I've chosen mornings to have my alone, quiet time with God. Not because I'm naturally an early morning person, but because I've found time in God's word sets a can-do attitude to my day. It reminds me who I am, and Whose I am.
Just as I see the sun rising, early Scripture meditation shift my eyes to Sun of Righteousness. I often find healing at dawn and light for my journey as I quiet myself before Love. Truth steadily corrects faulty conclusions, give information and motivation to reorder my steps, all the while reminding me of God's amazing presence.
I remember years of waking to find my mother already in her chair reading her Bible. If I was available, she would recruit me to listen and then pray with her. If I happened to sleep late, I would find her infused with life as she braided worship and work while singing hymns and choruses in her kitchen and garden.
If you are just beginning to start a regular time with the Lord and God's Word, here are some suggestions.
1. Start short and regular. That is, unless you have lots of time and you are hungry to experience God.
You need to decide how much time is realistic. In your morning routine, can you find 5 minutes? Ten? Half an hour? You will probably have to reorder your priorities and routine? Perhaps your long cup of coffee with the morning paper might become a long cup of coffee with the Scriptures and a notebook.
2. Choose your focus. Are you going to read a book from the Old or New Testament? Or a passage from a devotional aid (like The Upper Room, My Utmost for His Highest, or many others)? You might check suggestions in a recent post, Pointers for Focus.
3. Initial Invitation. Before you read that God-breathed and living book (See 2 Timothy 3:16. Also see previous post, Pointers for Focus), invite the Holy Spirit, Lord of the Scriptures, to 'open your eyes so you can see wonderful things in God's Word' (see Psalm 119: 18).
4. Attentiveness. After your prayer for illumination, as you read the passage, watch for the Spirit's spotlights on the text, jot a few insight or application notes in a notebook, then close in prayer. Five to seven minutes is a good start. (I will do a brief blog later on the lectio divina.)
5. Components are prayer, reading, meditation, and praying the scripture or insight back to God. There are many ways to approach each of those. Singing to God will often pull the Holy Spirit's joy to walk alongside into the day. If you are pressed for time, humming or belting out a praise song as you finish dressing or during your commute can put the day's plans into perspective.
4. Relationship. Remember, this is about relationship, so while I'm sharing suggestions that I've found helpful, it's most important that you find YOUR method or rhythm. Striving to achieve brownie points gets to be a pain in the neck. But reading and responding because Life is being stirred within brings peace not only in the neck, but the whole body!
5. Prayer. I've referenced the ACTS accrostic in previous posts. Consciously including elements of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication, might help you move away from natural preoccupation with yourself and your problems. Various types of prayer remind us how big God is, cleans our hearts to prepare for more of His presence, and reveals God's abundant gifts. All of these develop wisdom and confidence as we speak to our heavenly Father.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION
Open my eyes so I can see what you show me of your miracle-wonders (Psalm 119:18, Message).
What goals are realistic to nurture my morning time with my Creator?
Is there one suggestion I can use? Another I can share to help someone else?