There is something special about seeking God in the morning hours, before the busyness of the day begins. Perhaps that is why we see several scriptures about seeking God in the morning — even before dawn.
David said, “In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.”
Why in the morning?
I rise before the dawning of the morning, And cry for help; I hope in Your word.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.
I don’t know the answer, but there is something about the fourth watch of the night from 3am to 6am. Perhaps it is a sacrifice of our deepest sleep to dedicate that time to the Lord. Maybe it is offering God the first fruit of our day — or greater yet — offering Him our nights.
So what exactly are night watches you ask?
The Jews anciently divided the night into three parts of four hours each, usually called watches. The first of these watches is mentioned in Lamentations 2:19, the middle watch in Judges 7:19, and the morning watch in Exodus 14:24. In the time of our Saviour they divided the night into four watches, the fourth having been introduced by the Romans. These watches consisted of three hours each. The first commenced at six and continued until nine; the second from nine to twelve; the third from twelve to three; and the fourth from three to six. The first was called evening; the second midnight; the third cock-crowing; the fourth morning, Mark 13:35. It is probable that the term watch was given to each of these divisions from the practice of placing sentinels around the camp in time of war, or in cities, to watch or guard the camp or city; and that they were at first relieved three times in the night, but under the Romans four times. It was in the last of these watches, or between three and six in the morning, that Jesus appeared to the disciples, so that he had spent most of the night alone on the mountain in prayer. (From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, biblehub.com.)
I can tell you that for YEARS, I have been awakened around 3am. I can also say that most of those waking hours I didn’t get up, but prayed while in bed. However, I think if I had sacrificed my comfort — I may have experienced something phenomenal.
- Jacob wrestled with God and met Him face to face just before entering into his destiny as Israel. Genesis 32:22-31
- Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea Exodus 14:25-26
- Gideon defeated the Midianites (middle watch), Judges 7:19-24
- Peter and Jesus walk on water, Matthew 14:25-26
- The angels appear to the shepherds in the field to announce the birth of the savior. Luke 2:8-14
- Jesus is resurrected from the dead, Matthew 28:1
- The bridegroom woes His bride in the night hours, Song of Solomon, Matthew 25:1-13
(Taken from theglobalwatch.com.)
Currently our church body has been challenged by our pastor to spend time with the Lord in the fourth watch of the night. Why? To grow in our relationship with God. To increase in intimacy with our Lord.
I normally awaken at 5:30am, but I have given up an extra hour of sleep. I am not sharing this to receive a pat on the back or to check off some box that I’m rule follower. My only goal is to grow in greater intimacy with my Father and I share this to encourage you to do the same. I can honestly say that I can tell a difference in my life in just a couple of weeks. Thankfully, I feel more in-tuned with His heart. In the past couple of weeks, God gave me names of some people who were struggling. Can you imagine how incredible it felt for them to know that GOD had placed them on another person’s heart to pray? They know now (if they didn’t before) that God hears and sees their lives!
Another interesting fruit from my early morning time with Him is that somehow He seems to be redeeming my reputation in past relationships. I can’t be more specific than that in this public forum, but I hope this will build your faith and create excitement in your heart to join me.
I extend this challenge to YOU. Will you seek Him in the night/morning hours?
You WILL hear from Him. God wants to communicate with His Children.
You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.
God bless you today and always!