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Words of Grace – Morning Prayer

The clear-sky moon shown through my widow this morning bright enough for me to find my slippers by its light. Today will be a sunny day. But, for years I have greeted the morning with a dark cloud hanging over my head and heavy in my heart.

Some unpleasant things in life can be avoided. But we can’t avoid the morning- it is relentless in its reappearance. Sleeping late is not an option when responsibilities ring loud like an alarm clock. Coffee helps cut through the sleepy fog, but it doesn’t chase away the cloud.

Several years ago, out of desperation, not discipline or delight, I began to make friends with the morning time. It started when a Friend met me for morning prayer.

Each night I lie down and sleep, and each morning I awake, for the Lord sustains me (Psalm 3:5). I have come to see morning as a kind of resurrection when, by the power of God, I wake up to newness.

I rise early in the morning with Jesus, while it is still dark. We go to an alone place and there we pray…together (Mark 1:35). I have become increasingly aware that I join Jesus, and he joins me, in the early morning hour before the heavenly Father.

Morning by morning the Lord awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught (Isaiah 50:4). The Bible is always with me in the mornings. The Spirit speaks through the word he has inspired.

The Lord lets me hear in the morning of his steadfast love, and I trust in him. He makes me know the way I should go because I lift up my soul to him (Psalm 143:8). The word of God gives me the assurance of his love and light for my path.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is his faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). As one prone to introspection and the sense that I am never doing enough, it is the steadfast love of God that I need as a steady diet to start my day.

Every morning the Lord hears my voice as I offer up my prayers to him (Psalm 5:3). Sometimes I brood instead of pray. But when the Lord opens my heart and mouth and the prayer starts to flow, it is a gift. I often bring many of you into these prayers and the room gets crowded with Jesus and us.

In the morning I sing aloud of the Lord’s steadfast love and I thank him for being my safety and strength (Psalm 59:16-17). Ok, I don’t sing aloud. If I sing at all it’s a whisper. My wife is in the house.

And then, with Jesus and the knowledge of his love, I get up and go on to the next thing. This is what the Lord has called me to do (Mark 1:38).

These verses and this routine have become a regular part of my life. Morning prayer is not a magic pill for my morning blues. Rather, my morning emotions and daily needs have become like ushers that take me by the hand to the place of prayer with Jesus.

This morning I am praying for you. See you Sunday.

-Scott

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