Because we will be talking with God for eternity, it makes sense for us to begin our conversation with him while we are on Earth. We should start these daily conversations the moment we wake up. Our first thoughts should be a prayer instead of us reviling the alarm clock or begging for caffeine. Consider this morning prayer of John Baille:
Eternal Father of my soul,
Let my first thought today be of You,
Let my first impulse be to worship You,
Let my first speech be Your name,
Let my first action be to kneel before You in prayer.
One of the greatest struggles of living the praying life comes every morning, when we first wake up and all our fears and anxieties and the demands of the day come rushing into our consciousness. We need to develop a habit that helps us begin a conversation with the Lord the moment we wake up, then carry on this conversation with him throughout the entire day. At night, just before our head hits the pillow, we can say, “Thank you, Lord, for walking with me through this day. Good night—I’ll talk to you again first thing in the morning.”
I have adopted a new morning prayer habit. I got the idea from watching my grand-daughter, Gwen, when she was about 2 years old. My wife had bought her a cute pair of rain boots, the kind with two little handles at the top that help you pull them on. Gwen liked wearing her boots, but she often stumbled and fell if she tried to walk too quickly in them. Whenever I was with her while she was wearing her boots, I would say to her, “Now, hold onto Grandpa’s hand so you can walk without falling.” One day, I reflected on this as an accurate picture of me and God—I am the stumbling toddler, and God is offering to reach down and hold my hand and walk beside me. So now, most mornings, when I sit on the edge of the bed before standing up, I first reach up with both hands and consecrate the new day to the Lord. Then I drop one hand and leave the other up, reaching up to the Lord and asking him to hold my hand as I begin another day’s walk with him. The first thing in the morning is a good time to ask for the day’s marching orders. We need to let the Lord know that we are ready to be led by him and used by him, asking him to tell us his agenda for the day.
REFLECTIONS: What morning habit you can create that will help you begin a conversation with God the moment you wake up? What daily trigger can you create that helps remind you that you are a stumbling toddler needing to hold the Lord’s hand as you walk through the day?
1 Thessalonians 5:17