And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
If Jesus, Savior and Creator, needed to have a ‘quiet time’, how much more do we, rescued and redeemed sinners, need to do the same? It would stand to reason, that maybe we need it even more, being that we are imperfect. Yet Jesus, in so doing, was not only setting an example for us in his perfectness, but it was also a good indication that he really was fully man. He needed that time away with the Father to pray before ministering that day. To align with God’s will, to be strengthened, encouraged…just loved on by the Father.
Jesus gave his all to everyone around him. Do you give a lot of yourself to those around you? If you’re a mom, the answer is a resounding ‘yes!’. We so need that time at the start of each day to pray…to submit to God’s will, to draw on His strength and to just be loved on by our Father.
But, oh, I struggle with this! For so long now I’ve known I should make this a priority. This rising early and getting alone with God. You see, I am in the Word everyday. That is a must. Even if it is done while the kids are running laps around you asking endless questions. Make. It. A. Priority. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading or hearing His Word every day. But to rise very early in the morning, get alone, and pray? That. That is taking it to the next level. I mean, really praying. On your face, crying out to the Lord. Sitting silent, listening. A supernatural conversation with I Am!
What are we missing out on by neglecting this practice? I can only imagine. Heart healing, peace that passes understanding, a passion to reach the lost. The list goes on and on. I’m not saying we won’t ever have those things if we’re not praying early in the morning. But, how much more will we know and experience Him if we are being consistent in drawing near? What a change that would make in our witness if we are putting Him first in our day. The constant, repetitive, faithful setting aside time to just know Him. Being filled up in His presence so for the rest of the day we have something worthwhile to give. Praying for what weighs on our hearts. Prayer is a powerful thing. Both together, the pouring out and letting Him fill. Taking the time to be still and listen. Repenting, praising, honoring, submitting.
The pastor this weekend, stressed the importance of seeking His face as opposed to seeking His hand. Not just what God can do (His hand) for us, but to KNOW (face) Him. You’ve heard of the quantity vs. quality debate for relationships? Well, I think most people would agree that we need both. Quality, yes, but we are imperfect people. We have bad days. We still sin and need to repent daily. Quiet times are not always going to go the way you want. There will be interruptions and we may feel we’re not hearing from Him. Yet, if we can also focus on quantity…that day after day after day of seeking and being still and pouring out our hearts. That is what will help us know Him better. We’ll have some great quality days that make us walk with a bounce in our step and a renewed purpose, but those days and days of quantity will slowly build a solid foundation of maturity in our relationship with Him.
So, what does this early morning time look like? I need a plan and a goal. That sounds so unspiritual, but isn’t part of our walk about discipline? What can you do to add this to your life? What about sleep, you ask. I know. That’s been my hold up. I like sleep. I am not happy about getting out of bed in the morning, but this time with Him is more important than sleep. So, to think it through… I am pretty sure at this point in my life I need 7 hours of sleep each night. For me that means I need to go to bed no later than 11:30 pm and get up at 6:30 am. (Ugh.) That would give me 30-45 minutes before the rest of the house is ready for breakfast. I would include prayer, reading the Word, worship music, journaling and more prayer. You could sit in your car, in the bathroom, go for a walk. Think it through. Join me in making this a priority. This is more of what it means to lean on Him, right? To recognize our need for Him. Every. Day. What does your quiet time look like? Have you been able to establish a habit of rising early, getting alone with the Father and praying? Please share!