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Daily Devotional: Start Your Day with Prayer

Feel frazzled through-out the day? This devotion shares the benefits of beginning each morning with God.

By Gail Thorell Schilling, Concord, New Hampshire

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you. . . . Psalm 5:3 (NIV)

My dear friend Sonya gave me the idea: early-morning prayer. Her four children were older than mine, yet somehow she had already learned how to beat the rush and scoop out a quiet time before the children awoke.

At my house, where the children were two, four, five and eight when I became a single mom, stress began at daybreak—spilled cereal, pawing through the laundry basket for matching socks, rushing to school, squabbling—and became worse as the day roared on. After supper, homework, baths and bedtime stories, I felt too frazzled for prayer and often fell asleep with my shoes on.

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Sonya, on the other hand, rarely seemed stressed. Her tremendous faith, optimism and energy drew me to ask her about her prayer practice. She eagerly shared her daybreak routine and even gave me a devotional booklet to weave into my frayed prayer life.

Though Sonya began her day at 4:00 am, I lingered in bed until 5:00 am. Slowly, my quick talks with God evolved into more intimate conversations. I recognized God's calming presence in my daily routine and could relax just a bit more.

That was twenty-five years ago. These days, my mornings are cathedral-quiet, and though I could enjoy prayer time anytime I choose, I continue to cherish my morning prayer. I brew my coffee, sit in Mom's old rocker, thank God for so many blessings and let Him know what my friends and I need. I pray. I listen. I read the Bible. And I watch the sun rise, knowing that no matter what happens during the rest of the day, God and I are together. 

Heavenly Father, as the hymn says, "morning by morning, new mercies I see." I am grateful.