Psalm 5:3 In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.
This verse is not unreasonably used fairly often in support of the practice of morning devotions. There really is a lot to be said for the practice. I’m not aware of anywhere the Bible commands it, but David obviously did it, and we have record that Jesus did it on at least several occasions. Jeremiah, in the middle of his grief at the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, still recognized that God’s grace and mercy are “new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Even so, the regular practice of morning devotions seems to be increasingly rare, as the pace of modern life convinces people they are too busy for that sort of thing. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth! The thing is, starting each day with God prepares you for whatever the day holds as nothing else ever could. In many ways it’s like eating breakfast: lots of people skip it, yet study after study confirms its importance. Both physical and spiritual breakfast require getting up in time to do them before other things start happening, but we also require sufficient sleep, so that means getting to bed long enough before you need to get up, and that’s where the choices really kick in. The devil is adept at tempting us with all sorts of entertainment, and in this information age there is literally no end to all the stuff we could watch or do. With the Internet and video recorders, you could spend 24 hours a day watching stuff, and go insane or even die from lack of sleep. (Look it up. It’s possible.) We have to choose to value time with God over whatever it is we want to watch the night before. It’s not that the programming is necessarily bad (though there is some really bad stuff out there) but that if it takes precedence over taking time with God, it becomes idolatry.
Having seen my parents’ example, I remember attempting to start a habit of morning devotions in college, but it lasted less than a week. I didn’t really get into it until I got past the point of, “This is something I’m supposed to do,” to the place of, “This is something I really need.” I honestly don’t remember exactly when that was, but it was definitely after the Lord brought me to real repentance as a young adult, when I was already a husband and father. At this point it’s gone on long enough that it’s been years since I’ve skipped a day, even with flying across the International Date Line. Especially when traveling, some days are harder than others to get quiet before the Lord and listen to what He’s saying, and those days leave me with a hunger for more. To me, morning devotions are an opportunity to present myself afresh to the Lord to be used in His plans. It is a time to get direction from Him before the busyness of the day sets in, and to affirm that He is my first and highest – really my only – priority. I wish I could say that attitude is maintained all day every day, but that’s another area where I still have room to grow. I can say that morning devotions are a highlight of my life, day after day after day.
Father, thank you that Your mercies are indeed new every morning. Thank You for giving me a schedule at this point in my life where taking the time is relatively easy. I pray for the members of this church, particularly, that You would give them wisdom and willpower to make the time to start each day with You. Until they really try it they don’t know how wonderful it can be! Give them a hunger for You that will cut through all the junk and enable them to see themselves and see You, to choose to walk in fellowship with You consistently, for their incalculable blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!