I have a habit, each and every day, of waking up and reading my Bible. I try to make it the first part of each day, but, at times, I do not always beat the children in waking up, and so if I cannot read in the peace and quiet before everyone wakes up, I do so at the church before it gets busy. I then come to the Church and I fall on my face. Well, fall is a bit of Hyperbole, but I bow down before God on my face each and every day.
I pray through the model prayer (what we call the Lord’s prayer); I begin in submission to God, declaring His name to be Holy and Mighty. I pray for His Kingdom and Will to come, and that He may use me as a vessel for His will, and then I pray for what I need for the day, and say “If all I have is Jesus, then that is enough.” I ask for the forgiveness of my sins, those I’ve done willingly, those things I’ve willingly not done, what I did unknowingly, and what I did in my heart. I ask, also, to forgive those who have hurt me, and pray that if I have any unforgiveness, God would point it out to me, so I may forgive. I then pray to be led away from temptation (Oh, Lord, how I am tempted), and pray to be protected and delivered from Satan. After this, I pray for my first ministry, that I may love my wife as Christ loved the Church and that I may lead my family, and my sons in to Christ as I follow Christ. In praying for my family, I also make my personal requests known to God. . Finally, I pray for the Church, the Elders and their families, as they lead the Church, for the Deacons and their families, as they serve the Church, and then for the congregation I serve as a whole, some people by name, but each and every person, servant and otherwise, who is there, and I usually do this while walking throughout the entire church building.
I’m not trying to show how great I am (in fact, I believe the opposite), but I want to tell you that since I have begun doing this, I am seeing God work in mighty and powerful ways. I feel as if I am submitting to Him, and have peace in many areas of my life (there are some stubborn holdouts, but I am confident in Him). I feel connected to the Holy Spirit, and I am content in my circumstances, because I turn them all over to Him. And, though this takes some time, I find that when I make time to be with the Lord in this way, my whole day makes sense. So I want to ask you: how do you start your day? How much time do you make for the Lord? If you set aside the time for study and prayer, it can change your life completely. I know it has for mine.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust and say, “Return, O children of man!” For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.
For we are brought to an end by your anger; by your wrath we are dismayed. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants! Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, and for as many years as we have seen evil. Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!