by Rick Warren — July 1, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Mark 1:35 (NIV)
To get to know God and grow as a Christian, you have to set aside specific time to spend with God. But when should that be?
I have a simple answer for you: The best time is when you’re at your best! Give God the best part of your day—when you are the freshest and most alert.
It might be tempting to put off your time with God until you have completed your to-do list for the day. But don’t try to serve God with your leftover time. He deserves your best.
Your best time may be different from someone else’s. Some people are freshest in the morning, while others perk up in the evening. For most of us, however, morning seems to be the best time.
It was Jesus’ own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35 NIV).
In the Bible, many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Here are just a few of them. Look up the Scripture passages to learn more about what their early morning times with God were like.
- Abraham: Genesis 19:27
- Moses: Exodus 34:4
- Job: Job 1:5
- Hannah and Elkanah: 1 Samuel 1:19
- Jacob: Genesis 28:18
- David: Psalm 5:3; 57:7-8
If you want to read even more about what the Bible says about early-morning times with God, look up Psalm 143:8, Isaiah 26:9, and Ezekiel 12:8.
If you’re already in the habit of having one daily quiet time with God, you might consider having two—one in the morning and one at night. Dawson Trotman, founder of the discipleship organization The Navigators, used to have code letters for his evening quiet time: HWLW, which stood for “His Word the Last Word.” He practiced that through the years as a way of ending the day with his thoughts fixed on the Lord.
Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar—make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else.
In other words, make a date with Jesus! No one likes to be stood up. So find the time when you are at your best, put it on your calendar, and keep it at all costs.