Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Morning Prayer

Last Lord's Day at DPC we looked at Psalm 4, which is an evening "now I lay me down to sleep" prayer.

This coming Lord's Day we'll be looking at Psalm 5, which is a morning prayer:  "O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch." (Psalm 5.3)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote this about morning prayer:
“The entire day receives order and discipline when it acquires unity.  This unity must be sought and found in morning prayer.  It is confirmed in work.  The morning prayer determines the day!  Squandered time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, weaknesses and lack of courage in work, disorganization and lack of discipline in our thoughts and in our conversation with other men all have their origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer.”
Speaking for myself... I think Bonhoeffer nailed it.  Morning prayer isn't a legalistic prerequisite for feeling loved by God.  But it is beginning the day with Christ... and that matters for the rest of the day.

If your heart is like mine (and it is), it daily & desperately needs to be renewed in the steadfast love of God -- which, as the promise goes, is "new every morning" (Lamentations 3.23).

Some other helpful comments Bonhoeffer made about the morning:
"For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day's work.  At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it.  All the darkness and distraction of the dreams of night retreat before the clear light of Jesus Christ and his wakening Word.  All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before him.  Therefore, at the beginning of the day let all distraction and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to him to whom our whole life belongs.  'Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light' (Eph. 5.14)."
"With remarkable frequency the Scriptures remind us that the men of God rose early to seek God and carry out His commands, as did Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and Joshua (cf. Gen.19.27, 22.3; Ex.9.13, 24.4; Josh.3.1, 6.12, etc.).  The Gospel, which never speaks a superfluous word, says of Jesus himself: "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitaryplace, and there prayed" (Mark 1.35).  Some rise early because of restlessness and worry; the Scriptures call this unprofitable: "It is vain for you to rise early... to eat the bread of sorrows" (Ps.127.2).  But there is such a thing as rising early for the love of God.  This was the practice of the men of the Bible."

No comments:

Post a Comment