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The Scriptorium

First Thing

Whenever you rise. Psalm 119.147

Psalm 119.145-152 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.147.
I rise before the dawning of the morning,
And cry for help;
I hope in Your word.

Sing Psalm 119.147.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Before the dawn I rise; Lord, hear me when I cry.
I hope in Your unfailing Word and will until I die.

Read Psalm 119.145-152; meditate on verse 147.

1. When did the psalmist go to the Lord for prayer?

2. What was he seeking in prayer?

The Lord promises that when we come to Him in prayer, we will find mercy and grace to help in our time of need (Heb. 4.16).

Which raises the question: When is our time of need?

For the psalmist, it was before the day began. Further, he knew he would need the Lord’s help throughout the day ahead, so he came to the Lord to “cry for help” in prayer before the sun crept over the horizon and the activities of the day began to unfold.

But not just that. He came to be renewed in the hope God’s Word holds out to us, new every morning. The Scriptures are filled with exceeding great and precious promises and utterly transforming truths that can launch us into every new day with hope and courage. As we feed on God’s Word, first thing in the day, we replenish our soul’s strength and turn the light of God’s truth on the path ahead. Crying out for help as we feed on the solid food of God’s Word, we tap into the Presence of the Lord. There, gazing upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4.6) and listening for the instruction and direction of His indwelling Spirit, we find the grace we need for the day’s challenges, one day at a time (Matt. 6.34).

The psalmist’s example suggests that early morning devotions – prayer, singing, reading, meditation – make good sense. Come to the Lord first thing in the morning. Establish yourself in His Presence. Let that early morning fellowship be a touchstone for the rest of your day, as you come back to the Lord and His Word for revival and renewal in all your ways.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week,
they came to the tomb when the sun had risen” (Mk. 16.2).
Indeed the Son had risen early in the morning!
We are so grateful that He did.
How exciting! How beautiful!

How early.

I struggle with sleep. At the right time, I mean. It is an odd problem, but many people have it. Let’s just say, to run a Bed and Breakfast is not in my wheelhouse. My confession is to highlight this point, today’s verse is not meant to pile a load of guilt upon those of us who cannot always rise before the dawning of the morning. The truth is, sometimes we even greet the dawn having not slept a wink the night before. Regardless, and most necessary, our time in the Word must take precedence over all else.

Happily, the theme of this verse can be embraced by all. Whenever we sleep, or don’t, as we face a new day, we should always face it first with time in the Word and prayer. Yes, even if we must get ready to go to work, or to church, or to take care of our children. If possible, our time with the Lord should be first on the agenda. It is the only way to go, for we most assuredly, must cry for help and strength to cope in the new day ahead.

So, whether we cry out to the Lord before dawn, or just sometime in the morning, He still hears our call for renewal and help in our time of need. Which is all the time. Our only hope is in Him and His Word. Throughout the day and the night. Forever and always.

“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God,
for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Ps. 5.1-3).

Jesus comes first, whatever time it is.

For reflection
1. Why does it make sense to meet with Jesus first thing in the day?

2. What does it mean to seek the Lord for grace to help in our times of need?

3. How does God want to use you as an agent of His grace today?

Christians who enjoy health, should not suffer the early hours of the morning to glide away unimproved. Hope in God’s word encourages us to continue in prayer. It is better to take time from sleep, than not to find time for prayer. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Psalm 119.147

Pray Psalm 119.152.
Thank the Lord for His sure and certain Word. Call on His Spirit to guide and empower you for obedience throughout this day.

Sing Psalm 119.152.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Your Word has been from old, established by decree.
More precious than the finest gold, Your Word gives life to me!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday.

Would you like to learn more about tapping into the grace of God for all your daily needs? Our book, Grace for Your Time of Need, can help. Learn more and order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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