Throughout my life, the most rewarding and wonderful times in prayer have been when I have gotten up EARLY in the morning to meet Him. When I give Him the very first part of my day, I am able to accomplish much more than I ever thought possible. When I can make breakfast, get the laundry done, put supper in the crock pot, and have prayer time in before 9:00 a.m...life is GOOD. Scripture speaks over and over about the benefits of rising early.
"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls." Proverbs 31:15
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35
There are two women that I have been so encouraged by over the years. The first is author and speaker Becky Tirabassi. About 6 years ago, I read her book, Let Prayer Change Your Life. She is the one who initially got me into "the early hours" and also into journaling. Secondly, a woman named Laine who writes letters of encouragement to Christian women on the web. She has written so much about her early appointments with the Lord. She's an amazing woman of God and I come away smiling after every letter I read.
E.M. Bounds is one of my favorite voices on the topic of prayer. Even though he was born in 1835, the wisdom he relates is clearly still applicable. Here are some of his thoughts on prayer, excerpted from the book "E.M. Bounds on Prayer":
A desire for God that cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do little good for God. The desire for God that stays far behind the Devil and the world at the beginning of the day will never catch up. It is not simply getting up that has brought men to the front and has made them leaders in God's hosts. It is the overwhelming desire that stirs and breaks all self-indulgent chains that does so. But getting up gives vent, increase, and strength to the desire. If they had lain in bed and indulged themselves, the desire would have been quenched. The desire aroused them and inspired them to reach out for God (p. 491).
More time and early hours devoted to prayer would revive and invigorate many a decayed spiritual life. More time and early house for prayer would manifest in holy living. A holy life would not be so rare or so difficult a thing if our devotions were not so short and hurried (p.518).
The first step to being able to get up early in the morning...is to stop staying up so late! So it's off to bed I go. May you greet Him early...