So I flipped my Bible open to Psalms and it fell on chapter 5, verse 3: “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Not only was the Lord waiting to hear my voice but He wanted to hear what my day was all about! Just as David had done countless times, I too should have been starting my day by sharing with God everything going on in my life and then quietly waiting on His answers. I was too busy grouching about getting up early to meet the Creator of the Universe! Shame on me.
Now I truly know that we can’t all get up at 5 a.m. to spend time with the Lord. Different jobs and hours can make that almost impossible. But I would encourage each of you to begin your day – whether it’s at 11 p.m. or 3 a.m. or 5 a.m. – by talking with the King of Kings. Share what is on your mind, lay your requests before Him, and allow Him to speak to your heart.
The problems you face before your prayer time may still be there after you talk with the Lord. But you will have strength and courage to face each one just by knowing He listens and answers – early in the morning.
Father, forgive me for making excuses for not seeking your face before my day begins. I know how much more smoothly everything goes when I begin my day with you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
R.A.P. it up . . .
What are some of the excuses you have made for not spending time with the Lord before your day begins?
For one week, set your alarm and get up 15 minutes early to meet with the Lord. Make a list of activities and possible problems for each day and lay them down at the Cross. Consider increasing your time with the Lord to 30 minutes.
Ask God to speak to your heart. Journal His answers and thank Him for His faithfulness. Consider setting aside time for the Lord as your #1 priority.
Psalm 5:3 (NIV) “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Mark 1:35 (NIV) “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.”
Psalm 63:1 (NIV) “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”
(For more of Nancy Hughes' writing, check out her blog, Encouragement from the War Room.)