Let me be honest with you. I’m busy. Too busy, in fact. I go to bed with things to do on my mind, and I wake up with even more things to do on my mind. Somedays it feels like I’m on the proverbial hamster wheel, wearing myself out while getting nowhere.
In the midst of my busyness, though, I’ve learned a simple way to turn my attention away from the “stuff” and toward God each morning. My most directed prayer and Bible study time is usually later in the evening, so this method is especially helpful early in the day. It doesn’t take long, but it does make a difference for me.
First, I pray the “Model Prayer” as soon as I awaken. I realize that doing so can become robotic and ritualistic, but I also agree with Al Mohler that “The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer for disciples to pray.”¹ I first started praying only the verse about temptation so I might personally fight sin each day (“And don’t let us [me] yield to temptation, but rescue us [me] from the evil one” Matt 6:13, NLT), but I’ve more recently expanded to praying the whole prayer. My mind simply moves in a healthier direction in the morning when I immediately focus on God, thank Him for His provisions, and seek His will. This step also opens the door to my praying to the Lord throughout the rest of the day.
Second, I read a daily “Verse of the Day” that shows up in my email inbox long before I awaken. I signed up for that email because I know my tendency is to dig into my inbox before I do anything else in the morning—and that’s not a good way to start the day. I still check my email, but I look first and foremost for that day’s verse. For example, here is today’s verse as I write this post:
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you” (Isa 46:4).
I don’t know what I will face today, but I’m reminded powerfully that God will be with me. And, because I will leave this verse in my inbox and read it each time I check my email today, I can work on memorizing it throughout the day without really trying. It’s just a good way for me to keep turning my heart back to the Lord.
I’m still learning every day how to walk with God, but this process at least helps me get started well each day. I pray it might help you, too.
¹R. Albert Mohler, The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down: The Lord’s Prayer as a Manifesto for Revolution (p. 20). HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Kindle Edition.
Posted on September 12, 2023
Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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