During a week when there is much talk about making New Year’s Resolutions about losing weight, getting healthier, exercising, reading the Bible regularly, and praying more and being overwhelmed with suggestions and techniques and plans for doing each, through his relationship with the Lord, David gives us a simple formula for prayer.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3, NIV)
Reading the rest of the Psalm reveals his understanding of the kind of heart needed to have God ’s ear: honest, righteous and humble. Convinced that he has that kind of heart, or at least is attempting to have that kind of heart, he calls out to God.
Confident that the Lord is listening he simply prays.
In the morning I lay my requests before you. Pray in the morning. Obviously you can pray anytime and anywhere, but David takes his requests to the Lord in the morning. Why is that a good idea? In the morning things are fresh on our minds, and our minds are usually clearer. In the morning, chances are we have not gotten bombarded with tasks of the day. In the morning, leaves the impression that this is a priority. “Before I get started into the events and responsibilities of my day, I pray. I lay my requests before you.
In the morning I lay my requests before you. My requests.
There does nots seem to be a limit or any specifications on what these requests need to be. David simply says, “My requests.” I suppose that can be anything. Dreams I have. Plans I am making.
Hopes for the day, week, month, the coming year, the rest of my life. Concerns I have for myself, my loved ones. Health issues. Financial issues. Certainly spiritual issues. I lay them before you. I give them to you. I leave them with you.
And wait expectantly. Uh-oh! You knew there had to be a catch didn’t you? Wait. You mean my requests will not be granted immediately? Some times, but not always. Some times we wait. Some times we wait and we wait and we continue to wait. But, we wait expectantly. We wait with hope. We wait with our eyes wide open to see how God responds to our requests. We lay our request before the Lord and wait expecting Him to act.
So, here is a suggestion for praying (even if and especially if you have already abandoned your resolution to pray more). Take a few minutes in the morning to approach the Lord and say, “Lord, here is my list of requests for the day.” Leave them there. Lay them down. Give them to Him. Wait expectantly for God to act.
Then, watch God work.
This is a simple formula. A simple plan that just may enhance your spiritual walk, increase your faith, and draw you closer to the Lord. I hope you will give it try.
By Tom Norvell