I am a firm believer that how you start your day has a great deal to do with how your day will go.
When you wake up do you roll-over and scream into your pillow, “Good God, its morning!” as you anticipate the trials and tribulations of the day?
Or do you wake up with a smile saying to yourself, “Good God, its morning!” as you anticipate the joys of the day God has for you?
I’ll be the first to admit that for much of my life, especially those years spent in the corporate world, I was waking up screaming into my pillow.
Then I discovered that if spent a few minutes in prayer before my feet hit the floor my day got off to a better start. The number of days when I woke up screaming into my pillow as I greeted the dawn began to decrease.
When I was in seminary a professor taught me how to take my morning prayer ritual to new heights in a way that set up my day to be the best it could be.
Creating a Powerful Start to Your Day
Dr. John Coe, Director of the Department of Spiritual Formation at Biola University, taught us what he calls the Prayer of Intentions. The Prayer of Intentions takes only a few minutes, but I guarantee when done every morning it will set you up for a great day:
- Prayer of Presenting Oneself as a Sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2): the spiritual discipline of daily presenting oneself to God as a living sacrifice, open to Him and His will in all things.
Prayer of Intention: “Lord, I am here, I present myself and my will to you as my act of worship. Here I am.”
- Prayer of Recollection (Phil. 3:7-9): the spiritual discipline of reminding the self of its true identity in Christ (full pardon, full acceptance) and “Christ in me” (that I am not alone).
Prayer of Intention: “God, whatever I do today, I want to do this in you. I don’t want to do this alone, in my own power or as a way to hide and cover. I don’t want to find my identity in anything but Christ. I am in Christ, I am the beloved, and that is my true identity.” (Confess any idolatry)
- Prayer of Honesty (Ps. 15:1-2, Ps. 139:23-24): the spiritual discipline whereby we open to God and ourselves in what is truly going on in our heart in order for truth-telling to take place in our relationships and life in general.
Prayer of Intention: “Lord, what is going on in my heart right now with You, with others, with my life, my situations? Search me, O God, and know my heart. Open my heart to you today in truth, lest I deceive myself.” (Confess any idolatry)
- Prayer of Discernment (Eccles. 7:13-14, Phil. 2:12-13): the spiritual discipline whereby we learn to watch what the Spirit is doing in us and not merely our work, to “consider the work of God,” what His will is in all things versus ours or the devil’s so that we can better cooperate with the Spirit. Here we seek wisdom on how to respond to His work that is ongoing within us.
Prayer of Intention: “Lord, what are you doing and what is it that you want me to become and do if I am to do your will?”
Establish Your Daily Routine
I guarantee you will begin your days feeling blessed and joyful if you will spend a few minutes saying Good Morning to God before your feet hit the floor.
So tomorrow when you wake up, spend a few minutes to pray through each of the four Prayers of Intention.
Do it every morning for the next 30 days, until it becomes part of your routine. If you do, I bet you’ll stop waking up screaming into your pillow.
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. Do you have a morning prayer routine? How does it impact how you feel throughout the day?
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Category: Personal Development | Character