Morning Prayer Matters: 4 Easy Ways To Start Your Day

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2014 037Now that we’re settling into fall’s routines, are you ready to think about the place of prayer in your busy back-to-school schedule?

Here are four simple ways to start the day with God.

1) A prayer from childhood:

Growing up a mile from our small-town Catholic school, we always had just enough time on the drive each morning for my mom to make us pray (ok, sometimes to a chorus of groans) her classic, quick morning prayer. Maybe your mom did, too.

Good morning, dear Jesus, this day is for you. And I ask you to bless all I think, say, and do.

Sometimes the oldies-but-goodies are the best when it comes to faithful prayer routines. Many bleary-eyed mornings I still wake up with these words on my mind.

2) A prayer for school:

Now that my family has started our own prayer practices, we still make time for prayer each morning on the drive to school. Our kids love being named and blessed in turn, and I love the reminder that the Holy Spirit will be with each of us today – children and parents – to watch over us and guide us.

Dear God: May wisdom, peace, and courage be with [name]. And may the Holy Spirit within [him/her], guide [his/her] words, thoughts, and actions today.

Years ago I asked for “school ride” prayers on Faith & Family Live, and another mom shared these words. I copied the prayer on the back of the parent handbook for my son’s first school. My husband scribbled it onto a sticky note for his car so he could learn it, too. Ever since, it’s become an anchor of our family’s morning routine.

When I hear its familiar rhythms from the back seat, I love remembering the stranger who first shared her simple morning prayer. Her own practices have shaped our own, reminding me how the Body of Christ is connected in mysterious and life-giving ways.

3) A prayer for joy:

Recently my boss and I were talking about habits of prayer, and she shared with me that every morning when she wakes up, she prays the words of Psalm 118:

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I love the idea of these words of joy being the first thoughts of the morning, so I’m starting to remember them when I first wake up, too. A witness to the power of God’s Word to shape our own.

4) A prayer for light:

Years ago I heard an amazing homily on the earliest words of the Book of Genesis. The priest asked us to invoke God’s first words in all of Scripture – let there be light – as our own prayer for each new morning. So now I try to remember this petition as I start every day:

Let there be light. Let us be light for others today.

As a child I was fascinated by the story of creation. I loved its retelling at Easter Vigil, sitting in the dark pew with my tiny candle. Over and over on the drive to school, I made my dad tell me the story of God creating the world.

Praying these first words from Genesis when I start my day reminds me of the goodness of creation, even when life is dark around me. And it reminds me of the first burst of Light and Love that gave life to all of us.

What is your morning prayer routine – with others or by yourself? Who taught you how to start your day with God?

Copyright 2014 Laura Kelly Fanucci

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8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this wonderful lesson. We get so busy sometimes that we forget to begin our day with the One who made our new day – acknowledge Him each morning, praise Him all day, and thank Him at the end of the day.

  2. Thank you for these ideas! We have gotten much better at prayers at night with our family but in the hustle and bustle of the morning we don’t often take the time to pause and pray together before the day starts. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing such simple, yet powerful ideas!

  3. Every morning my husband and I try to remember to say, “Thank you, God, for another day of married life together.” If we forget too many mornings in a row, then we start asking the Holy Spirit the night before, to remind us in the morning. Sometimes, we also say this prayer as we drop dead together in the bed after a long/fun/busy day.
    I used to work in a big city and many times the morning traffic report included a fatality on someone’s commute to work. How many spouses kiss each other good bye in the morning, “have a nice day, dear, see you tonight” and then something tragic happens.
    Also, some friends of ours had a marriage that went on the rocks. We were shocked. We thought, “if it could happen to them, it could happen to us.” We vowed, then and there, to pray every day together and ask God to protect our marriage from corruption or stain. We thank God for another day of living, another day of living together, of being married, married to each other, both still alive to go forth and proclaim the Good News.

  4. When I took our kids to school, we would pray, “O Father of Goodness, we thank you, each one, for happiness, healthiness, friendship and fun. For good things we think of, and good things we do, and all that is beautiful, loving and true.”

    “We thank you, Father, for the night and for the precious morning light. For rest, and food, and loving care, and all that make the day so fair. Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good. In all we do, in all we say, to grow more living every day.”

    I don’t know where I found these prayers.

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