Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
Mark 1:35 NKJV
I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in Your word.
Psalms 119:147 NKJV
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.
Psalms 5:3 NKJV
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Job 1:5 NKJV
Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?
Job 38:12-13 NKJV
Starting the day with prayer is something that I have had to struggle with, and from the responses I have gotten from some family and friends it is something that is a bit hard to do especially because of the way work is structured for most of us in Lagos.
There are various reasons why we need to start the day with prayers but for me, the most important reason is because it is the day that the Lord has made. I did a quick study of the word made and it can mean to prepare, to appoint and to ordain. Every day of our lives has been prepared by God, every day has been written in His books; the implication of this is that before we step out each day, we need to commune with God so that we can be led by His Spirit into all that has been prepared for us.
What does this mean for us?
There are a myriad of activities that can be done early in the morning to ensure a productive day. Most of these activities have proven benefits and practicing them helps make the day more productive. Recently, there was a need to change my morning habits; I did not particularly like the way I rushed through the day from the moment I wake up till I go back to sleep.
You see, I had been studying about prayer and developing intimacy with God but the practice of these spiritual disciplines require time and for a night owl like me, sleep inertia is a real thing. You know the drill; wake up the first time, then sleep again, wake up groggily and be disoriented for a few minutes before the cobwebs in the brain clears. I wake up early most of the time these days (even on weekends) because I have noticed that it increases my productivity during the day, especially when I get in about 15 – 30 minutes of bible reading and prayer before the day starts.
Waking early can give you an hour or two of extra time for fellowship, focus and creativity. While you could do these things later in the day, most people won’t (with exceptions of course).
My morning prayer starts the night before. When I’m about going to bed, I pick a bible verse to meditate on before falling asleep and when I wake up in the morning I bring up that bible verse and meditate on it more. When there’s a particular issue that I am praying about, then I meditate on a relevant bible verse until I get a breakthrough.
Early morning prayers become more effective when it is planned the night before. Now I don’t mean you have to write down the prayer (you can choose to do that), you can choose to take a mental note of what your morning prayers would always entail and if you are believing God for something in particular, then it helps to have relevant scriptures that you are constantly meditating on.
Here are some bible verses to pray with every morning;
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 NKJV
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
Psalms 100:4 NKJV
Prayers for Guidance
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
Psalms 32:8 NKJV
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
Psalms 25:5 NKJV
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21 NKJV
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
Psalms 5:8 NKJV
Prayer of Protection
1He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
3Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
4He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
8Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
9Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
Psalms 91 NKJV
These are not the only Bible verses that can be used in prayers, the most important thing is being led by the Holy Spirit when you pray.
What are your prayer habits and what do you pray about in the morning before work starts. Let’s hear it.