“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me” (Proverbs 8:17).
I became a morning person during my freshman year at Morgan State University. As a graduation requirement, I did my pastoral internship at the United Pentecostal Miracle Church under the auspices of Bishop Joseph M. Showell. Bishop Showell introduced me to the idea of early morning prayer. He, along with a group of about ten others, went to the church for prayer every Wednesday at 6:00 am.
I was not used to waking up so early, so it was a struggle to be on time for prayer. To be prompt for prayer on Wednesdays and give God the first fruits of my day, I learned to reorder my Tuesday nights. Around 9:30 pm, I started winding down, getting my clothes ready for the next day, and preparing for bed. By 10:00 pm, it was lights out. This event became the cornerstone of my prayer life.
I extended early morning prayer from just Wednesdays to every day. God and I had an appointment to have a conversation every day at 6:00 am. This intimacy produced daily morning messages on social media: The Daily Download, Mental Note, and The One Minute Oneness. The Bible says in Psalm 127:2, “he gives his beloved sleep.”
In addition to being on time for prayer, my body benefitted from getting the proper rest that it needed. 8 Self-Care Strategies form the acronym D.I.R.E.C.T.O.R.* The third strategy is Rest, which is represented by the first “R.” When you get the rest that you need, your body functions at its optimum, and you do things in a more excellent, effective, and efficient manner.
*We demonstrate our love for ourselves through 8 Self-Care Strategies.
- Digestion (the foods and beverages we consume) Romans 14:2-4 2.
- Intimacy (knowing and being known) Ecclesiastes 4:8-10
- Rest (getting the sleep we need to function at our optimal) – Psalm 127:2
- Exercise (physical movement, activity) – I Timothy 4:8 5.
- Check-ups (going to doctors and dentists) Jeremiah 8:21-22, Matthew 9:12
- Treat Yourself (rewarding ourselves for our progress) Ecclesiastes 9:7
- Outward Appearance (hygiene and looking our best) I Samuel 16:7, Matthew 5:16
- Recreation (having fun, entertainment, vacations) Proverbs 17:22