Joshua and his army marched around the walls of Jericho at the break of day. So let me challenge you to stop wasting time each day trying to figure out what God would have you to do. Get into His presence first thing each day. It takes discipline and commitment daily. After all, we are talking about being mature in our spiritual walk, right?
By James Holland Sr.
When we pray, we open a door for God to begin to work in our lives. We build our faith by praying in the Holy Ghost. Jesus placed great importance on the subject of prayer. The scriptures are replete with the subject of prayer. When should we pray? Jesus declared, “We should pray always that we enter not into temptation”. That is we are to develop a mindset of prayer so that we can engage in prayer at any given time. There is strong indication in scripture that early morning prayer is very effective.
It is also very challenging to the individual who is engaging in prayer. If we pray first thing each morning before we get into the business of the day, we will normally deal with the day better. We will find it much easier to praise God throughout the day. We will also have a better understanding of what God wants to do that day. In Job 1:6 we are told that at the break of day the angels of the Lord appear before the Lord each day for instructions. Can we do any less? Jacob had a vision of this when he saw a ladder reaching up into heaven and he saw angels descending and ascending. These angels were the ministering spirits of the Lord.
The scriptures declare that the “steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord”. God’s ministering spirits go before us to direct our path. However, if we don’t know which way the angel is going, then it will be difficult to follow them. This is where prayer comes in. The angel of the Lord will clear the way for us, if we follow. If not, we will try to clear our own way. Praying first thing in the morning gives us victory before we even get into a battle.
According to scripture, there is tremendous spiritual activity going on before the breaking of the day. In Genesis 19:15, we see the angel leading Lot and his family out of Sodom. While Lot and his family were still asleep, God had already given the angels direction. Think about this. Had Lot slept in that day, they would have perished. There seems to be too many sleeping in the kingdom. Something needs to wake them up. I have often wondered how many people would come to church if the service started at daybreak or before. We need to remember God does not always use the most talented or those with the greatest ability. Who then does He use? Those who show up. Prayer is the battle. It is not preparation for the battle. In prayer we determine what kind of church service we are going to have. This is why people that never show up for prayer often wonder why we are so excited during the church service. It is in prayer that we get our directions for that day, that service, or whatever we are praying for. So show up for prayer early each morning and before church service.
When we don’t pray, our spiritual sensitivity becomes dull. Many in the kingdom spend a lot of energy and time trying to second-guess what they need to do. If they would pray, it would be revealed and they would have spiritual insight. This is a great challenge to all of us. We must, regardless of schedules and activities, spend time in God’s presence. Our longevity and effectiveness in God’s kingdom is determined by the amount of time we spend in God’s presence. It is there that new strength, new vision, new sensitivity, and new hope come to us. Isaiah 26:9 says, “with my spirit within me will I seek thee early”. Would it be reasonable to think if we get up early to take a trip or to go hunting or fishing, that we should also be able to rise early and talk with God? You see, there is a mind set within Christianity that must be broken. It is this “when I get around to it” and “when I have time I will pray” attitude that must be changed.