Firstly, I think it is more important to God that you pray regardless of what time you pray. Secondly, the time that you pray can have alot to do with who you are. Some people are early morning risers while others are better at night. I don’t believe we get some kind of “super spiritual” status because we pray early. It’s just not a point I would use to judge someone’s maturity in the Lord.
However, I want to share with you what early morning prayer did for me.
I must say that when I first started with intercession I was praying in the evenings but I found it a little hard because at the end of the day there was so much going on in my head that is was very difficult for me to focus. I met a few intercessors that prayed at 5AM and they invited me a few times to join them on a prayer line. I remembered thinking “I will never do that!” because I couldn’t picture myself getting up that early to pray.
Well, God started doing an amazing thing – He would wake me up at 4:45am every morning. Isn’t that funny? I would wake up and then lay there until I fell asleep again. Even though I knew that there was a prayer line happening, sleeping just seemed more enjoyable for me. Then the next morning the same thing happened..of course, I did the same thing – roll over and go back to sleep. After the third time, I said to God “Alright then, I’ll get up and pray”. What amazed me was that I would wake up without an alarm. It was my queue from God that He wanted me to do this.
Here’s the interesting thing, I found that early in the morning my head was clearer. I felt more connected in the spirit to God and a thousand times more sensitive to things in the spiritual realm.
After a week or two of God waking me up in the morning that suddenly stopped. And when I missed the prayer because I overslept, I felt really bad because I missed connecting with the other intercessors. This is where I needed to make the decision and put certain things in place in order to get up in the morning. So I want to share with you a few things that I had to do to keep this up:
- It’s important to note that you have to sacrifice some things in order to get close to God and to grow in intercession
- First, get an alarm clock and make sure that you set it so that you can wake up. God woke me up for the first two weeks, after that I needed to make the effort to do it. God likes to test your level of commitment to his plan for you.
- If you plan on getting up to pray at 4:45am to be ready to pray, this means that you will have to go to bed earlier. First big sacrifice – end all phone conversations and television by 9pm and you will probably be asleep by 10pm. This will ensure that you are well rested and ready to pray.
The benefits far exceed the sacrifice:
- A clear head makes for focused prayers
- You’ll be more in tune with the Holy Spirit
- There is nothing like intercessors praying together. When the giftings work together the most amazing things happen. You’ll see miracles and ALOT of answered prayers (iron sharpens iron). God is never going to give all the information to one person because we would become very prideful so He will give each person a piece of the puzzle. Coming together will give you the whole picture.
- Starting the day off with prayer sets you up for major success during that day.
- God will be very pleased with your sacrifice for Him
- You will grow in your spiritual gift as you pray with other intercessors and also discover a few that you didn’t know you had.
These are just a few tips but if you follow through with it, I am sure you will be able to enjoy that early morning time with the Lord. Remember, I didn’t know that I was an early morning prayer person until I tried.
Here are some scriptures about early morning prayer:
Mark 1:35 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.
Psalm 63:6On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. (The first watch is 6- 9pm, the second watch 9-12 midnight, the third watch12 midnight – 3am and the fourth watch is 3-6am)
Psalm 119:148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
Lamentations 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street.
Luke 12:38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.