Time alone is not something I have in abundance these days. I am blessed with a son who likes to follow me everywhere, all the time! I can’t even go upstairs alone to fetch something without hearing him trailing after me! I tend to find prayer and reading my Bible difficult with any form of distraction, so I’ve had to adapt our morning schedule so that I can have a few moments peace alone, in order to connect with my Father before the day begins.
With the joys and challenges of raising a tricky, spirited and wilful little boy daily bringing me to my knees, and sometimes to tears (!), this time in the morning has become SO precious and necessary. For the first time in my life, I feel I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Finding encouragement in God’s Word, imploring the Holy Spirit for his strength and enabling power, admitting how much I need Him just to get through the day and praising Him for his faithfulness and promises. This is now essential. I’m not trying to sound like a saint- it is the truth! I’m so aware of His grace helping me daily through this season of life.
In Matthew 6, Jesus is teaching the people how to pray. He warns against hypocrisy and showing off with our prayers, and tells us to ‘go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father’ (v6). I had a little chuckle to myself when I read this; I do try! I am very thankful that our sleep-training clock seems to work with my son, so as long as I make sure I’m done with praying before the ‘sun comes up’ I will (usually) be uninterrupted! Otherwise I hear a familiar little voice outside the half-open door “Mummy, are you still talking to Jeeesus?” Of course, I don’t have a problem with him joining me to pray then, but for my own sake, I value that time alone with the Lord so that I can pour out my heart to him (I pray aloud!).
I have recently been challenged by my devotional notes to use my prayer time to PRAISE as well as come to God with my list of needs. I’m going through a lovely book by Joni Eareckson Tada, and she pointed out how David made such a great life choice by deciding to reflect in the morning on the strength, love, goodness and protection of the Lord. In Psalm 59, David reveals there are men waiting outside his door wanting to kill him; I’d say that was pretty tricky situation! The Bible points out here how seeking God and praising Him in difficult times is special. Joni writes “when you begin the day singing about His strength, you’ll be less likely to ‘sing the blues’ when the day is over”. What a challenge for me! I often don’t feel like praising when I wake and think about all that needs to be done in the day, how tired I feel (ha, already!) and how I know I will need to be consistent and firm in boundary setting, yet showing the love of Jesus to my pickle… phew. But this is Joni’s prayer, and I make it mine too. Will you join me?
“How good it is, Father, to colour this day with praise before any other brushes paint it in dark shades of cynicism, negative talk, and despair. Thank you for meeting me in the quiet corners of the morning. With David I say, ‘You are my fortress, and my strong refuge. I sing of your strength and love because you share it so generously with me!’” AMEN