|Still Life with Bible, Van Gogh|
Reading books, listening to sermons, and having conversations that encourage us to grow in godliness is essential, and it is essential because sometimes the easiest thing is not getting up early to pray and read the Word of God. Many times our bodies win the battle, we stay in bed and then the rest of the day we feel like we are dragging our soul through the various circumstances and duties ahead of us.
I am now reading True Community: The Biblical Practice of Koinonia by Jerry Bridges and in it I found great encouragement to keep on waking up early to have quiet times (praying and reading the Scriptures) with God.
Let me share a few quotes with you so that you may also be encouraged:
"Our communion should be more than just having a quiet time in the morning; it should be an all-day affair. In fact, Isaiah and David take us one step further. They talk about having communion with the Lord even in the night. Isaiah said, “My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you” (Isaiah 26:9). David said, “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6)."
"The morning quiet time lays the foundation for our all-day communion with God because it tunes our hearts to commune with Him for the rest of the day. It is a time when we can concentrate all our faculties on worshiping Him in reverent adoration. It is a time when we can give undivided attention to His Word and talk to Him in prayer."
"We may have communion with God throughout the entire day, but seeking His face connotes an intensity of mind and heart that is usually possible only during our time alone with God."
"Intense, organized prayer alone with God in the morning prepares us to breathe those quick, silent prayers that are needed so often throughout the day."
"Matthew Henry says that to walk with God is “to set God always before us, and to act as those that are always under his eye. It is to live a life of communion with God both in ordinances and providences. It is to make God’s word our rule and his glory our end in all our actions.”
"How do we, then, practice communion with God throughout the day? If the morning quiet time is the foundation of that communion, Scripture meditation and prayer are the framework of it."
"We can meditate on Scripture — think about it and reflect on it — throughout the day only if we have it in our minds. And we have Scripture in our minds only if we have made the effort to just plain memorize it. There is no shortcut to meditation that bypasses Scripture memorization."
"Our emphasis today is on doing things for God, or on believing the right doctrines about Him. But few believers take time to commune with God simply for the sake of enjoying Him and adoring Him. In the church today, there seems to be very little of that thirst for God described in Psalm 42:1: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”
Under His sun and by His grace,