This week I will be taking a break from writing devotions while I attend a conference. My friend and fellow blogger, Michael Stephens, and I like to have debates offline for fun and to engage in deep discussions. We understand that our discussions are not to prove one of us is right and the other is wrong. They are intended to help us expand our own perspectives. We thought we would share one of our debates with you. This week we will be discussing the best time of day to pray. I have chosen to speak on morning prayer, and he will be rebutting, then making a case for evening prayer which I will rebut. We’d also like to get your input into the discussion.
For me, there’s no better time to pray than in the morning. Just like a good breakfast sets the tone for my day, so does morning prayer. I believe that the way we start each day sets our attitude for it. David said in Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it” (NLT). The Good News translation says, “This is the day of the Lord’s victory.” Our daily victory starts in the morning before we take our first steps of the day.
In his book Early On Our Knees, E. M. Bounds wrote, “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, it’s opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God, will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day.” That first sentence is the strongest statement to me. People like Dwight Moody, George Whitefield, John Wesley, and Martin Luther were all men who believed in early morning prayer.
They understood that if there is going to be any victory over the enemy, it’s going to require significant time in prayer. The U.S. Army used to say, “We do more before 9AM than most people do all day.” I believe the same should be said of us as prayer warriors. We should wage more war on our knees tearing down strongholds by 9 AM than the enemy does all day. I want the enemy to think, “Look out! He’s up already! To your stations!”
God has also been specific since the beginning of creation that He desires our first fruits. They are the most holy to Him. I believe that should extend beyond my giving and into every aspect of my life including my time. If you don’t schedule God first, you run the risk of your day getting away from you and being too tired or busy, just giving Him your left overs if anything at all. I read a sign recently that said, “The bad news is that time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”
If you don’t control your time and make time for God in prayer, you run the risk of losing your victory. Each day God gives us is a gift of 1,440 minutes. Once they’re gone, you can’t get them back. Jump into the cockpit and take control of your day by giving it to God. If you do, you’ll find it easier to obey I Thessalonians 5:17 which says, “Never stop praying.” You will also find your attitude will change and so will your number of victories. The keys to your victory are to get up, give God the first fruits of your time, and wage war in prayer early.
What time in the morning do you start praying?