“Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch…
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
in the fear of you.
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me…
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O LORD;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:1-3,7-8,11-12
In the morning. There is nothing like the morning. Early and day by day, our loving Father bids us enter the heavenly temple of His presence by way of His merciful, immeasurable, unshakable love. We prepare a sacrifice of time, of honesty, of ourselves. We bear up on wings a high sacrifice of focused praise, genuine thanksgiving, humble confession, and earnest groaning. The Lord receives our reverence and our words. He considers our soul pleas with loving compassion and wisdom, and tends our needs as we leave the offering and watch, waiting and expectant.
Does our morning voice need clearing? Do our days break open with fretting, planning, and running, or with a bow, contemplation of the Divine, and verbal worship? Are we deliberate to ask for guidance and insight, and do we wait for them before acting, speaking, sending?
Pressured by emotion, vitriol, fear of being exposed, will we vocalize our desperation for the righteous way, and the will to do it? When love has grown stale, faith cold, and inspiration dry, how committed are we in prayer to our Sovereign King who rules them all, and how courageous to employ His provision and follow His lead? Self-will, thoughtless repair, and manmade protection will fail, but God can do the impossible.
When we take spiritual refuge in the true God, we find joy, favor, security, and blessing. Groaning is assuaged, cries are quieted, anxieties subside, and souls are settled.
“Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
that calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father’s throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter’s snare
by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
thy wings shall my petition bear
to him whose truth and faithfulness
engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
believe his word, and trust his grace,
I’ll cast on him my every care,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!” ~ William W. Walford (1845)
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee. Accept my offering, and lead me.