In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning, I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch (Psalm 5:3, NASB1995).
When I wake up in the morning, I pray 5-second prayers.
I keep a mental list of ten people or situations (that I don’t write down), and before I get out of bed in the morning, I pray for five seconds for each one.
An explanation . . .
- As I hear of urgent prayer needs throughout the day, I think or say, “God, I pray for ____ right now, and please put it on my 5-second prayer list.”
- Whereas I can forget people’s names and my duty of feeding my wife’s cat every morning, when I wake up and start praying, the list is there. I’ve found this is a great tool to keep and improve my short-term memory.
- I keep no more than ten items, sometimes less, on the list. And I keep a couple of personal items on this list, too.
- These are short-term prayers. This morning, I prayed for a mission team, a man’s surgery, two people sick with COVID, getting my new book finished this week, the person that I’m discipling, and my sister who is preparing for me to visit her in the Philippines. Again, the requests stay only a few days on my list.
- I keep the prayers specific so that I know when they are answered and can praise God. Praise for God answering requests is the best way to start the day.
Why pray in the morning?
- I do pray throughout the day, and it is a great way to practice the discipline that the Apostle Paul mentions of praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But my focus of 5-second praying is the morning.
- Morning prayers are mentioned in Psalm 5:3 and Psalm 55:17, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 88:13, and Psalm 92:2. My 5-second prayer requests allow me to learn and experience the power of morning prayers throughout my day.
I first started my 5-second praying by noticing that the evil one kept implanting fear or anxiety in my heart at the start of my day.
I’ve listened to others describe their experience of getting so emotionally paralyzed in the morning with worrisome thoughts that they had difficulty getting out of bed. When I began casting my problem thoughts onto the Lord (1 Peter 5:7), the anxiety went away, and I could then pray for the day in a creative-according-to-God’s-will manner.
My 5-second praying in the morning is a pre-emptive technique to eliminate fear before it takes hold. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:27 that we are not to give the devil a foothold.
Yes, I can write more about 5-second praying. I use this technique if I wake up at 3 a.m. and can’t go back to sleep. Also, I take five seconds every morning to remember current verses of Scripture that the Lord has recently impressed in my heart. Finally, I review two or three items in my upcoming day’s agenda and ask for the Spirit’s power in each.
This sounds like a lot – but it only takes a couple of minutes because my prayers, verses reviewed, and requests for the day only last five seconds each.
I’ll continue this Interruption tomorrow morning.
But I, O Lord, have cried out to You for help, and in the morning my prayer comes before You (Psalm 88:13).
Remember, just five seconds!