My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
Men of God throughout history have found solutions to life’s problems by directing their prayers to the One who would hear and assist them. Before even their day begins they receive the confidence necessary to face their afflictions and bear their burdens. There is little doubt that if we would cease the hustle and bustle of our morning hour and deliberately take time to direct our prayers to God, that we too would have the constant joy of looking up into His face all day long.
E. M. Bound has noted, “The little estimate we put on prayer is evident from the little time we give to it. … Not infrequently the preacher’s only praying is by his bedside in his nightdress, ready for bed and soon in it, with, perchance the addition of a few hasty snatches of prayer ere he is dressed in the morning. How feeble, vain, and little is such praying compared with the time and energy devoted to praying by holy men in and out of the Bible! How poor and mean our petty, childish praying is beside the habits of the true men of God in all ages!”
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), best known for his commentary on the entire Bible, spent most of his ministry as a pastor of a church in Chester, England. Henry was a diligent student of the Word, rising as early as 4 o’clock in the morning to spend eight hours a day in study and prayer, in addition to his pastoral labors. Charles Simeon (1759-1836) devoted the hours from four until eight in the morning to God. Martin Luther (1483-1546) testified, “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day;” and “I have so much to do [today] that I should spend the first three hours in prayer.” He had a motto: “He that has prayed well has studied well.”
Samuel Rutherford (1660-1661) rose at three in the morning to meet God in prayer. Joseph Alleine (1634-1668) arose at four o’clock for his business of praying till eight. The great Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843) proclaimed, “I ought to spend the best hours in communion with God. It is my noblest and most fruitful employment, and is not to be thrust into a corner. The morning hours, from six to eight, are the most uninterrupted and should be thus employed.
Martyn Lloyd Jones asks us the probing questions: What part does prayer play in our lives and how essential is it to us? Do we realize that without it we faint? Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the character of our prayer life. It is more important than knowledge and understanding. … The ultimate test of my understanding of the Scriptural teaching is the amount of time I spend in prayer. As theology is ultimately the knowledge of God, the more theology I know, the more it should drive me to seek to know God. Not to know about Him, but to know Him. … If all my knowledge does not lead me to prayer there is something wrong somewhere. It is meant to do that. The value of the knowledge is that it gives me such an understanding of the value of prayer, that I devote time to prayer and delight in prayer. If it does not product these results in my life, there is something wrong and spurious about it, or else I am handling it in a wrong manner.
Take some early morning time this week to search these Scriptures and find their common thread: Gen 19:27, 28:18, Ex 24:4, 34:4, Nu 14:40, Josh 6:12, I Sam 1:19, Job 1:5, 2 Chron 20:20, 29:20, Ps 57:8, 119:47, Mark 1:35.
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.