My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): Authors have found the morning the best time for study and composition. Hence it has been called the friend of the muses. It would be easy to prove that it is equally a friend to the graces and the duties. It is the finest season for reflection and devotion. David found it so; and therefore resolves, My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord. What voice? The voice of praise, and the voice of prayer; the one excited by looking back, and the other by looking forward.
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): The morning is the fittest time for meditation and prayer.
WILLIAM JAY: If it be the best time for study, it is also the best time for devotion.
EDWARD REYNER (1600-circa 1668): That is the fittest time for devotion, you being then fresh in your spirits, and freest from distractions. Which opportunity for holy duties may fitly be called the wings of the morning.
WILLIAM JAY: Intercourse with God prepares us for our intercourse with our fellow-creatures; and for every occurrence, whether pleasing or painful. Who would go out in the morning, not knowing what a day may bring forth, and feeling his ignorance and weakness and depravity and danger, without retiring first and committing himself to God?
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): It is best to have at least one hour alone with God before engaging in anything else.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): In our spiritual warfare our own hands are not sufficient for us, nor can we bring anything to pass unless God not only strengthen our arms (Genesis 49:24), but He Himself be our arm; so entirely do we depend upon Him as our arm every morning, so constantly do we depend upon His power, as well as His compassions, which are new every morning, Lamentations 3:23. If God leaves us to ourselves any morning, we are undone; we must therefore every morning commit ourselves to Him, and go forth in His strength to do the work of the day in its day.
GEORGE MÜLLER (1805-1898): What a difference there is when the soul is refreshed in fellowship with God early in the morning! Without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials, and the temptations of the day can be overwhelming.
ROBERT C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Begin every day with the Word of God and prayer, if you would enjoy settled blessedness.
WILLIAM WILBERFORCE (1759-1833): Surely the experience of all good men confirms the proposition that without a due measure of private devotions the soul will grow lean.
MATTHEW HENRY: It would be of use to a Christian to take some one truth into his mind in the morning, and upon occasion in the day, to be thinking frequently of it, and to say, “This is the truth of the day; this is to be an answer to this day’s temptations; this is to be a spur to this day’s duties; and this is to be subject of this day’s meditation, and of this day’s discourse, as we have opportunity.” I am apt to think such a course would be very beneficial. Hereby a good stock of truths might be treasured up against a time of need, and we might be able to bring forth things new and old for the benefit of others. For certainly it is our duty, as we have ability and opportunity, to help our friends and neighbours in their spiritual necessities.
WILLIAM JAY: Finally, time—this short, uncertain, this all-important time—upon every instant of which eternity depends, will not allow of our trifling away any of its moments. Resolve therefore to redeem it. Gather up its fragments, that nothing be lost.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): If you accustom yourself to rise early in the morning, you will find a great advantage
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Observe, this is not so much a prayer as a resolution, “My voice shalt thou hear”―I will not be dumb, I will not be silent, I will not withhold my speech, I will cry to thee, for the fire that dwells within compels me to pray―in the morning. This is the fittest time for intercourse with God. An hour in the morning is worth two in the evening. While the dew is on the grass, let grace drop upon the soul.
JOHN NEWTON: A habit of rising early should be resolutely formed.
WILLIAM JAY: It is certainly a friend to the Graces…If you have hitherto accustomed yourself to the shameful indulgence of lying late in bed, begin the new year with the habit of rising early; by which you will promote your health and improvement―and live much longer than others in the same number of days.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): It is often remarked of people in the Old Testament, that they rose early in the morning; and particularly of our Lord in the New Testament, that He rose a great while before day to pray. The morning befriends devotion; and, if a people cannot use so much self-denial as to rise early to pray, I know not how they will able to die at a stake (if called to it) for Jesus Christ.
RALPH CUSHMAN (1879-1960):
I met God in the morning, when the day was at its best,
And His Presence came like sunrise, like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered, all day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness, o’er a very troubled sea…
So, I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning, if you want Him through the day!