STARTING EACH DAY WIITH God in prayer! What a neat idea! How much better would your life be if you could do it! How much happier you’d be; how much more victorious over your sins and bad habits! How much better of an attitude you’d have towards the mean people in your life! Probably everything would be better, if you could get in the habit of starting each day with God!
But here’s the hard part: How do you do it? if you’re like me, starting the day off with God doesn’t come easy. And, I confess, it didn’t come naturally. I had lots of false starts and failures for several years before I discovered some of the basic principles of starting the morning with God.
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” Jesus said that in Matthew 6:33. When He said that, He was telling us the secret of receiving the things that we have need of in life. Every need that you and I have is connected to our relationship with God.
That’s the key to receiving; putting God first. Putting God first is impossible if we don’t give Him first place on our daily schedule. That’s what causes good things to be ADDED unto you.
So you start each day declaring (or prophesying!) “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).” You recognize that the day you’re beginning is a unique gift from God.
In this day, God has prepared specific opportunities and people for you to meet. Ephesians 2:10 says we “are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” See? He’s ALREADY planned for some good things to happen in your life. You just have to be in tune so you don’t miss them.
By meeting with God each morning, you remind yourself that you can’t live on yesterday’s blessing. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God fed them with manna each day. Manna gathered the day before would go rotten overnight. That’s how they learned to build a daily relationship with Him, admitting their dependence on God.
Then there’s the fact that He’s your Heavenly Father, and He wants to get time with every one of His children each morning. The Father is so interested in your life and in helping you to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He’s more than willing to be there for you as you follow Jesus as your pattern in all things.
The Holy Spirit in your heart yearns to guide you into the daily Presence of God. He wants to cleanse you, refresh you and fill you with His grace and strength – so you can get through the day without failing short or slipping back.
A few years ago, a lady was at our church giving me a piece of her mind. (Not that she could afford it…) I was thinking of some pretty appropriate things I COULD have said to her. I was thinking, “I bet you’re a real treat to live with. BUT, I didn’t say any of the things I was thinking. You know why? Because I had already made up my mind when I was in prayer that morning that I was going to be SWEET!
When you search the Scriptures, you’ll find that the men and women in the Bible whom God used the most were people who put Him first each day.
Abraham, the father of faith, wherever he went, the first thing he did was to establish an altar, and worship God. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness (Romans 4:3).” His FAITH caused him to first erect an altar to God wherever he went.
In Exodus 24:4, we read about Moses building an altar early in the morning. That was his habit, to pray first thing each morning. What did God say to Moses in Exodus 32:2,4? He said, “Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto Mt. Sinai, and present thyself to Me in the top of the mount.”
Job, who went through the most intense trials a person could go through, went through them successfully. What was his habit? Job 1:5 says that he continually rose up early in the morning and prayed, offering sacrifices for his family. He developed the practice of “rising up early in the morning” and praying for his family.
Isaiah the prophet testified that it was his morning times with God were he got his learning and knowledge. “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth my ear to hear as the learned.”
So, how do we DO it? David tells us the first key in Psalm 143:8. “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning. For in Thee do I trust. Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for lift up my soul unto Thee.”
You ASK God to move in your heart to draw you to prayer. Let Him know you trust Him. Then, ask Him to reveal to you throughout the day the way you should walk.
Second, focus on the things that are going RIGHT in your life, rather than dwelling on your needs. Psalm 92:1,2: “It’s a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High. To show forth Thy loving-kindness in the morning…”
That’s how you get into the presence of God. You “enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His Name (Psalm 100:4).” Start with praise and thanksgiving.
Third is staying focused, awake, in touch and in tune. Some people tell me they can’t sleep at night. Two of the best ways I’ve ever found to fall asleep is to either read my Bible or to pray!
But, in your morning time, you WANT to stay awake. So, HOW do you do that? First off, get to bed at a decent hour, keeping in mind that you’re going to get up and pray first thing in the morning.
Then, follow these cues given in Psalm 5:3. Pray out loud. “My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning…” Find a place you can actually TALK to God out loud. Maybe in your bedroom, family room or garage. Maybe even in your car, or out in the yard somewhere. But, talking out loud is one of the best ways to pray well.
The next tip in Psalm 5:3 says to keep your eyes OPEN, if you don’t want to fall back asleep. “In the morning I will direct my prayer unto Thee and will look up.” With your eyes closed, your praying will end up becoming snoozing. Talk out loud to God and keep your eyes open.
Psalm 63:1, “O God, Thou art my God: early will I seek Thee.” That’s the secret to walking with God in a real and satisfying way. Have a private visit with Him first thing in the morning. Enter into His presence for a time of fellowship with your oldest and best friend, Jesus.
Seek God first, and walk in righteousness – then God will fill your life with every good thing. Jesus says so!