Early My Song Shall Rise

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Our little grandson was lying awake one morning when I went in to his room and asked, “Have you been awake long? What have you been doing?” With a contented, peaceful expression he replied, “I’ve just been lying here thinking about all the things God made.”

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23

For many years I have prayed our children’s first thought in the morning and last thought before falling asleep would be Jesus.

“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee; Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.” ~Reginald Heber (1826)

I recently asked a dear friend who is suffering with cancer what she thought about when she awoke. She said she recites the Covenant Prayer:

“I am no longer my own, but Yours, put me to what You will, rank me with whom You will; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be exalted for You or brought low for You; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and heartily yield all things to Your pleasure and disposal. And now, glorious and blessed God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You are mine, and I am Yours. So be it. And the covenant I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven.”

Most mornings when I awaken, I sing a refrain I learned in Sunday school as a child, “Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul; thank you, Lord, for making me whole; thank you, Lord, for giving to me my great salvation so rich and free.” Other favorites are simple hymns we sang in school: “God, be in my hands, and in my doing, God be in my mind and in my understanding…” and “Awake, my soul, and with the sun my daily stage of duty run; shake off dull sloth and joyful rise, to pay thy morning sacrifice!”

Often I also pray Psalm 19:14, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in Thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer,” or the commitment of Romans 12:1-2: “I offer my body a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to You as a spiritual act of worship. Let me not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of my mind, so I may prove what is Your good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Each new day is a gift from God and an opportunity to live for Him, to rejoice and thank Him, to offer ourselves to Him for His kingdom purposes and glory. What occupies its first moments?

Bright Morning Star, captivate me when I awake each day, and fix my gaze, my thoughts, my affections on Thee. You know what lies ahead, and a praise-filled attitude will influence all as I connect with You first to set my priorities right and to know the way to go. Stamp every agenda, each list, concern, motivation, task, effort, with a blazoning “REJOICE.” (Revelation 22:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).

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