There is something to be said about being up early in the morning while it is still dark. As Jesus shows by his example, it is a good time to be away by one’s self and spend time in prayer. Often, as is the case this morning, I am the only one up and the house is dark and quiet. The sun has not yet made its appearance and it is really quite dark. Certainly, this time alone is holy time.
Spending time alone in a deserted place, especially early in the morning is a perfect time for prayer. It is a peaceful time. It is a time before the business of another day has its opportunity to crowd your mind and steal your thoughts away from a loving Father. Early morning prayer is the time when a person in solitude can be with God without interruption.
As I pray early in the morning, I am able to give thanks for those things I find often difficult to recall; those scant moments when I sense God’s grace completely surrounding me, even if for only fleeting seconds. Early in the morning, all by myself, I am able to speak to God about those ugly thoughts that haunt me during the day, those things am sorry for, those instances for which I am ashamed. As God’s mercy becomes known yet again, soon my prayers are for those whom I know are facing times of sickness, worry, anger and uncertainty. I pray that God will use me in some way to bring the peace of Christ to their situation. Finally, as this holy time begins to give way and there is a hint of sunlight, my prayer turns to the needs for this new day.
God help me to be the shepherd you have called me to be. Give me strength, confidence and faith enough to meet the needs of those whom you have placed in my charge. Guide me by your Holy Spirit so that through my words and deeds, others will know of your grace, mercy and love. Father, thank you for this new morning, keep watch over me and let the evil one have no power over me. Gracious Father, keep me in your grace, for it is through the name of your Son, Jesus Christ my Lord that I pray for my needs and especially the needs of others. Amen.