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.

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Your Comments (7)

I have been getting the guidepost magazine for 23 yrs. Sometimes I read from to back in one dY.a few yrs ago I starting daily guidepost. Reading it was the first thing I did when I got up.now my favorite Guidepost publication is daily emails from them. I read them on my smartphone even before I get out of bed. This has helped more spiritually more than anything I receive from Guidepost. Please keep it coming.

i need pray guideline in the morning ok


Hello, my heart goes out and identifies with your bipolar, my sone suffers, along with my husband. It has taught me through the years to try to be proactive, instead of reactive. I have not really found anyone that is a Christian who suffers. I would love to keep a open dialog with you and pray.
Thank you,

Thank you Susan for your compassion.Yes, I too have never known anyone who is practicing the faith and has bipolar except for my dear Dad.I have watched my mother care for him since they married over fifty years ago.Though he had a successful career as a police officer and a good retirement position,his constant need for therapy,medication and long periods of recuperation was an enormous financial burden for them.
So when I started showing the symptoms as a young adult,I repressed for many years in the misguided assumption that I was doing them both a favor by trying to deny and gloss over my mood disorder.
I pray without ceasing for them and for myself and now I can pray for your family in the hopes that science and faith can combine to offer the individualized cures for this condition that can ravage lives and dash hopes and dreams.

I too raised four children in Nashua NH in the nineties. I prayed without ceasing it seemed and gave all my children a foundation in the Catholic faith.My father taught me the importance of quiet time daily with God and my mother taught me devotion to the Catholic faith. Though I have continued these practices into my late fifties and my family has received all the blessings and benefits of God's daily miracles in their lives, I still have problems with my bipolar disorder interfering with my ability to accomplish personal and professional goals. I have had several healing attempts but the illness continues to cycle every seven years. Every time I claim complete healing from the Lord, he shows me that there is still the mountain of suffering called depression that seems to follow in the heels of heightened awareness.I am certain that God in his infinite wisdom has a purpose for choosing that I remain debilitated by bi-polar;but I still have faith that my daily spiritual practice will reveal to me a way that I can help myself and others with this emotional disorder.

Please continue to trust God for your healing and don't accept a negative diagnosis. God wants you to prosper and be in good health.
God bless,