Thursday, 29 July 2021
Morning has broken… time to pray
By Dorothy Teoh
Mark 1: 35
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Is morning the best time to pray? For many people, it is, and our Lord Himself set the example. It feels right to start the day with God, and to commit the day that stretches ahead to Him.
I came across the writing of someone named W.G. Barrett on a website, on the subject of praying in the morning and would like to share some excerpts here from the notes I jotted down.
Morning is the time for reflection, he said. It seems natural to think, and to be quiet, in the early morning.
It is also the time for observation. “The curtain is drawn aside and we look upon the lace of God’s creation,” said Barrett. I thought he put it delightfully. If you live in a landed property, go out to your garden early in the morning. The dew on spider webs is like “the lace of God’s creation”.
Morning is the time for purpose, said Barrett. We may begin again, every morning, with fresh purposes. As the morning gives wings to the day, so prayer gives wings to the morning, he said.
The old American Express credit card slogan “Don’t leave home without it” has new relevance in the age of Covid. We would not dream of leaving our homes without a face mask to protect ourselves from the virus. But how often do we leave our homes or start our day without praying?
Often, I awaken and resolve that the first thing I will do is spend time with the Lord, read His Word and pray. Then I think, “Oh, I have to check my Whatsapp first” or send a message to someone before I forget. And because this daily devotion is sent through a Whatsapp group on our handphones, I am all the more easily distracted. And before I know it, an hour has flown by.
Has that happened to you before? If so, don’t let the guilt or frustration stop you from proceeding with your original plan. Many a time I have had to ask the Lord humbly for forgiveness and for help to focus on Him and His Word after being distracted. And God is gracious – we may get distracted and take detours but He is always there, waiting, like the loving father in the parable of the prodigal son.
What if, for various reasons, you are unable to carve out a portion of uninterrupted time in the morning, for example, mothers with young children or care-givers to spouses or elderly parents? You could find a time during the day when your charges have been fed and are resting or sleeping. Think of it as your “date with God”.
Morning may be the best time for many, but any time is good for us to pray. Again, our Lord exemplified that. In Mark 6: 46, after performing the miracle of feeding the five thousand, it was already late. Jesus made his disciples get into the boat to go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida, while He dismissed the crowd and went up on a mountainside to pray.
In Ephesians 6, Paul exhorts his readers to “put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (v11) and to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (v18). Prayer is part of the full armour of God, an essential part of both our arsenal as Christians and of our “PPE”, personal protective equipment.
Let us be like the psalmist who says in Psalm 5:3 : “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”
Abba Father, thank you for the gift of prayer that enables us to speak directly with you. Thank you that it is a gift that we can give others by praying for them, especially in these challenging times when we cannot meet them in person. Help us to pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests and to wait expectantly, as the psalmist did. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
我想在这里分享一些我在网站摘录下来的一段话。作者W.G. Barrett说，早上是反思的极佳时间。清晨可以自然冷静的思考。并且也是观察的时间。 我想他很愉快的描述说 “ 帷幕拉开，我们看到了上帝的创造映入眼帘”。
早晨对许多人来说可能是最好的时间，但任何时候我们都可以祈祷。我们的主再次证明了这一点。在马可福音 6：46 中，在行了喂饱五千人的神迹之后，已经晚了。耶稣随即催门徒上船，先渡到那边伯赛大去，等他叫众人散开。 46 他既辞别了他们，就往山上去祷告。
在以弗所书 6 章中，保罗劝告他的读者“要 穿 戴 神 所 賜 的 全 副 軍 裝 ， 就 能 抵 擋 魔 鬼 的 詭 計 ”（第 11 节）并“靠 著 聖 靈 ， 隨 時 多 方 禱 告 祈 求 ； 並 要 在 此 儆 醒 不 倦 ， 為 眾 聖 徒 祈 求 ”_（第18节）。祷告是上帝全副武装的一部分，是我们作为基督徒的武器库和我们的“个人防护装备” 。
让我们像诗篇 5:3 中的诗人一样：“ 耶和华啊，早晨你必听我的声音；早晨我必向你陈明我的心意，并要警醒”