There is no doubt that the most important time of prayer for the vast majority of Christians is first thing in the morning, if possible before breakfast and the rest of the day starts. It helps us to tune in to God from the start thus enabling us both to commit the entire day in prayer to God, and to turn to him much more readily at various times throughout the day.

In any war, communications are vital. Every day begins with a careful check on these communications, so that throughout the day orders can be passed on immediately and calls for help can be instantly heard. Without this, any amy would be in total disarray. Exactly the same applies within the army of Jesus Christ.

Before we think that we are one of these whose metabolism makes all this impossible, however, let me say that I have personally never found it easy to get up in the morning to pray! Virtually every day is a real battle; but because I believe it to be a battle worth winning, I have taken active and practical steps to ‘beat my body and make it a slave’ (1 Corinthians 9:27)! For many years I have used two alarms to wake me up, since I sometimes find that one on its own may fail to wake me. I used to have one alarm clock by my bed, then another cheap but noisy alarm outside my door set to go off ten minutes after the first. Because the second alarm would wake the whole household (and me thoroughly unpopular), I had some motivation to get out of bed as soon as the first alarm had sounded. The scheme never failed!

In many ways I am ashamed to have to resort to such methods when rising to pray means rising to enjoy the Great Lover; nevertheless I am grateful to those who helped me to see that this is an important daily battle to take seriously and win!

David Watson