How to Spend Time with the Lord Jesus in the Morning
12 Jan 2014
We previously talked about the importance of building up a habit of spending time with the Lord each morning. This is a wonderful habit to develop and is key to growing in your relationship with Christ.
But we haven’t yet talked about what to do during that morning time. And almost any believer might ask, “How do I spend time each morning with the Lord? How do I talk to Him? What should this morning time look like?”
Fortunately, we don’t have to come up with answers all on our own. Throughout the centuries, Christians who loved the Lord and sought to grow in their relationship with Christ discovered through the Word and through their own experience many enjoyable, beneficial ways to spend their mornings with Him.
We’ll go through some of these discoveries below. But first, let’s quickly refresh our view on why we want to spend this time with the Lord.
What’s the goal of our morning time with the Lord?
Spending time with the Lord Jesus each morning isn’t to fulfill some kind of religious duty or perform a ritual. If we just “clock in” and “clock out” without our heart being in it or our spirit engaged, we may develop a habit, but it won’t be an enjoyable one. And that won’t help us to personally know the Lord more or to grow in His life. Having only an outward routine or a dead practice is pointless and fruitless.
So instead, we should approach our time in the morning as an opportunity to be with the One we love, our dear Savior Christ, in an intimate, personal way. The Lord Jesus is a living, loving, wonderful person who lives in our spirit. The goal of this time is to contact Him in our spirit to be nourished by Him in His Word, to enjoy Him, to receive His speaking, and to speak to Him.
With this in mind, here are some ways we can spend time with the Lord each morning.
Calling upon His name
Sometimes just calling upon the Lord’s name is the best prayer. We can simply pray, “Oh, Lord Jesus,” as we open our heart to Him and exercise our spirit to contact Him. As we call, we can pray further, “Lord Jesus, I turn my heart to You again this morning. Lord Jesus, I want to contact You in my spirit to receive Your life.” When we call, we contact the Lord as the Spirit in us, and we receive His life. In one of her wonderful hymns, M.E. Barber puts this well: “Just to breathe the name of Jesus is to drink of life indeed.”
Telling the Lord we love Him
The Lord wants our love, and we have a sweet sensation when we greet the Lord whom we love each morning with, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” The more we tell Him we love Him, the more our love for Him will grow, and the more we will enjoy His love for us. Our hearts will become softer and more open toward Him.
Praising the Lord
We can praise and thank the Lord for all He’s done and for who He is. For example, we might praise Him with the wonderful facts we find in His Word:
“Lord Jesus, I praise You for Your accomplishment and victory on the cross.”
“Praise You, Lord, You are the resurrection and the life.”
“Praise You, Lord Jesus, You are God, and You are the perfect sinless man.”
“Lord, You are the Lamb of God—praise You!”
In His Word, we can find many aspects of Christ to praise Him for. He is worthy of our praise!
Thanking the Lord
Ephesians 5:18 and 20 tell us that we can be filled in our human spirit with His Spirit by giving thanks. We can also thank the Lord based on the Word and for who He is to us in our lives. For example:
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your new mercy to me this morning.”
“Thank You, Lord, for being my life.”
“Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me and saving me.”
“Oh Lord, thank You for living in me and being in me always.”
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the bread of life to me.”
We have so much to thank Him for!
Confessing our sins
We can confess our sins to the Lord and experience His forgiveness and cleansing each morning. This is very important as we fellowship with Him. We’ve all experienced how awkward it is to be around someone we’ve argued with or offended. It’s difficult to even talk with each other. We may care for each other, but a barrier separates us, making it hard to have a pleasant time together.
Our relationship with the Lord Jesus is even more delicate. He lives in us and knows all things. Although He wants a personal relationship with us, He can’t tolerate sin. So when we’ve sinned or failed Him in some way, we sense a barrier separating us from Him.
But when we confess our sins to Him, we experience His forgiveness and washing. His cleansing blood removes the barrier, and we sense that there’s nothing between the Lord and us. Then we can fellowship freely with Him with a light and open heart.
Reading and praying the Word
We can read His Word in the morning and use His Word to pray. At this time, it’s best not to read too many verses but to instead focus our prayer on one or two. We can use other times to study His Word. The goal here is to receive nourishment from it.
Suppose you’re in John 4 in your regular Bible reading. You can read the chapter, or half of it if it’s a long chapter, and then pray over one or two verses the Lord touches you with. And you can use that Word as your prayer. For example, you could pray with verses 10 and 14: “Lord Jesus, You are the living water. Oh Lord, I come to You right now to drink of You. Only You can give me the water that quenches my deep thirst. Thank You, Lord, You are now the living water in me, even a fountain of water springing up into eternal life. Thank You, Lord, for being such a fountain to me.”
Whatever else we do in the morning, to receive substantial nourishment we should always include some time in the Word in prayer. We can speak to the Lord with His Word and He can speak to us in His Word. As we pray over and with the Word of God, His Word nourishes, refreshes, enlightens, and strengthens us.
Singing to the Lord
Sometimes a hymn expresses what is in us better than our words can say and causes us to really open to the Lord. The mornings are a great time to spend to sing to Him. Ephesians 5:18 and 19 tell us that by singing with our hearts to the Lord, we can be filled in our spirit with His Spirit. At hymnal.net are many excellent hymns you can use and their accompanying music.
Not a method but a Person
In addition, we can certainly pray to the Lord and ask Him about different matters or persons in our lives, but it’s best to start off by contacting Him and enjoying Him first. He’s a person, and we want to come to Him first in a personal way rather than coming to Him to immediately pray over our “list.” Then, when we’ve contacted Him in our spirit and enjoyed Him in His Word, He will lead us how to pray for these other matters according to His will.
Of course, the six points above are not in any particular order and shouldn’t be taken as a formula. For example, we may begin our morning by praising the Lord and thanking Him. But the Lord may speak to us about our disobedience in something from the day before, and we can then confess that sin to Him. Or sometimes we may pray over His Word, call on His name, and sing to Him all at the same time. The main thing is to open our heart and to exercise our spirit to touch the living Person of Christ. This keeps our time from becoming something methodical and dead. As we practice, the Lord will show us in our spirit how to contact Him in a living way.
What has been your experience of spending time with the Lord in the morning?