Most people dread three words- Early, Morning, Prayer. Put all three of those words together and you might see people faint. I’m not sure of anyone who loves to wake up from a deep slumber, let alone wake up before sunrise. Everybody has said at least once in their life “I’m not a morning person.” You don’t hear people say “I’m not an afternoon person” or “I’m not an evening person.” And then throw the word “prayer” around and you’ll get the response of people feeling guilty for their lack of prayer.
So early Morning Prayer? Is this flogging? Is this some type of spiritual torture? Well I’m glad you asked….
Prayer takes discipline, and early morning prayer increases the need for a life of discipline. Jesus said to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God” and early morning prayer puts that emphasis on first. It takes a great deal of sacrifice to get to bed early and to rise up early.
The LORD dealt with me about early morning prayer around 1987. And for the last twenty-six years it’s been a wrestling match between the two of us. I can honestly tell you that it’s never been easy to get up before sunrise and spend quality time in prayer and even Bible reading. And to make you feel even better, going to bed earlier doesn’t make it easier either. Maybe I just enjoy sleeping more than some, so getting up early to pray has never come as a walk in the park.
The benefits are tremendous to my spiritual life. When consistently done there’s just nothing quite like getting up early and praying before anything else is done. I’ve read and listened to several minsters over the years promoting early prayer, and the insight that always stuck with me is that they said when getting up early the spirit world is at rest. The devil works through flesh and if you get up before sunlight the majority of people are still asleep that the mediums that the enemy works through are at rest. I’ve found that my mind doesn’t wander and have crazy thoughts when I’m up praying early rather than trying to sludge my way through prayer another part of the day.
There are no less than 50 references to early morning prayer in Scripture, Psalm 63 being one of them. I feel much more accomplished the rest of the day when I get up early and pray. And I feel less frazzled trying to find time to pray in the rest of my day.
Here a five tips to help you get out of bed and start praying.
1. Go to bed earlier. Trying to get up early and trying to stay up all night is going to work contrary to what you are trying to accomplish. Try to cut back watching TV before you go to bed, it’s hard to turn it off once you’ve been watching it hours on end. Try reading a book to get you sleepy earlier in the night.
2. Set more than one alarm. A trick of the trade for me is to set an alarm that I want to jar me awake and then set a couple more about the time I want to actually want to get up. I like to get up around 5am, so I set an alarm around 4:30am and then set a few more before 5am. I will also set an alarm up across the room, so I have to leave the comfort of my bed and covers.
3. Coffee. I set my coffee maker to start brewing my favorite coffee before I get up. I like the coffee to be ready when I roll out of bed, that way all I have to do is pour it in to my favorite LARGE cup and get going. If I have to wait for the coffee to brew I’ll get the urge to crawl back into bed. The night before I’ll get my cup out and get my sugar already in the cup to keep things moving. If I don’t have coffee ready, I keep a few energy drinks in the fridge to grab on my way to my prayer closet. Keeping yourself prepared as much as possible keeps you from finding excuses to go back to sleep.
4. Set a time goal. Set a goal for how long you would like to pray. Start off small, then build up from there. But it’s good to set attainable goals. Keep track of what time you got up and what time you got finished praying. This will keep you motivated to keep progressing towards a mark.
5. Try for a month. Most products available today say you can try the product for 30 days or a money back guarantee. Trying early morning prayer for one day won’t give you a feel for what you are trying to accomplish. Try it for a month and check your progress.
Early morning prayer isn’t for everyone. Some enjoy late night prayer. I say as long as you are praying consistently then keep doing what you are doing. But if you want to shake things up a bit in your prayer life, I suggest to give early morning prayer a try.
What, could you not watch with me one hour?