Friday, January 21, 2011

The 6 am Christian (Pt1)

You know who I mean. That Christian that wakes at 5 am in order to pray at 6 am... you know this person because they tell you that they do this... and if you say you pray later then that - well your prayers are obviously not heard. There are some real bad attitudes with praying and we (I) can fall into two camps - Guilty Christian and Proud Christian. Both thinking waking up early to spend many hours in prayer or even bible meditation is more godly then praying at 10pm...

Night Owl - Guilty Christian?

This Christian is perhaps the night owl and prefers the midnight silence where the house is still and you open your bible and read "when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;" (Psalm 63:6). In the darkness the light of the Lord seems brighter and you rejoice of the day that's been...

But then you read those biographies of George Muller and other great missionaries and theologians and they recall how they woke up so early and prayed for hours starting at 4 am.... eekkk... Guilt Guilt....
Or you meet a fellow Christian and they go on about how their 3 hour prayer was a blessing and they are so disciplined everyday cos they woke up so early...then they stare at you and the words spit out of their mouths "So what time do you get up?"....eeekkkk Guilt Guilt Guilt....What runs around your head? Well... this is what runs around my head...

I am a failure for not being spiritually disciplined as you...(Guilt!)
My prayers are obviously rubbish compared to your morning soaked prayers...(Pride!)
I should just be like you (strange pride and Guilt)

The Morning person - Proud Christian?

This Christian enjoys the sunrise and sings with the birds... they enjoy opening the bible as the suns beams ripple across passages such as "But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you." (Psalm 88:14) They rejoice that a new day is being unfolded....

But sometimes pride seeps in and your heart begins to shout "hey, I woke up early to pray..."... now everyone knows..eeekkk pride!. Its easy to think you are doing well when you get up at 6 am everyday to pray...but what if you miss it? eekkkk guilt..... oh no! Better set three alarms....
Or you easily get up and enjoy it and yet see any other Christian who might get up later but stay up later as less then you... evidently you are better... eeekk pride.

I think both attitudes are simply dangerous. This is not cultivating the right attitude to prayer. I am a night owl, my best times with praying to God and reading the bible is at night. Many people I know are morning people and enjoy prayer early in the morning. Both I think both are great...I am not sure it matters what time it is, the important thing is our hearts and talking with our loving Father through the Son...

When we start to feel guilty or proud we need to come back to the Gospel. We need to come back to the Cross. Who are we in Christ and does that change depending on the time of the day?...

Maybe we need to start encouraging each other to pray and to embrace diversity and character in prayer...

2 comments:

sarahdawkins said...

i was going to say have you seen the SCL post on this.

Well put! :)

Cat said...

I really enjoy his comment about this on SCL! I think he write really well and hits some nerves..its good :)