– George Herbert
Jesus told the disciples–and it’s also good for us–to “watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). If we pray first thing in the morning, then God may answer that prayer in ways we’re not even aware of; and He may cause us to avoid temptation in the many different circumstances we find ourselves, thereby helping us avoid sin. God will hear and answer that prayer. Morning prayer time is the key to our day.
Every one of us faces difficulties in life: financial stress, relationship problems, or health issues (maybe all three!). Paul, if he were here, would tell us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Sometimes it seems like everything happens all at once. So why not commit every concern, every worry, every problem “by prayer and supplication,” but most certainly “with thanksgiving” to God in prayer? Praying with thanksgiving during times when most people wouldn’t is pleasing to God, and it is the key to our day.
You probably know there is real power in the Word of God (Isaiah 55:11, Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 1:18). But the Bible is also a light for the darkness. When the first thing you do is pray and then the very last thing you do is pray, you have the key to the morning, noon, and night. When praying at night, perhaps just before bed, you can give God thanks for His many blessings and confess your faults or sins so that you can sleep with a good conscience.
George Herbert, in saying “prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night,” gives us all a good reminder that we can’t do much of anything until we pray about everything and give God thanks for all things. And so we should pray in the morning in order to avoid temptation, which might lead to sin; we should commit every care to God in prayer with thanksgiving; and we should take the light of the Word of God with us to bed and seal it in our hearts by prayer. That is the key to a great day.