Rise, Pray & Watch
Give ear to my words, O LORD; give heed to my groaning. Hearken to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to thee do I pray.O LORD, in the morning thou dost hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch.
Are you one of those persons who wakes up grumpy? It’s hard for you to get up in the mornings so first thing you do is slowly roll out, stagger to the coffee maker, and wait till there’s just enough coffee in the pot to pour a cup in hopes that you’ll be able to function again in a few minutes. I confess. I was that person for many years – until my Cardiologist took me off all caffeine.
I was always a morning person, once I got started. I just needed a little help from my friend (coffee). I don’t know if they had coffee in Bible days, but David seemed to be a morning person. Often in the Psalms he speaks of rising early, before the dawn, and praying to God. Psalm 5 has been a part of the Morning Prayers of the churches of the Western traditions since the Rule of St. Benedict was formed in the late 5th Century.
In David’s words of Psalm 5 we can also read the voice of Jesus as he rises early to greet the coming day with reverence. Much of the Psalm alternates between His pleas for God to hear Him and lead His way throughout the coming day, and His recognition of His many enemies (vs. 5-13). And, in verse 7 we have a climax as David prophetically speaks of Jesus coming into the House (Temple) of the Lord to worship by the mercy and love of God, and in reverent fear. He even notes that He will bow down and worship in the direction of the Holy Temple.
Are you a morning person? David and Jesus definitely were. Even without the aide of caffeine, I find rising to pray early in the morning is the best way to start my day. The early morning is the best part of the day. Everything is fresh and new. The dew is still on the grass and flowers. Everything is made new again. And so, regardless of the enemies we will face, we can begin with a fresh spirit, renewed not just by sleep, but by time with our Father. Even if your walk with Christ in the Garden is metaphorical, that is you may prefer the easy chair and a cup of coffee to a walk outside as you pray, the important thing is – to rise and pray.
Jesus said, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5). He is the beginning and the end. Won’t you begin and end your day with Him? If you will, you’ll find yourself with Him a lot more through out the day as well. Jesus didn’t just rise and pray, he also said he would “prepare a sacrifice, and watch” (vs. 3). May our days and all that fills them be as a sacrifice to God as we “watch” for Him to move in our lives.