O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
Benjamin Franklin, in his autobiography, tells how he likes to begin each day: “Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; contrive day’s business and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present study; breakfast.” Like most accomplished people, Franklin knew the importance of how he began the day. How we start our day influences how we live the rest of the day.
James Clear, a popular author who writes on behavior psychology and performance improvement, says: “Let’s talk about the only productivity strategy you’ll ever need… No need to draw this out. This productivity strategy is straightforward: Do the most important thing first each day.” (“The Only Productivity Tip You’ll Ever Need”, The Huffington Post)
The psalmist David was clear on what was the most important thing to do first every day: pray! This man after God’s own heart had his priorities in right order. The giant slayer knew the importance of beginning his day with God. And he began his days pretty early: “Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn” (Psalm 57:8). Our Lord Jesus was also an early riser who liked to begin His day with prayer: “In the morning, while it was still dark, he got up went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
From David’s rough and rugged life he had learned his need for God as he began every day. “The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists of shoving it all back, in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.” (C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
Just as different people will have different ways to begin their day, so different people will have different ways to pray first thing in the morning. I like to think through the coming day with God and talk to Him about:
- The things that I’m worried about in the day ahead
- What I want to accomplish in the day
- What I know to be true about God, His character and promises
However you choose to begin your day with God, what you are in effect saying is: “Lord, my relationship with you is the most important thing in my life!”
- Many people have been helped in beginning their day by the very popular book, The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, by Alex Ikonn. Though not written from a specifically Christian stance, I find it stimulating in my faith life. In the book the author suggests taking a few moments to journal your thoughts about:
- I am grateful for (three things)…..
- What would make today great…
- Daily Affirmations…
- In your prayer this morning, talk with God about:
- I am grateful for (three things)…
- What God and I could do today to make today great…
- Daily Affirmations, or, what I take in this day knowing to be true about God and about my relationship with Him.
“All my life I have risen regularly at four o’clock and have gone into the woods and talked with God. There He gives me my orders for the day…after my morning’s talk with God I go into my laboratory and begin to carry out His wishes for the day.”
George Washington Carver, The Man Who Talks with the Flowers: The Life Story of Dr. George Washington Carver, Glenn Clark