They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Why? Usually the argument is two-fold.
One – you need to fuel up for the day to come, rather than “running on empty” when you’re facing the challenges of that day.
And two – you need to “break your fast”. A fast is an abstaining from something, usually food; overnight, of course, you (probably) haven’t been eating while you were sleeping. Both reasons are based on the same principle – your body requires food, and in the morning you’re most likely at a low point on your food intake.
In Psalm 90, Moses makes the same argument… but not in terms of food.
Just last week I wrote about this wonderful psalm, so I won’t spend time on every detail today. But I want to revisit the ending of it, with an emphasis on one point that I glossed over at the time. Look again at verse 14 –
Satisfy us in the morning with Your steadfast Love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Last week, I gave the traditional interpretation of this verse, “morning” meaning “early in our lives”, and that interpretation holds true – I pray that God comes to each person’s life early with His Steadfast Love. How much better would things have been had I accepted Him when I was 28, through my now-deceased wife, rather than waiting eighteen years through each of our failed marriages to join with her and be brought to His Love through her, as in retrospect it’s clear He intended me to do!
But on the literal level, Satisfy us in the morning means exactly that: Start each day with His Steadfast Love. One of the very first things you should do, every single day, is start your day in the Word of God.
So in this area of our lives, as well, “break-fast” is the most important time of the day. Review the two reasons it’s true for food, and let’s consider them for prayer and Scripture as well.
One – we need to prepare for the day to come. “Give us this day our daily bread” – that implies that you are asking this before you go out into the world where you could receive that daily bread! “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” – again, same concept. But think about the practical side of this.
Wouldn’t it be better to fill your soul with God’s Steadfast Love BEFORE you go out and face the challenges of the world, rather than let the world batter you and then read the Bible and let it tell you what you should have done that day?
And Two – breaking your “fast”. When you sleep, that’s when you have the least control over your own thought processes. (See: nightmares.) Unless you have remarkable control of your dreams – you might be a lucid dreamer, I don’t know, but even then, we are least constrained by our morals in our dreams and our sleep – you’re emerging from your least Christian time of day whenever you awaken in the morning. And if you’re like me, on the rare occasions that I recall what I’d been dreaming about, it always contains a little something that I’d like to hang on to for a few minutes…. and not usually because it enlightens me spiritually, either. No, more often it’s the flesh which is intrigued by the dream. It doesn’t have to be sexual – it might be wealth related, for example. But it’s probably something that the devil would love to entice you with.
So that’s why prayer early in the day is so important. That’s why immersing yourself in the Word of God matters so much first thing in the morning. You must break your “fast” from the Word. Until now, you’ve probably gone eight, ten hours at a minimum since you’ve even thought about the Lord, much less prayed or read the Bible. DON’T keep those fleshly residuals going from your dreams – DON’T maintain the carnal imagery from whatever your unimpeded mind batted about overnight.
Earlier, with regards to “breakfast”, I said that “Both reasons are based on the same principle – your body requires food, and in the morning you’re most likely at a low point on your food intake.”
Well, the same is true with your walk with God. Your soul requires the Word, and in the morning you’re most likely at a low point on your communication with the Lord.
For me, as a father of four children who are still minors, the morning has always been the time when I was least encumbered by other obligations, and I could most easily devote myself wholly to the Lord. (Since I’ve retired from my teaching career, that’s not so true any more, although it’s still the first thing on my daily agenda!) For most adults seeking a time to themselves for whatever purpose – running, exercising, meditation, prayer, book writing, whatever – getting up thirty minutes early to do those things is often the most practical means of finding the time to make it happen. Whenever it’s a school day, my “fathering” starts at about 6:30 a.m. – if I wanted to have the time to pray or study the Bible, I’d get up at six to make sure that happened. (And I’d go to bed a half-hour earlier if I needed to in order to facilitate that alarm time.)