The Morning Watch …
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35)
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalm 5:3)
IT'S GOOD TO BE IN THE HOUSE OF HE LORD on Sunday. But, that’s only the beginning. The Bible talks about people praying every day. The Bible talks about people praying throughout the day as a way of life. The Bible talks about men walking with God (Enoch, Noah) and about men walking “before the Lord.”
DANIEL PRAYED THREE TIMES A DAY. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. (Daniel 6:10) We notice that Daniel did not pray to get out of Babylon. He “gave thanks.”
“DANIEL'S PRAYER WAS FIRST A PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING (Daniel 6:10) as he acknowledged God’s goodnesses to him. His prayer was also a prayer for guidance and help (Daniel 6:11). Doubtless the responsibility of high office rested heavily on Daniel and he sought God’s wisdom in the decisions he had to make. Daniel was more than 80 years old at this time (539 b.c.); he was about 16 when he was taken captive 66 years earlier (605 b.c.).
“SO BECAUSE OF HIS YEARS HE MAY HAVE ALSO SOUGHT GOD for physical strength to carry on his heavy duties. Daniel made no attempt to hide his devotion to or his dependence on God, even though it now meant disobeying a governmental decree (cf. Acts 5:29).
DANIEL WOULD NOT AND COULD NOT LOOK TO DAIRUS for the guidance and strength he knew God alone could supply. Apparently his opponents knew where and when he prayed, so they went (lit., rushed) to his room at the time and, as expected, found him praying. (Bible Knowledge Commentary)
THE PSALMIST WROTE: Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:17)
PAUL WROTE TO TIMOTHY: I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Timothy 2:8) For centuries it has been the practice of Jews to pray with their hands lifted toward Heaven. The early Christians continued the practice, and many continue it today. It signifies dependence upon God and also the emptiness of the hands that approach God.
Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17) The verb phrase “without ceasing,” is a Greek term that means “as a hacking cough.” Intermittenly. Now and then, throughout the day or night.”
WHAT I'M AIMING FOR HERE, IS TO ENCOURAGE YOU/ME TO BE FAITHFUL TO GOD in our prayer life, beginning in the morning. There is no substitute for beginning the day with the Lord. For several years, I have relied on a small group of verses that I go through in the morning. For example: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) Don’t rush through the verse. Dwell on each phrase of the verse and make sure your mind is sitting firmly on top of each verse, like sitting firmly in the saddle on a horse. “Lickety-split” is not allowed.
TOMORROW, I WANT TO SHARE SOME OF THOSE VERSES and to suggest ways to use them in prayer. Increasingly, through the years, I have come to see that thorough praying cannot be done apart from our connecting it to the Word of God. That being the case, it means we should memorize a growing number of verses that relate to prayer. Some of these verses can be used as part of the wording of our prayers. Some of the verses will help us think about the framework of prayer and how we can best think about prayer.
I’M COMPILING A FOLDER OF 100+ VERSES ON PRAYER and subjects that relate to prayer, such as faith, thanksgiving, attitude, sin, obedience, etc. These will be available to be downloaded onto 8 ½ x 11 sheets of paper; an average of 8-10 verses per page. By setting your printer on “draft” setting, you will not use much ink and it may not bleed through. This will enable you to print on both sides. An 8 ½ x 11 sheet folded in half, fits well in most Bibles. If you fold no more than 3-4 sheets, you can tuck 48-80 verses into your reading Bible and use them for memorizing and reviewing.
THIS IDEA HAS BEEN DRIVING ME FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, and I’m working on it. I must finish it as soon as possible. I’m not satisfied that we have a daily devotional that people read and go on their way. That’s worth the effort, but it’s not enough. We need to be hiding the Word of God in our hearts and using them in our prayer life. That’s the only reasonable goal.
THAT WILL PLEASE GOD. Jesus did always those things that please the Father. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:29) We too, should do always those things that please the Father, and that includes hiding God’s Word in our hearts.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WHEN JESUS PRAYED “a great while before day” that He spent no time reading the Bible. The part of the Word of God He used in prayer was what He had memorized. When the first Christians left Jerusalem to escape persecution, they went everywhere preaching the Word. There were no Bibles to carry around in that day. So, they preached what they had memorized. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. (Acts 8:4)
I CAN SUPPLY YOU WITH BRIGHT GREEN AND/OR BRIGHT PINK half-3/5 cards for writing verses. I buy 3x5 cards and cut them in half on a commercial paper cutter. Packs of 50 cards mail well…his and her cards. Easy to find if you lay them down somewhere. Use these cards for writing verses and carrying them with you to memorize. A verse a week will bless you for the rest of your life.
THINK ABOUT IT AND LET ME KNOW BY E-MAIL OR THROUGH FACEBOOK. The cards are not for sale. I’ll send them to you free. If you want to buy a set of cards for someone else, I will accept money on that basis.
Let’s be serious about the Word of God and prayer and getting out the Word of God to a lost and dying world. We don’t have long. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
AUGUST 6, 2018 – MONDAY
A.M. Psalms 70-72 P.M. Romans 4
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
A Good Verse to Memorize:
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Mark 1:35) (Write verse on scrap of paper and put in your pocket to memorize.)
Song for Today:
Rock of Ages (3:32) (Samonte – Mennonite Choir)
You may need to adjust your volume.