I get up early. Like 4:15 in the morning early. It’s so I can do something that – frankly – I could do any time of the day.
But I can’t do it with my wife at any time of the day, so early morning it is.
After all, when else can we pray with one another without the rest of the world interrupting us?
Night Time Turned Into Nighty-Night Time
We tried praying together at bedtime. My wife said my voice put her to sleep.*
But we didn’t need to get up at 4:15 just to carve out time to pray together. It’s not like we spend three hours in prayer before work (although if I had the stamina for that I’d be stoked).
No, it’s fitting it in with all the other things going on in the morning that causes us to go to bed earlier than most toddlers. Someone has to make the bed, so I do it while she gets in some Bible reading. Plus we like to exercise before work, running a few miles or hitting the gym depending on the day. And after that a guy’s got to eat, and my colleagues really appreciate it if I fit in a shower too.
That’s a lot to do, so we get up early.
But the priority in all this is to have time to pray together before we go on to do all those other things like exercise and work.
It’s the commitment to making our prayer time together a priority that makes it a routine. And while it’s a truism that routines can become just that – routine – this routine doesn’t mean we’re in a rut.
For one thing, this is my wife I get to spend time with and I like her company. She’s pretty special.
For another (and even more important than the fact that this is an opportunity to be with my wife every morning) this is time with the God I love, the one who loves me even more than my wife does. And I get to share this time with God with the woman I love.**
The Routine Of Togetherness
When I describe our morning routine to people, they aren’t impressed by a person getting up early to workout. They aren’t all that impressed by me being the one to make the bed either. But people do seem impressed by the fact a couple would get up even earlier just to have time to pray together.
I think that might be a recognition – even if they don’t know it – that some things are even more important than keeping your house neat or your body in good shape. What we do spiritually matters beyond what we can see and feel. It matters for eternity, and it can be part of our daily routine even before I get to experience what eternity really means.
Does that mean I have to pray with my wife in order for God to love me? No, but the reality is that my wife and I love each other better when we join in these routines that are part of a relationship with God.
So just as I make sure there’s time to make the bed and go for a run or get to the gym, I make time before everything else that day to pray with my wife.
It’s a small ritual that is really huge when you stop to think about it.
*The soporific quality of my voice is on display in this short video I made on the musical blessings of the kazoo. Truly joyful, and truly sleep-inducing.
**You know that part up there about praying early so people won’t interrupt us? We still get interrupted. Whether it’s someone texting my wife to day they need her to sub for their gym class that morning or a police officer calling me for an emergency protective order or a search warrant, we can still get interrupted even at 4:30 in the morning. Oh well.
This first appeared as a guest post for Cara Meredith back in 2015. My wife and I still get up early together. I thought it especially appropriate to run it again the day after Daylight Savings kicked in and messed up everyone’s sleep routines.