I have a love-hate relationship with mornings. As a self-employed author, I have great flexibility regarding when and where I work. But the Holy Spirit and my own creative whit have their own plans. I have discovered that early morning hours are golden. But rarer than diamonds are the times when the cat, dog, or my bladder wakes me while it is still night, and instead of cursing these intrusions, I grab coffee and write like one possessed. In Psalm 130 we read, “My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning.” Something has awoken the psalmist to an hour when all he or she can do is pray. Perhaps they are at the bedside of a sick loved one, or a refugees escaping in the dark, or perhaps they stand with the watchman on the wall, keeping guard over a city at peril. They pray soulfully. They pray deep. The Holy Spirit is very much with them.
There are three content buckets to this morning prayer: First, a humble plea for forgiveness. It is impossible to live fully without at certain points risking our religion for the sake of our love. In the morning, we sometimes wrestle with what we have been passionate about and seek God’s understanding concerning what drives us. Second, there is the plea for one’s nation, whether that be ancient Israel or today’s America. When will we leave our political bubbles and discover again the pure morning air of God’s steadfast love for all people? Finally, beneath all the words of this psalm, and behind those hours that we spend pacing the hallway and watching for the dawn, is a concern for our own soul. For didn’t Jesus once ask, what good is it for one to gain the whole world and forfeit one’s soul? (Matthew 16:26) Pray on!