Last Friday I wrote about the 4 reasons why having a war room isn’t going to change your life. For weeks and weeks after creating my special prayer closet, I didn’t make time to spend with God. This week, I’m going to tell you what has been my game changer. Are you ready for this?
It’s quite simple really: I decided I had to change my sleep schedule.
Instead of going to bed late night after night, I set my bed time for 9-9:30 and my wake up time for 5-5:30. This means no more surfing the internet aimlessly ’til 11, falling asleep on the phone, or working on projects ’til my brain hurts and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Instead, I try to schedule my tasks so that I’m in bed at a reasonable hour so I can wake up and have those early morning moments with God.
Now, I can’t lie to you–this is a process. There are days where this works better than others. Sometimes I simply can’t get to sleep that early and wake up that early. Late nights are not only a hard habit to break sometimes they’re unavoidable. Like I mentioned in the last post, new habits are hard to stick to and prayer requires trade-off BUT it’s a process I’ve committed to because I believe in the power of early mornings.
Saying no to late nights and yes to early mornings is like setting a standing appointment with the Lord to meet Him at a time when fewer things can distract me. No text messages, no knocks on my door, no messages needing an immediate answer. I can enjoy the peace in my closet and focus on God-it’s a beautiful thing and it’s worth waking up for!
The Bible has a lot to say about seeking the Lord in the morning. Here are a few verses:
“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 KJV
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” KJV
“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For they mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earth.” Psalms 57:7-11 KJV
Even though I’m most definitely a chronic snoozer and like burrowing under the covers ’til the last possible second, I’ve found that waking up early and tackling my top priorities first thing in the morning, makes me feel much better throughout the rest of the day.
So how exactly does one bounce out of those comfy sheets and into the prayer closet? Here are 4 tips to help you get started and make it work:
- DON’T HIT SNOOZE. This is the absolute hardest for me. It’s so incredibly habitual. DON’T DO IT. It’s best to have your clock or phone on the other side of the room so you have to get up and turn it off. Whatever you have to do, get yourself out of the bed before your body has a chance to think.
- MAKE YOUR BED. It’s easier to stay up when you’ve made your bed. Something clicks in my brain, telling me that sleepy-time is over and the day has begun. If making your bed isn’t a habit, try it and see what happens!
- HYDRATE. Seriously. It’s time to wake up physically and mentally. Your body hasn’t had water in several hours and it needs to be hydrated. Don’t shock yourself with cold water, room temp is good or warmed up with some lemon will do you even better!
- PREP FOR PRAYER. Don’t go directly from bed to closet. Trust me on this one. If I go straight into prayer upon rising, I fall asleep before getting very far. I usually start out with listening to some worshipful music and reading the Bible. The key is to wake up your brain while preparing yourself for prayer. But don’t check email or social media, don’t catch up on the news, don’t start playing your favorite podcast or reviewing project deadlines. All that can wait. It’s time to focus. This is also a good time to review any prayer requests you may have, either for yourself or someone else.
These are really simple steps but they help. But remember–it’s a process. You’re not going to be good at this right away and that’s okay–all good things take time. Pray about it! Be open about your struggles with the Lord. Ask Him to give you the strength to rise early and stay awake. And on the days that don’t go so well, give yourself some grace. Don’t bully yourself, God certainly won’t. You’re asking Him to change your heart in drawing you into a stronger prayer life, He’ll give you what you need to make the appointments with Him.
Let me just add that there isn’t a right time or a wrong time to pray. Your prayer time might be in the evening when everyone’s asleep for the night or maybe sometime in the middle of the day when everyone else is occupied for an hour and that’s totally fine. I personally think that giving God the first part of the day is preferable and, while it does take plenty of adjustment, it’s a worthy habit to develop!
Check out the blog every Friday morning for the next 4 weeks to read each new post in this series and let me know your thoughts in the comments
#quiettimefriday | #whereifight