Rise Early

This is a simple habit that, I can guarantee,  if added to your life will increase your focus and help you prioritize the things that really matter!

It’s simply this: Wake Up Early and Spend Some Time Alone Every Day!

I have set this as a pattern in my own life; rising early now for over 10 years and it has literally changed my life!

Way back in 2000 I sensed God leading me to get up earlier in the morning. In those days I got out of bed around 8:30-9:00am in the morning and, like most people, just casually drifted into the day taking life pretty much as it came.

But then in 2001, everything changed. I put into practice what God had been telling me for about 9 months, I began intentionally rising at 7:00am in order to spend more time alone.

I enjoyed this process so much, it wasn’t long before I began to wake at the even earlier time of 6:00am so I could spend at least 1 hour alone. I still follow this practice to this day!

This time is spent doing 3 main things:

1. Reading the Bible (usually between 20-30 mins)

2. Prayer – requests, thankfulness and prayers for others (usually around 15 mins)

3. Listening, planning and journalling (usually around 15 mins)

Reading the Bible first thing ensures that I am planting the seeds of God-his thoughts and words, into my mind and spirit at the start of each day. Imagine what difference this one act makes!

It helps me to ‘think different’, to think big, to think beyond my own thoughts! This gives me greater perspective on the things I will face during the day…

The prayer aspect keeps me dependent on God. As long as I pray, I am in a humbler position, I recognize that I can not just rush into the day in my own steam, but that I have to rely on God’s strength to complete my tasks, engage with people and accomplish all I need to do.

Morning prayer first thing lifts me into the spiritual realm and helps me to see from that vantage point. That way I can co-operate with the eternal agenda, the central meaning of the universe…that the Kingdom of Heaven will come to earth through me…

If I start my day in the spirit, I can ‘see’ from that realm what needs to be brought to earth through my thoughts, words and actions in the spheres I will influence for the rest of the day

Giving thanks helps me to be grateful and to recognize that any success in my life comes from God. It encourages me to continue to ask for things knowing that so many of my prayers have already been answered! Thankfulness also acts as a defense against depression or discouragement as I realize there’s always something good happening, so I can focus on that and not the negative.

Praying for others, helps me to not only look out for my own interests, but to consider the needs of others. I pray for the people in my life, my family, my friends, my co-workers and those that don’t yet know God.

And finally, we come to potentially one of those most dynamic aspects of rising early; having the extra time, silence and solitude to just to listen and think!

Throughout history, leaders who have changed the world started their day by rising early in the morning! Take for example; Winston Churchill, John Wesley, Jesus and many others who all got up early to spend time alone!

As I wrote in an earlier post, I regularly keep a journal. So one of the things I do when listening and thinking is write questions, then record the answers I get in my thoughts

It’s amazing how accurate and insightful these ‘answers’ tend to be.

I also get ideas and am able to make plans and set goals for the day! Getting up early to do this is always much more productive than just sliding out of bed and into the day.

When I get up late, I find myself constantly playing catch-up! I feel “out of sorts”…I’ve had no time to process or plan or prepare for my day. It’s almost like I have lost most of the day by missing out the important first step of being still!

Oh…and one last practicality…don’t even think of consistently getting up early unless you can get consistently early nights! Going to bed late makes it almost impossible to keep getting up early! You don’t feel refreshed…you just feel drained.

Getting up early to spend time alone in the Spirit is one aspect of a way of life that literally, changes the world!

So, why not try it yourself?

(If this article has encouraged or inspired you, please get in touch and forward this on to others)

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marsha Farmer January 18, 2011 at 10:39 am

I love this post, very inspiring and so true. I believe, if we’re here to implement change; then God has to do a lot of changing in us. I believe waking early and spending time with God alone before we start the day is part of that process.

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