Do you mind if I ask you a question?
When you roll out of bed in the morning do you make it a point to connect with God?
That is, do you start your day off with a conscious connection with God or do you just jump into your day moving along by self-propulsion?
Do you start your day off conversing with God?
I know that many of you do. And, I am sure that some of you morning people are engaged in a quiet time routine that lifts you up on spiritual mountain tops long before the rest of us have even crawled out of bed.
But I also know that many of you struggle to make a morning devotional time a regular habit. I am with you. This has often been an area of struggle for me too.
Throughout the ages, wise Christians have pointed toward prayer time in the morning as the best way to start the day off on the right foot. And, while I think we can all see the wisdom in this, it can still be a real challenge for some of us given our temperament or given the season of life we happen to find ourselves in.
Since I have never been a morning person, morning devotionals have often been an area of struggle for me (Although, I have discovered that my quiet times seem to flow more naturally in the evenings).
Nonetheless, in the past I have worked really hard to create a disciplined habit of starting my day off in connection with God. I found a rhythm where I started my day in worship, relationship and reverence. It was going pretty well for me for a while…
… then I had a few more kids.
Now, I don’t know if you know this or not, but having kids can be pretty hard on your devotional life—especially if you expect to have some actual quiet during your quiet time.
With 3 young boys in my house, silence and solitude are a rare commodity.
Taking time to connect with God in the morning can also be a challenge given that my boys tend to be up and actively jumping around (sometimes jumping on me) while I am still trying to brush the sleep from my eyes.
So, I find myself in the midst of a season that makes morning devotional time an elusive quarry.
So, I ask you, why bother? Why should I, why should any of us, bother to try to make a habit of devotional time in the morning?
I suppose we do it for the same reason that we take a shower and practice hygiene every morning (please tell me that you practice hygiene daily!).
Every day is a new day and there are some things you just have to do each day in order to start it fresh.
Making space for God every morning is just part of what it takes to get ready for the day and be at your best. It’s like a spiritual shower that gets you refreshed and ready to go.
But that does not mean that you have to fit a full-on intensive Bible study in every morning. Actually, quiet time doesn’t have to be cumbersome or time-consuming. In fact, I am learning that it can really be quite organic and simple.
Let me tell you about my current morning practice (things change all the time, so this probably will change too). First, I get a cup of tea, then I sit down in a comfy spot and spend about 10 minutes talking with God. Pretty simple.
Although it is simple, I do have a rhythm to my morning conversation with God. I start the conversation by dedicating my day and consecrating myself to God. Then I ask for inspiration to help me plan and navigate my day. After taking a few minutes considering the day to come, I read from 2 different daily devotionals (1 is on my phone, the other comes in my email).
As I said, in all the process takes about 10 minutes which is great, because that is about all the quiet time I can currently carve out of my mornings.
What I like about this practice—as opposed to something like trying to read the entire Bible in a year—is that I ask God to guide my thoughts first thing in the morning.
I don’t like going through my day with the stress of trying to figure things out on my own or charging ahead with a plan of attack only to realize later that God was moving in a different direction (it happens!).
When we begin our day by asking God to direct our thoughts and actions, we avoid the trap of blazing a trail by self-propulsion that leaves us burnt out and takes us further from where He would lead us.
Ironically, by taking time to ask God to guide us, we save time later on in the day by avoiding the distractions and detours we might otherwise take by trying to figure out life on our own.
Maybe you already have a good morning quiet time routine. Maybe you are a morning person and you are crushing it first thing. If so, keep crushing it.
Or maybe not. Maybe you are in a place where just getting out of bed and showing up to life each morning is a real victory for you right now.
Either way, I offer this Morning Dedication & Devotion handout as a way to help you start or potentially improve your morning time of connection with God.
Give it a shot and let me know your thoughts.