What Works for Me

I’ve found I don’t do well if I sleep in. I’m not presenting this as an absolute, and please don’t throw the “Legalism!” slam on me. I’m just telling you what works for me and what I’ve found over the course of many years as a necessary ingredient in my spiritual growth: making an altar early.

I have friends who are adamant that the best time for them to meet with God is just before bed (even if that bedtime comes after midnight!) and I won’t argue with them over this. I’m thankful when anyone cracks open a Bible, or spends time in prayer, no matter when or where. And I know there are different seasons of life and sometimes true challenges to maneuver around in order to keep this in your schedule. I’m just sharing from my heart what I’ve found to be a necessary discipline for me.

I’ll never forget Henry Blackaby’s answers when I asked him about his commitment to this. I asked if he ever missed his daily devotional time and without batting an eye he responded, “No, never. I don’t want to miss it.” When I asked him what time he had it, he said, “Well, right now in my life it’s necessary to do it at 4 a.m.”

The Psalmist knew the joy of meeting early with the Lord:

“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)

“But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” (Psalm 88:13)

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words.” (Psalm 119:47)

The prophet Isaiah also mentions this:

“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” (Isaiah 50:4)

If I’m going to follow anyone’s example, the best One to watch in how to order my day is Jesus:

“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.” (Mark 1:35)

“At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.” (Luke 4:42)

I can’t tell you definitively why it matters so much that I rise early to meet with the Father, but I think it has something to do with my heart. Pushing aside the covers before dawn means going to bed early the night before, so really I’m preparing my heart before I even go to bed at night for meeting with God the next day!

It’s a priority thing.

And don’t my priorities reveal a little about where my heart is, what I love, what I’m devoted to?

When do you have your time in the Word?


  • Amy

    Kimberly, I just got your book a couple days ago and I’m really looking forward to reading it. Thank you!

    I find I do better in the mornings too…we overslept this morning, so I skipped my shower because I just feel like I can’t do my days well without time with Him.

    Thank you for your encouragement, I pray the Lord blesses the work He has begun in you, and that lots of women are encouraged by your message!

  • Tambra Lucas

    I agree, I do not do well sleeping in it tends to make me draggy the rest of the day and nothing seems to get accomplished. I seem to end up being rushed, and irritated, and frustrated. I find I walk in the flesh if I do not start off with God in the morning. I get up at 5 or 5:30 start my coffee , I sometimes read then or, usually I go run or walk 2 1/2 miles , exercise stimulates my mind, wakes me up especially this awesome new brisk air as we are headed into fall and I can
    comprehend and take in much more than I can when I first wake up. Come back grab my cup of coffee, light my fall candle turn on my worship cd and for the next 30 min to an hour its me and God. Totally a time of refreshing in His Word. Then set homeschool assignments, and then time to go to work! His Word and His worship songs set and prepare my heart attitude for the rest of the day. “Oh God You are my God, early I will seek You.” Psalm 63:1

  • Vivian Etherington

    Recently I was challenged by a TW post about a “spiritual P90X” in which the author of the post shared about the benefits of getting up very early. The Lord used that to convict and challenge me. I had been through a period of struggle with focusing during my quiet time and with getting up when I should. I committed to getting up at 5 a.m.and WOW! I am already reaping great benefits from it. I was further encouraged by Nancy’s message at TW about Seeking the Lord. I am definitely a proponent of early morning because it starts my day with my MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP. For me, I cannot survive without it….it is my lifeline.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Amy!

    I can definitely relate to skipping the shower! Time in the Word and fellowship with the Father is much more important prep for me before I enter the day than even a shower 🙂

    Thank you for the prayers, dear friend!

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Oh, Vivian, I loved that post, too! That was by Juli Slattery. I’m posting a guest blog by her on Monday, so I hope you’ll check it out. I’m going to put the link here to the post you were referring to so that maybe others will be encouraged by it as well:

    And I agree–I can NOT survive without my daily time in the Word and in fellowship with the Father–it is my lifeline!

    Blessings dear friend!