Today was a very productive day. I awoke at 4:00 a.m. (an hour earlier than usual), read the Bible, the New York Times, finished reading a book and began a new book. After doing all that, I was at the office by 7:30 a.m. (Yes, on a Saturday).
I know many Christians struggle to consistently spend time in morning prayer and Bible study. We know the morning is really the best time for a devotional because it gets one in the right frame of mind for the day.
There’s even support for it in the Bible: “O God, Thou art my God; early I will seek Thee.” (Psalm 63:1 KJV). But many find it difficult to get up early enough in the morning for a devotional before work.
Many years ago I learned the secret of having a consistent morning devotional. It’s not a gimmick or a teaching that merely tickles the ears. It actually works, and it works pretty much every time.
It doesn’t take any practice to get it down, and it’s easy to remember and replicate. You won’t find it in many books because it’s so simple you couldn’t write a book on it; you couldn’t even write a chapter on it.
The secret is this: Go to bed early the night before.
It is that simple. Here’s how it works. Figure out how much sleep you need. When I was younger, I needed eight hours; now I’m good on six. That means if I’m to get up at 5:00 a.m., I need to be in bed by 11:00 p.m. the night before. That’s it. And it works pretty much every time. If you need eight hours sleep, you need to be in bed by 9:00 p.m. People working the night shift and odd hours figured this one out long ago.
If you were expecting a deep teaching on how Christians have been given a Spirit of discipline (which is true), or how you can believe the Holy Spirit to wake you in the morning without an alarm clock, I’m sorry to disappoint. But if you think me unspiritual, remember Jesus said, “Wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” (Matt. 11:19 NLT). Now get to bed. GS