I could never find enough time with Him during the day. I’d hear other people mention their “quiet time” or “prayer closet”, and feel a pang of guilt—and envy. ‘I should be doing that’, I thought. But the stillness never seemed to arrive once I started my daily routines. Even the weekends filled with errands and catch-up tasks.
How can I spend quiet time with the Lord if there’s no quiet?
I tried semi-successfully to meet Him at bedtime each evening. But, no surprise, I’d fall asleep a lot of the time. And, while I never felt condemnation, there’s a little too much Garden of Gethsemane parallel for comfort. No, bedtime devotions just weren’t my jam.
That only left one option, really. It was an option I’d been fastidiously avoiding for a long time. (Like, my whole life.)
Morning. Early morning! O-dark-thirty.
I’ll spare the details on how I made the switch. But the results have been nothing short of miraculous. For a night-owl like myself to convert to a morning glory is true divine intervention. No other time of day is so still, so full of energy, as pre-dawn.
If you’re looking to make a realistic but radical change in 2018, seek out the Lord in the dark morning silence. Here’s how I meet Him:
I think about thanksgivings
It starts with deep thanks: gratitude for the mug of coffee warming my hands, the priceless gift of a healthy family, a full pantry, a sturdy home. The big things, the small things, the kind things, and the mixed blessings – I may not understand it all, but I’m grateful for the chance to learn from and to appreciate my life.
I forgive and pray
Next, I check my heart for bitterness. Studies are confirming the Biblical benefits of forgiveness, touting deeper happiness, more vibrant creativity, and increased energy. But, most of all, I find it improves my relationship with the Father. If it’s important enough for Jesus to mention in the Lord’s prayer, I want to spend time focusing on forgiveness. It also releases mercy as a preventative. I’m less likely to get bent out of shape in the future if I spend time each morning releasing any grudges or hurts. Forgiveness is funny like that; it works across the past, present, and future, all at once!
I feel His blessing, and His love
It’s easy for anxiety to creep in, gnawing at my peace. Will I be safe on my commute? Will our parents’ health hold? Will I be able to meet the expectations of those depending on me, today?
I can shush those worries by asking, like Jabez, for the Lord to bless my day. I take hold of His promises to do the heavy lifting, to go before me, and to supply my every need. If He’s called me to my day, He’ll work out all the details. I ask for Him to keep me on the right path of His will even if, to me, it feels like I’m spinning my wheels. If you try one thing off this list, let it be to cover your anxiety with the blanket of His grace.
Is my morning routine perfect? No. Am I spending enough time with the Father? Never. But taking time with Him in stillness, before the busyness begins, sets the rest of my day on a smoother, more loving course. He covers me with his anointing for the day, and strengthens my heart. I feel closer to Him during the chaotic times, too. Like Romans 12:12 says (in the KJV), “…continuing instant in prayer.” It’s a moment that stays with me, lasting through the hours.