What Works Best?
“Go over your most important material just before going to sleep. Review as soon as you’re awake.” That’s what I learned in Ed Psych forty years ago. Current neuro-scientific research validates this strategy for learning.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus is recorded a number of times in the gospels as going out before dawn to a solitary place for prayer? Are we finally beginning to understand the genius of such the plan?
Before Jesus’ example, we see spiritual giants of the Old Testament following the early morning/bed time schedule. Consider David:
Ps 5:3 My voice shall you hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You and I will look up.
Ps 119: 147-148 I rise before the dawning of the morning and cry for help; I hope in Your Word. My eyes are awake through the night watches that I might meditate on Your Word.
And Isaiah had a similar report to give:
Is 50: 4-5 The Lord has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to hear as the learned. , The Lord has opened my ear….
Research is Confirming
Neuroscience can now help us understand what the ancients knew: early morning is a powerful time for programming the brain! And according to scripture it appears to be the prime time for our spiritual senses to be stimulated and developed…the training of our spiritual eyes, the opening of our spiritual ears.
To illustrate, let me share with you the story of what happened to me this morning. I am house sitting for my brother, using the solitude for a massive campaign of study and writing. This piece was on the writing docket for this morning.
But, I sat down for my early morning prayer time first. I’ve been so excited over how fruitful my writing time has been that most of my prayer is praise and thanksgiving…just rolling out of me.
A nagging voice interrupted this prayer a couple of times…the same voice I heard last night as I was thanking God for all this progress.
The invasive thought was "You’re going to need to shop for food. You’re almost out. " I’d hoped to not use any of this precious time on unnecessary activity…like shopping. Finally, I said, "OK, let’s settle this. "
I took inventory of the frig and the frig’s freezer. There was a bounty of harvest in the garden, but the protein was almost gone. Shoot! A trip to the store.
Then I remember my brother saying there was food in the small freezer in the garage. Check it out! There was food, but the top layer was beginning to thaw.
A circuit breaker had blown yesterday. I knew it might happen. My brother had told me to not worry if it did. He would fix the problem on his return….next week! He hadn’t realized that the freezer was on this circuit.
There wasn’t a lot of food, but it was all meat $$$$. I was able to move the still-frozen packages to the first freezer. I’ll eat the little that had begun to thaw…no trip to the store.
As I finished the relocation work, I said, "Oh thank You, Lord. " And I heard, "Your welcome. "
The understanding flooded over me that the “pesky” voice coming through at prayer times was the Lord. I’ve been so focused on my writing, that I didn’t have a spiritual ear for anything else except during the night/morning prayer times. And…He got me right where I was most tender: not wanting to loose and hour or more from my project. God is amazing!
Morning/Night Prayer Has High Value
This day is a day in the midst of a multitude of days. I share the story to make the point that the morning/night set time for prayer had a spiritual value beyond reckoning. , Insights come, intuition is strengthened, faith grows…all part of the spiritual currency of Kingdom living.
Dedicated time for prayer and meditation: ,
• First thing upon awakening
• Last thing before going to sleep
• The Hottest Investment We Can Make!
The presence of God and the living Word in us combine to,
• Strengthen our weak places
• Override confusion with understanding
• Build confidence where there was doubt
• Cause peace in the place of turmoil
• And more than we can ask or imagine
Prayer: Making Time”So Lord, awaken me morning by morning. My voice will You hear in the morning as I direct it to You and look up. As I do, I trust that You will open my spiritual eyes and awaken my spiritual ears to hear You clearly that I might discover and comprehend great treasure of wisdom and knowledge in Your Word.” (author’s prayer)
Set the Place