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Dear Princess, Number 6 (Summer 1998) | Timeless Truths Publications

Seek Him Early

E. M. Bounds

We ought to pray before seeing anyone. Often when we sleep long or meet with others early, it is mid-morning before we begin in secret prayer. This is a wretched system and it is unscriptural. Christ arose before day and went into a solitary place. David says, “Early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee.”* (Psalm 63:1) Family prayer loses much of its power and sweetness and we can do no good to those who come to seek from us. The conscience feels guilty, the soul un-fed, the lamp not trimmed. Then when finally in secret prayer, the soul is often out of tune. It is far better to begin with God—to get our soul near Him, to see His face first, before another.

The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in pursuits other than seeking God, will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in last place the rest of the day.

Behind this early rising and early praying is the ardent desire which presses us into this pursuit after God. Morning listlessness is the index to a listless heart. The heart which is behind hand in seeking God in the morning, has lost its relish for God. David’s heart was ardent after God and so he sought Him early, before daylight. The bed and sleep could not chain his soul in its eagerness after God. Christ longed for communion with God and so, rising a great while before day, He would go out into the mountain to pray. Prior to receiving the power of a personal Pentecost, the disciples, when fully awake and ashamed of their indulgence, would know where to find Him. Those who have mightily impressed the world for God were found seeking Him early.

A desire for God which cannot break the chains of sleep is a weak thing and will do but little good for God after it has indulged itself fully. The desire for God that drags at the beginning of the day will never catch up.

It is not simply the getting up that puts men to the front and makes them captains in the Lord’s host, but it is the ardent desire which stirs and breaks all self-indulgent chains. The getting up gives vent, increase and strength to the desire. If they had lain in a bed and indulged themselves, the desire would have been quenched. The desire aroused them and put them on the stretch for God and this heeding and acting on the call gave their faith its grasp on God and gave to their hearts the sweetest and fullest revelation of God. This strength of faith and fullness of revelation made them saints of eminence and the conquest of their lives comes down to us and we have entered into the enjoyment of their victories. Now we that have taken our fill in enjoyment, will we drink of their productions?

If ever there was needed a people who will seek God and seek Him early it is now—those who will give the freshness and dew of effort to God and secure in return the freshness and fullness of His power; that He may be as the dew to them, full of gladness and strength, throughout all the heat and labor during this time of rebuilding the walls of the city of God. The Babel stone of laziness after God is a crying sin. The children of this world are far wiser than we. They are at it early and late. Are we seeking God with ardor and diligence? Mark this—no man gets God who does no follow hard after Him and no soul follows hard after God who is not after Him in early morn.

The silence that is now being broken no doubt began at the closet door of prayer, for the soul cannot prosper with the neglect of prayer. Saints, let us rally to the call of prayer. Let us seek Him early in the morning.