Early Morning Prayer: When You are Willing to Pay a Cost


I am not a morning person.

As in, I usually sleep through mornings. So you could say we’ve become unacquainted. But this week, I decided to go to early morning prayer.

In Korea, early morning prayer is a staple of the church. Crowds of middle-aged women (and others) faithfully arise with the sun to seek God’s face and intercede on behalf of their loved ones.

Some would call it beautiful. Some would call it incredibly religious.

I personally don’t know if I could make it a life habit, but I enjoyed it as a one-time thing (or possibly two-time thing).

freedomThere is something special about the morning. I had forgotten that. The air is cooler, the world quieter, and the light fresher somehow. Watching school children catch buses and older folks walk their dogs, I was tempted to not even go to the prayer meeting, but to just walk around staring up at the clouds for an hour instead.

But I did go, and despite being quite tired now, I’m very glad I did.

Something special happens when you are willing to pay a cost.

Not that we should ever bargain with God or think that we could earn something from Him. Not that God is such a hard master that He demands payment for things. He gives freely––if we really understood that, we would probably live quite differently than we do––but He also knows how to reward those who seek Him.

When we pay a cost to seek Him, He responds.

Unless I’m willing to pay a cost, I don’t really want something––whether it’s a pair of shoes or a deeper level of intimacy with a person. When I pay a cost, I get that clarity. Oh, I really value this person. Oh, this isn’t just a habit or the path of least resistance––this is something I want. That clarity in itself is valuable, but God gives even more.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted that morning when I rolled out of bed at 6:30am and got myself out the door.

I just knew I wanted Him. Whatever that meant for today. He is always the same, right? So sometimes it can feel redundant seeking Him. But somehow, He always has new things to say.

Or maybe not even new things, just the right things in the right moment.

Usually what happens is He uncovers some sadness, some disappointment or hurt I’ve been hiding down in the deep dark part of my heart. I’ve hidden it so deep I’ve started to believe it doesn’t exist. But with one gentle touch, it all comes to the surface. Ugly, confusing, shattering.

And that’s when He says something utterly unexpected that sends a beam of light precisely on the spot I needed it. What was dark isn’t dark anymore. Or at least one aspect is visible that wasn’t before. And I am changed.

He is always the same, but somehow, as I behold His face, He keeps changing me.


What cost are you willing to pay to go deeper in your relationship with Him?



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Elizabeth holds to simple faith in a complex world. She values the beauty of the everyday and strives for vulnerability with other imperfect humans. She is currently pursuing her MDiv at Fuller Theological Seminary, so when she isn't busy writing academic papers, she is usually out enjoying the LA sunshine. She is constantly learning, laughing, and finding herself in awe of grace.

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