Beginning Each Day with Prayer
What are our first thoughts when we wake up in the morning? I’m tired—I wish I could stay in bed. I’m hungry—I wonder what’s in the pantry. I’m in a hurry—I have so much to do today. I wish I were more like David: “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch” (Ps. 5:3). David was tired, hungry, and busy—same as us, but he gave priority to morning-prayer. I am ashamed to admit I have a problem with neglecting praying. I usually start working as soon as I get up, and it is mid-morning or lunch-time before I realize, I haven’t prayed yet.
Praying like David doesn’t just happen; we don’t just wake up and start praying everyday for the rest of our lives. It takes determination and diligence. I am issuing a challenge to myself (and I hope you will join with me) that I will begin the next seven days with prayer. Then, I am going to do it again, Lord willing, (cf. 1 Thess. 5:17), because morning-prayer provides daily and eternal benefits.
It gives us peace. In the same Psalm where David promised morning-prayer, he also said, “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning [or meditation]. Heed the sound of my cry for help” (Ps. 5:1-2; cf. 55:12-19). God listens to our inward struggles—whatever troubles us. Even if we haven’t slept at all the night before because we were thinking about some difficulty, we can cry out to God, and He will provide His peace (cf. Phil. 4:6-7; 1 Jn. 1:7-9). When we bring our anxieties to the Lord in the morning, often the rest of the day will take care of itself.
It gives us power. “Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to You I cry all day long. ... Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant” (Ps. 86:3, 16). Like David, we need God’s power throughout the day, and that starts with prayer. We will never have enough strength in and of ourselves; only God can provide it! “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matt. 7:7). If we start out with prayer, God’s power will fortify our hearts throughout the day.
It gives us purpose. “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this is man’s all” (Ecc. 12:13). This is every man’s purpose, yet this lifelong duty can only be realized when put into daily components. Everyday must, therefore, start strong: “The beginning is the most important part of the work” (Plato). “He has half the deed done who has made a beginning” (Horace). “A good beginning makes a good end” (English proverb). If we start out the morning talking to God, it will be much easier to live for Him throughout the day.
Prayer is an amazing privileged afforded to God’s children. Let’s determine that we will habitually commune with our Father—beginning each day with prayer. It will be one of the best decisions we make!