Pray | Prepare | Watch
As we have spent time in the Psalms this summer, I have been reminded of how much the psalms teach us about prayer. Over the next few weeks, I want to share with you some additional thoughts about prayer based off our time in Psalms.
“O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.”
This short verse gives us a little insight into David’s spiritual habits. There are three things David does here. He prays, he prepares his heart, and then he waits expectantly on God. But notice when he does it—in the morning. Listen to what Charles Spurgeon says regarding prayer in the morning, “An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. While the dew is on the grass, let grace drop on your soul. Let us give to God the mornings of our days and the morning of our lives. Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.”
There is much scriptural weight behind the benefit, even necessity, of beginning the day in devotion to God. Begin your day hearing from God in his Word and speaking to him in prayer.
There’s also much we can learn from David’s pattern of devotion. He prays, he prepares his heart, and then he watches. Isn’t that wonderful trust in God? He prays, he prepares himself and then he watches for God to work. David knows the living God has heard him, and that God is going to act when he prays according to his will.
Try putting this pattern into practice tomorrow morning.
- Pray: Set aside time for God at the beginning of your day. Come before God through prayer. Offer prayers that are a mixture of praise, adoration, confession, and supplication. Praise him for the who he is and what he has done. Make your requests and needs known to him.
- Prepare: Then prepare your heart. For David that meant bringing a sacrifice to the altar. For us that means offering our lives as a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1). That means offering up our hands and feet for God’s service that day. Ask him to use you in whatever way he sees fit.
- Watch: After all that, watch. Go throughout your day knowing the Lord has heard you. Let that translate into a confident expectation that God is at work all around you all the time. Then watch for signs of God’s hand in your life that day.
This pattern also shows to us that prayer isn’t confined to that specific time you spend in actual prayer. It’s more of a cycle that begins by going to the Lord in prayer. Through that you are orienting your heart and mind toward God. That should have a lingering effect on you throughout the rest of the day. It gives you fresh confidence in God and a greater focus on his purpose for your life. Then, as you are used by God and witness him at work, it further fortifies your trust in him and makes your prayers the next day even more faith-filled and expectant. It’s a beautiful cycle.
Of course, sometimes the cycle gets broken. Sometimes we slack off or allow the desires of the flesh to gain traction. But the best solution when that happens is to turn back to God in prayer. Allow him through his Word to guide you back onto the path of life and begin the beautiful cycle once again: Pray --> Prepare --> Watch.