It’s easy when we start talking about taking our relationship with Jesus to the next level to get a little overwhelmed, frustrated and maybe a little confused. I want to share with you how I spend my time with the Lord in the morning in hopes that it helps and blesses you as we both set ourselves to seek God with greater measures of our lives! I am by no means saying ‘this is HOW you are supposed to do it.’ I just want to share with you what currently works for me, it’s changed over time, but I’m really enjoying where the Holy Spirit has had me the last year or so!
First thing I do is make sure I get to bed at a reasonable time, because if I’m in bed much past 9/10pm I won’t get up early.
Next I set my alarm for 5:00a, sometimes earlier, sometimes a bit later up to 6:30a. The first 18 seconds of the morning are the hardest but if I can get out of bed right away by the time I’m to the kitchen to make my cup of coffee I’m awake and feeling great! (This is the greatest challenge of my day - but feels GREAT to accomplish this first task of getting out of bed)
Then I head up to my prayer room and take a seat in my prayer chair. I have my Bible closed in my lap and cup of coffee in my hand (Marissa and I bought a Nespresso several months ago and it would truly qualify as a PERFECT gift that’s come down from above - see James 1:17, HA!) Then I just begin to thank Jesus sometimes for 5-10-20 minutes just thanking God. This is really important to me because Psalm 100:4 says we “enter His gates with thanksgiving..” and as I’m thanking God I’m positioning my heart RIGHTLY. I never start petitioning or requesting God for things right away because it’s easy for me to pray with a wrong mindset if I do. Starting with thankfulness reminds me that God is good and that regardless of what is happening around me, He has proven faithful over and over again and I can fully trust Him! So I thank Jesus for whatever is on my heart. For my salvation, for the blood of Jesus, for my wife, for my son, for the promises of God, for His presence, etc.
After this I spend some time just in worship. Psalm 100:4 ‘[enter] … his courts with praise.’ In light of everything I’m thankful for it becomes the most natural thing to just worship! I can’t help it. By now I’m very much in the presence of the Lord just like Psalm 100 says! We enter into His VERY presence with thankfulness and praise, it’s so true! I feel like I’m curled right up on the chest of God I’ve got myself anchored in good truth that God loves me, He’s for me and He’s with me. Quick note on this, ‘sensing’ the presence is cultivated over time. At first it feels like you’re just in an empty room and God is a million miles away. How you move past that is you thank God that He IS with you. You tell your feelings that they’re lying to you because Jesus says “I’ll never leave you..” See Hebrews 13:5. My feelings have proven over and over again to be unreliable, but the Word of God always proves true.
Then (and this is my favorite part) I simply ask Jesus a question. “Where are you taking me today Lord?” Sometimes I’ll be prompted to read a certain story in the Bible, or read a certain book of the Bible, sometimes (actually quite often believe it or not) I will just ask the Lord to help me land in the right spot and ‘randomly’ open my Bible to a page! I can’t tell you how many times God has blown my mind with the perfect verses/passages as I exercise such simple childlike faith! Sometimes it doesn’t work and those times I just flip to the Gospels and start reading somewhere. Sometimes the Lord will put people/situations on my heart to pray for and so I go straight to praying for them. Whichever comes first (Bible study or prayer) I am sure to do both.
Before I start getting ready for the day I pray for my family this prayer:
For Marissa and Asher that God would; guard (protect them emotionally/spiritually/physically), govern (be Lord of their lives) and guide (speak to them and lead them)
Often I pray this prayer for Marissa and I: “Lord would you give me a greater measure of your heart for Marissa today, and I pray that you would give Marissa a greater measure of your heart for me. Help us to fall more in love with each other today than we were yesterday!”
I can’t tell you how much has changed in my life, my marriage, my family, my home since I have started this habit of seeking God early. If you haven’t started I would encourage you to commit for ONE month! Just a month. I guarantee you won’t be able to stop because you’re going to encounter Jesus and watch Him begin to move in your life and your family like maybe you’ve never experienced before.
This is pretty consistently what my time with the Lord looks like in the morning and has become over the past 3+ years my most favorite part of the day because I meet with God every time I do!
What does your time with Jesus look like? I would love to hear from you!