“In the morning … in the morning …”. One of the ways the Hebrews emphasize something is by repeating it. If they say it once, they mean it, of course, but if they say it twice, they really mean it (and if they say it three times it is ultimate, like “holy, holy, holy” is the Lord; which means that He is ultimate in holiness. So the fact that David repeats “in the morning” here shows the emphasis that he put upon it. It was “in the morning” that his prayer would rise up to God.
But it is not only that (although it would be enough!). The words “order my prayer” are also very revealing. In Hebrew this is the same root word which describes how the priests “laid in order” the morning sacrifice, which was the very first act of the day in Israel. So David is saying that just as the priests “ordered” the morning sacrifice as their first duty of the day, HIS first duty of the was going to be to let God hear his voice in prayer!
He said the same thing in Psalm 63, “O God, You are my God — I shall seek Thee earnestly.” That Hebrew word “earnestly” there literally means “early.” That makes sense. If you are seeking something earnestly, you seek it early:
— hunters who are serious about bagging their prey get out there early. (Someone was just recently telling me about getting out at 4 or 5 a.m. to hunt; that’s just what they do!)
— fishermen do the same thing.
— I’ve noticed that most really good golfers get out and get the early tee times (that’s why I usually go in the afternoon!)
— on Black Friday, people get out early — 4 or 5 or 6 a.m. — because they are earnest about getting the best deals. People who are serious about seeking something get out early to get it.
And that is what Psalm 63 says we should do with the Lord too. If we are serious about seeking Him, we will seek Him EARLY.
— In Mark 1:35 we see that Jesus kept this same pattern: “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.”
There we see that Jesus got up early — and “early” is qualified by “while it was still dark”, so it was pretty early! — and went out to a place where He could be alone. And He did that, the Bible says, so that He could pray. Jesus serves as the great model for us. He was busier in ministry than any of us will ever be in our lives — the previous verses describe how just the night before, “the whole city had gathered at His door” and He was healing people. This went on until very late. And yet Jesus made it a priority to get up early and seek God and pray. We should do the same thing. We should tell the Lord, “In the morning, You will hear my voice.”
— Morning prayer is assumed in the Model Prayer that Jesus gave us in Matthew 6. Think about it: what good would it do to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” at the end of the day, AFTER you’ve already HAD your daily bread! It makes much more sense as a morning prayer, asking God to provide what we need for the day ahead.
What good would it do to put on your “spiritual armor” after the battle is done, at the end of the day?! We may need it then too, but we especially need to put on our spiritual armor BEFORE we fight the battles of the day — in the morning, in God’s word & prayer.
Understanding that we are not ONLY to pray in the morning, not everyone prays best then; it IS important to begin our day by spending at least some time with God in His word and prayer in the morning, because it will affect the rest of your day.