Evening, Morning, and Noon I Call Upon Your Name

by Frank Jones


As for me, I shall call upon God, and the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice. (Psa 55:16-17)


“Regularity, setting specific times apart for prayer — and keeping to them in a disciplined way — is something the Bible encourages. We all find the story of Daniel’s practice in prayer moving to read (Daniel 6:10). How, in spite of the king’s foolish, self-glorifying edict, he went to his upper room, with its windows toward Jerusalem, and knelt down three times a day. We sense not only the old man’s yearning heart for the city of God, but his confidence in prayer and his commitment. I wonder if Daniel had caught the vision of the threefold discipline from Psalm 55:17, ‘evening and morning and noonday’? How to end one day and begin another; how to stop in the middle of a busy life and turn to God. Isaiah made a forecast that the Servant of the LORD — the Lord Jesus — would practice the discipline of what we used to call ‘the morning watch’ (see Isaiah 50:4), and Mark 1:35 records an occasion when he did just that. In Acts 3:1 we find Peter and John keeping the statutory hour of prayer, the ninth hour, and the devout Cornelius testifies to the same prayer discipline (Acts 10:30). Should we be ‘evening, morning and noon’ people? The answer is ‘Why not?’ Two truths are important before we make excuses about the busyness of life today. First, prayer is a simple thing, not necessarily prolonged (Matthew 6:7-8), and secondly, none of the passages we have referred to says anything about the time when we pray or for what length of time. As soon as we think of starting the day with God, our minds begin thinking about four or five a.m. or some other unearthly hour — because we read somewhere that some great prayer-warrior was always up and about by then! ‘Setting aside time’ means just that — doing what is possible for us within our God-given day and our God-given abilities. Time to read a verse of the Bible; time to call upon God. … If we say we are those who trust, those who are saved by faith, then a primary way this shows itself is to balance life’s demands with life’s prayers.” (Motyer, Alec. Psalms by the Day: A New Devotional Translation, 147.)