MY MORNING PRAYER
Some time ago, in a newspaper article about the Lord’s Prayer, I said that there are no magic words in praying. God knows our heart when we pray. But, that prayer teaches that there are important principles that should be covered in our praying. We pray in different ways at different times. The prayer Jesus taught His disciples was different from when He gave thanks before feeding the 5,000; which was different than the prayer He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. Below is a prayer that I have prepared to start my day with. I believe that it will prepare me for spiritual success throughout the day. These aren’t magic words. I won’t pray this prayer exactly the same way every day, but the principles are both biblical and essential for me to start my day off right. I have great expectations. I am posting this just in case it is helpful to you as well. (Scripture references are printed in full below the prayer – New International Version)
Holy and awesome Father, today I give you my life and all of the activities of this day (Romans 12:1). I choose to give priority to things that are eternal over things that are temporary (Matthew 6:21). With your Spirit’s help I will let the light of Jesus Christ shine through me and have a Christ-like influence on the people I live with, work with, do business with, play with, and associate with (Matthew 5:13-16). Today, with your help, I will love those you loved enough to die for with a Christ-like love; the people I might naturally dislike (Matthew 5:21-26); the people I might be tempted to have lustful thoughts about (Matthew 5:27-30); and even the people who try to hurt me (Matthew 5:38-48). I pray also that my wife’s and my marriage would be a beautiful reflection of the unselfish relationship between you and your church (Ephesians 5:22-33)
I know that as I commit to these things, and begin my day, I am entering a battleground. Help me be alert to the devil’s tricks (1 Peter 5:8). So many people around me today are blinded to truth and held captive in their sin (2 Corinthians 4:4). I want to win victories for your kingdom by helping captives be set free – so I dress for victory; wearing the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, feet fitted with the gospel of peace, and the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:10-18).
One thing I know for sure is that I have set an impossible goal for myself if I try to do this in my own strength. Open my eyes to the magnificence of the inheritance that is mine. It gives me such hope. I pray also that the eyes of my heart be opened to the limitless, resurrection power and strength that is available to me today, so that I can do your work (Ephesians 1:18-23). I need your character to be superimposed over my sinful, human nature so that I can love supernaturally, have the joy of heaven, and peace beyond understanding. Fill me with your supernatural patience, gentleness, kindness and goodness. Help me be faithful to my family, friends, employer, and most of all – you; and help me to be self-controlled in everything I do (Galatians 5:22-23). I want to accomplish your purposes for me today no matter what the cost (Luke 9:23). I know that ultimately that purpose is to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Thank you for every opportunity you will give me to be light and salt to the world around me today.
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:21-26 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ‘ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.
Matthew 5:27-30 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
Matthew 5:38-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1 Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Ephesians 1:18-23 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”