I’m often asked when is the best time to pray. And the answer, of course, is anytime.
But that’s not very helpful, is it?
So, I guess, if you press me – I’d say that the best time to pray is first thing in the morning. Before you even get up.
If we start our day with prayer then it really sets us up for the rest of the day. Praying first thing is like giving breakfast to your inner being. CLICK TO TWEET
So rather than switching on the Today programme or whatever your favourite breakfast radio or TV programme is, try – as you transition between dreaming and consciousness – to prop yourself up in bed, keep your eyes closed and pray.
Of course, Jesus used to get up while it was still dark and go out to a ‘desolate place’ to pray (Mark 1.35) – but the important thing, I believe, is to take the time at the beginning of the day to remember our connected witb God, with the source of all love – wherever we are.
To take time to remember that you are loved, that you are enough - just the way you are. And to be thankful – for all your blessings, for another day in our beautiful world. And to invite the Holy Spirit to be within you – guiding you, encouraging you and energising you in all that lies ahead.
But why is it so important to do this at the beginning of the day? Why can’t we do it later?
Well, I would say it’s always better to do the most important things you need to do first thing in the day – like exercise, having breakfast, working on some big long term project and prayer. Before the demands of the day intrude and interruptions and emergencies strike. And before motivation and willpower start to wilt.
And praying first thing is like a spiritual fuelling for the day – so that our souls are nourished and prepared for whatever we may encounter in the hours ahead. George Mueller, a 19th century Christian evangelist and social reformer, puts this beautifully when he says that spending time with God first thing in the morning is about ‘how I might get my soul into a happy state and how my inner man might be nourished…so that my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed…and brought into communion with the Lord.’
So make it a new habit. Start the day with prayer. Give your inner being some breakfast everyday. And see what a wonderful difference this makes.