Morning by Morning

The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary.

He wakens me morning by morning.
He wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.

—Isaiah 50:4

Is this your experience?

It is mine. If it’s not yours, I want to suggest a possible cause other than sin or hardness of heart.

Tradition.

We teach people to do morning devotions. Morning devotions are usually a good habit to have. I love to sing this song from Psalm 5 …

Give ear to my words, O LORD
Consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God.
For unto thee will I pray;
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning.
Oh, LORD, in the morning, will I direct my prayer
Unto thee and will look up. (vv. 1-3)

Rising with the name of Jesus on your lips and praise to our Father through him is a wonderful and life-transforming habit.

But if God answers, you have to stop talking.

If God is speaking, you have to stop reading.

It’s just rude not to. Try treating your spouse the opposite of that. Pour out your compliments and requests to your wife while she is trying to tell you something. “Dear, I love you. I am so glad I married you. We are out of lettuce, and I pray that you would buy some at the store so that my sandwich is better when I make my lunch. I also pray that you would keep the house clean and make my meals, and I thank you for providing that for me day in and day out. In your name. Amen.”

The only possible answer she could give is, “What is wrong with you? I’ll get the lettuce, but I need to know whether you want jelly on your toast so I can get back in the kitchen before the eggs burn.”

I’ve gotten some of my best teachings when I was trying to pray. Fortunately, I have had mentors who told me that prayer should be more about God speaking to me than about my speaking to God. So when God starts speaking, I shut up.

Why is that guy doodling on his iPad during prayer? Is that guy texting? Why would he have his iPhone out in a prayer meeting?

The iPhone is silenced. Notepad is open, and I’m typing as fast as I can, random words to help me remember what God just put on my heart.

I do that even if I’m praying for a sick person. I have lots of friends now with cancer because of my leukemia trek. There’s >a little girl down the street with bone cancer facing a second last-ditch attempt to save her life, and I cry out for her healing and strength every day. However, when God starts speaking while I’m praying for her, I still stop talking.

God knows what we have need of before we ask. He is not going to hear us for our many words, whether they are repetitive or not. If there is a burden on your heart, and crying out to God relieves that burden, then assail the throne with many words. The Holy Spirit is trying to flow for you. Don’t stop until you prevail with God. It was the fervent prayer of Elijah that brought the rain again. He had to pray seven times to get an answer, and he checked in between each prayer to see if God had responded. But if he’s talking to you, then he doesn’t want you talking to him at the same time except to get clarification on what he’s saying.

It probably sounds like I think we can hold conversations with God.

Well, in a sense, I do. I don’t think God always drops words in our spirit. Often it is unformed thoughts that he drops in our spirit. Sometimes it is just a feeling.

But just as you should cry out to God when you have a burden of prayer, letting nothing deter you (especially your own tired body or bored mind), so you should stop crying out and mull over those thoughts or that feeling that he has set in your heart. Welcome the word of God and coax the flicker into a flame that causes you to obey.

One last point.

Sometimes God wants to speak to you through the sunrise; through a chat and a hug with the little child who came down to “interrupt” your devotions.

Isn’t the purpose of a devotion to draw us closer to God? Then let’s not ignore him when he interrupts our devotions. Or let’s not even sit down for devotions if he calls to us before them.

This is my devotion this morning. I awoke with Isaiah 50:4 on my mind, and God said to me, “Give ear to my words, my son. Consider and meditate. Hearken to the voice of my cry, for to you I will speak. My voice you shall hear in the morning.”

My devotion this morning is both to God and to you. I hope there’s benefit to someone in it.

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