In previous posts we talked about the importance of spending time with Jesus every morning and how to build up such a habit. This wonderful habit is key to our relationship with Christ.
Perhaps you see the benefits of this kind of habit and want to build it up, but aren’t sure what to do during that time. How do we spend time with Jesus? What do we do in our mornings with Him?
Throughout the centuries, Christians who loved the Lord and sought to know the Lord have discovered many enjoyable, beneficial ways to spend their mornings with Him. We’ll go through some of these discoveries. But first, let’s quickly refresh our view on what this morning time with Jesus is all about.
The goal of our morning time with Jesus
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 nor will it help us know the Lord more or grow in Him. Keeping a lifeless practice is pointless and fruitless.
Instead, we should approach our time in the morning as an opportunity to be with the One we love and who loves us, our dear Savior Christ. The Lord Jesus is a wonderful Person who lives in us. The goal of this time is to contact Him in our spirit, be fed by Him in His Word, enjoy Him, receive His speaking, and speak to Him.
With this in mind, let’s look at some ways we can spend time with Jesus each morning.
Call upon the Lord’s name
Sometimes just calling upon the Lord’s name is the best prayer. In our time with Jesus in the morning we can simply pray, “Oh, Lord Jesus.” Our calling on the Lord can help us begin to 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 life-giving 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.”
Tell the Lord you love Him
The Lord Jesus wants our love, and we have a sweet sensation when we greet Him each morning with, “Lord Jesus, I love You.” The more we tell our Lord we love Him, the more our love for Him grows, and the more we enjoy His love for us. Our hearts become soft and open to Him.
Praise and thank Him
We can praise and thank the Lord Jesus for what He’s done and for who He is. For example, we can praise Jesus with the wonderful facts we find in God’s 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!”
Ephesians 5:18 and 20 tell us we can be filled with the Lord in our spirit by giving thanks. Besides the many specific things in our lives we can thank the Lord for, we can also thank Him for who He is to us and what He does, as revealed in the Bible. For example:
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your new compassions to me this morning.”
“Thank You, Lord, for being my life.”
“Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me and saving me.”
“Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the bread of life to me.”
Confess your sins
Each morning we can confess our sins to the Lord Jesus as He makes us aware of them through our conscience. This is very important in our fellowship with Him. We’ve all experienced the awkwardness of being with someone we’ve argued with or offended. It’s difficult to even talk together. We may care for one another but a barrier separates us that makes it hard for us to have a pleasant time.
Our relationship with the Lord Jesus is even more delicate. He lives in us and knows all things. Although He wants to fellowship with us, He can’t tolerate sin. So when we’ve sinned or disobeyed Him, a barrier separates us from Him.
But we can confess our sins to Jesus to be forgiven and washed. The barrier is removed, and we sense peace between us and the Lord. We can once again fellowship freely with the Lord with a light and open heart.
Read and pray the Word
We can read the Bible in the morning and even use it to pray. For this, 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 be fed.
We can read a chapter in the Bible, or half if it’s a long chapter, and then go back and pray with one or two verses the Lord touches us about. Suppose, for example, you read John 4 for your regular Bible reading, and verses 10 and 14 stand out to you. You can pray with these verses: “Lord Jesus, You’re the living water. Oh Lord, I come to You right now to drink of You. You give me the water that quenches my deep thirst. Thank You, Lord, You are now the living water in me, a fountain of water springing up into eternal life. Keep me drinking You today.”
Whatever else we may do during our morning time with Jesus, we should always include time in the Word in prayer to receive substantial nourishment. We can speak to Jesus 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.
Sing to Jesus
Sometimes a hymn expresses our thoughts and feelings better than our own words can. Singing or prayerfully reading a hymn can open us deeply to the Lord Jesus. The mornings are a great time to sing to Him. Ephesians 5:18 and 19 tell us that singing with our hearts to the Lord is another way to be filled in our spirit with His Spirit. Hymnal.net is an excellent resource of hymns with their accompanying music.
Be with a Person
We can certainly pray about different matters or persons in our lives, but the Lord Jesus is a living Person who wants to have a relationship with us. So we should first come to Him to enjoy His presence, rather than starting our day by bringing Him all the things on our “wish list.” When we’ve first contacted the Lord in our spirit and enjoyed Him in His Word, He will lead us how to pray for these matters according to His will.
The six matters above are not in any particular order and shouldn’t be taken as a formula. Sometimes we might begin by praising the Lord Jesus and thanking Him. The Lord may then shine on us about our disobedience in something the day before, and we can 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 exercise our spirit to touch the living Person of Christ. This keeps our time from becoming something methodical, routine, or dead; instead we’ll enjoy our Lord Jesus freshly morning by morning. As we practice, the Lord will show us how to contact Him in a living and personal way.