3 Morning Prayers, and Why I Commit to Pray Them

abiding joy ebook

 

UPDATE: (July 21, 2017) Because of the excellent response I’ve had on this post, I’ve decided to continue to write more prayers. Many of you are hungry to learn to pray. I recently launched a new eBook, Abiding Joy (30 Prayers from Joy Let Loose) that you can grab right here!

 


3 Morning Prayers and Why I Commit to Pray Them

Sometimes I need to be reminded to pray. As I start the morning, and move into all the day holds, it is easy to forget I’m not in it alone, that I don’t have to do it all by myself. So I wrote some morning prayers to help.

 It’s also easy to underestimate the possibility of participating fully in life on this earth, and finding the joy within it all. Because prayer is a lifeline, a direct line to the Author of the universe, and the One who is intimately acquainted with our hearts. These encounters with God remind us Who God is, and who He’s forming each of us to be. And morning prayers help us to head into the day, remembering that there is always more happening than what we can see, and it is a trust-fall into the sure arms of a strong God.

 

Prayer is a trust fall into the sure arms of a strong God. Click To Tweet

 

It is important to learn to pray – it doesn’t exactly come naturally. That Jesus taught His disciples to pray is a good indicator that it might be a learned thing. His model of prayer in Matthew 6 is an awesome springboard to learn some important elements of connecting with God. Studying and praying the prayers of others (ancient or modern) and planning or writing out our own words can help us to learn to pray with depth and richness, rather than just stumbling over repetitive clichés. And the more we practice our prayers, infusing them with the truth of Scripture, the more easily we will pray meaningful, spontaneous prayers as life events occur. So we won’t feel lost for words, wondering what to say, but instead we will find joy in the communication.

I’ve written three morning prayers that I plan to use each day, as part of my  Morning Joy Challenge. And there are several reasons I want to incorporate these into my life as I begin each day:

1) They are reminders of the three Persons of the Trinity, each with His own role in their union, and in my life. This will help me not to only focus my attention on one part of the Godhead, and will help to increase my perspective of God. 

2) They will help to weave Scriptural themes into my prayers.

3) They will build my confidence in God’s active involvement in my day to day life because He has placed His Spirit within me.

So, on our journey toward joy, I invite you to join me by incorporating these morning prayers into your routine. 

Continue reading “3 Morning Prayers, and Why I Commit to Pray Them”

Unexpected Joy: Thoughtful Surprises That Bring Joy

Sometimes joy is unexpected. I don’t know about your doorstep, but ours was host to a frenzy of brown packages throughout the month of December. Gifts came to us by way of the nice delivery man, always punctual, though laden with Christmas surprises, as we ordered things online and family sent goodies our way. Packages are exciting to me: I love to give and, if I’m honest, I love to receive them too. Gifts are especially meaningful when it is apparent the giver has spent time considering exactly who the recipient is; what they love, what brings them enjoyment, what makes them tick. Christmas morning is just so much fun!

Unexpected Joy


By January, the doorstep and mailbox had become understandably quiet – the massive gift giving season had ended. It was time to enjoy all that we had given and received. But lo and behold, last week two surprise packages arrived. Both were gifts for me. And both were from my awesome husband.  Continue reading “Unexpected Joy: Thoughtful Surprises That Bring Joy”

Seize the Moment (Be a Hummingbird)

A few weeks ago I initiated  The Morning Joy Challenge. I hope many of you have chosen to seize the moment, and have begun to experience a fresh perspective with the rise of the sun. (Please feel free to leave comments below about your journey with that!)  Just what does the dawn of the day hold for each of us? We need to begin well, of course, but we also need to move on into the day well if we are going to truly be joy journeying.

Frantic Pace

I’ll just come right out with a confession: Mornings aside, I’ve lived too much of my life at a frantic pace, in body and in mind. (Have you ever watched a hamster run around his cage? Across the back, into the tunnel, out of the tunnel, on the wheel, in the food dish, over his brother, back on the wheel…).

I’ve been a lot like him. I’ve been a hamster.

And living life at a frantic pace has not been good for my soul. It has not been beneficial to my marriage, or my kids, or my friendships, or my vocation. And let’s not even talk about my housekeeping. (Incidentally, I’ve discovered a correlation between the state of my mind and the state of my house. Sometimes it’s actually the clutter around me that suddenly notifies me of my pace. It pays to be observant of these things, my friends.)

 

 

But I love to work and to be productive and efficient and good at what I do. So is it wrong for me to stack up on responsibilities and move deftly through them all the time? Well, no. And yes. It comes down in part to motivation. Does my pace of life honestly reflect a joyous engagement with the Lord and the imprint I can leave on this world? If so – awesome! I should keep it up. This world needs energetic and passionate people tirelessly bringing His Kingdom to bear in homes, in the marketplace, and in neighborhoods. I believe God has placed within me a desire to do good things with excellence, and it’s important to lean into God-given wiring. Continue reading “Seize the Moment (Be a Hummingbird)”

Share Joy With Your Neighborhood: Be a Better Neighbor

Share JoyWe drove 26 hours to arrive at our new home. (That didn’t necessarily inspire me to share joy.) The twenty-six hours from Atlantic Canada to the Midwest were punctuated with traffic, laughter, phone calls about school enrollment, tears about leaving our sweet dog behind, pit stops, and the occasional complaint about broken air conditioning in August. It was trip to remember. The day we arrived with all of our belongings was the first day we actually saw our new home not on a screen. The close proximity of the adjacent houses made it clear we were going to get to make some new acquaintances, or even friends.

I wasn’t sure I wanted that.

My heart simultaneously mourned the loss of friends in our former town(s) and cowered within with a case of magnified introversion at the thought of the process of meeting another whole new community of people. Ministry and moving can take a toll. I reasoned to myself that this was merely a one-year lease, a stopping place on the way to our real new home. I was not thinking about how to share joy.

But within just a few hours of our arrival, we had already met folks on either side and across the street, learned about our neighborhood’s love of driveway parties, and received a plate of yummy cookies with water bottles to keep us going as we unloaded the truck. This resistant and displaced heart was soothed by welcome. That our neighbors would choose to walk the few feet it actually took to bridge the miles I felt between us spoke loudly to me.

You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.                                                    A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh  

I’ll be honest: sometimes I find it really hard to take those few steps. I often need a whole lot of mental prep to walk into new places with new people. Each person is different in that respect, and that’s part of my different. Sometimes I wonder why God calls introverts into ministry. It’s crazy to me how often it seems I’m thrust into life situations so challenging to that part of my nature.  Continue reading “Share Joy With Your Neighborhood: Be a Better Neighbor”

The Morning Joy Challenge: What Will You Choose?

The Morning Joy Challenge
Morning Joy Challenge
Morning Joy Challenge

The pink sun starts to draw itself above the black horizon as the familiar tones of my alarm clock ease me into wakefulness. By now, it has learned to be polite. It’s blurry, I’m pretty sure it’s too soon, but morning’s here nonetheless. A new day stretches out in front of me with a morning joy challenge in it. Even before I reach my toes to meet the rug, I have a choice to make about how I’ll enter the day: I can growl, I can bury my face for just. one. more. minute. Or I can choose differently.

I really want to CHOOSE JOY.

Let’s face it, mornings often arouse the bear in us. A litany of reasons to start the day under a cloud of tension and negativity often exist: a looming deadline, echoes of a previous day’s argument, nervousness about an upcoming appointment, the realization that it is time to begin the tired routine of dragging children out of bed…again. We often don’t begin our days with the perspective we wish we did. But the reality is that our mornings set the tone for the entire day. 

So, is morning joy simply a decision we can make? Maybe. But most of us need a few reminders and a little help in order to discover it.  I wonder just what might happen in the long run if more of us set our sights on pursuing true, and abiding joy.  Continue reading “The Morning Joy Challenge: What Will You Choose?”