Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8 ESV)
How do you jump-start your day? Is it with a cup of coffee? Personally, I prefer a Coke. I suppose it is not the healthiest of nutritional habits, but for many caffeine is the preferred means of physically jump-starting the day. For others it may be jogging or some other form of exercise. Human beings, however, are both flesh and spirit. There is a spiritual side to man that must be nourished for each new day as well. I believe it is the more important of the two.
The prophet Jeremiah speaks eloquently of the potential mercies of God awaiting us each day: “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23) Martin Luther recognized the potential of prayer for each new day, when he said, “I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.” E. M. Bounds tells us, “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees.” Henry Ward Beecher writes, “In the morning, prayer is the key that opens to us the treasures of God’s mercies and blessings …”
The Puritans had a wonderful sense of the gift of each new day and they relied upon God for the spiritual mercies to make it fruitful. Below is a prayer that exemplifies this attitude from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett:
Compassionate Lord, Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge, ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know Thee as Thou art, love Thee supremely, serve Thee wholly, admire Thee fully. Through grace let my will respond to Thee, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Thy free love alone enables me to serve Thee. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Thy choicest gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd, lead, guide, tend me this day; without Thy restraining rod I err and stray. Hedge up my path lest I wander into unwholesome pleasure, and drink its poisonous streams; direct my feet that I be not entangled in Satan’s secret snares, nor fall into his hidden traps. Defend me from assailing foes, from evil circumstances, from myself. My adversaries are part and parcel of my nature; they cling to me as my very skin; I cannot escape their contact. In my rising up and sitting down they barnacle me; they entice with constant baits; my enemy is within the citadel. Come with almighty power and cast him out, pierce him to death, and abolish in me every particle of carnal life this day.
I have noticed that when my prayer life decreases, chaos seems to increase. The power of prayer has a tremendous effect on one’s life. Do not allow what you have to do on a given day to overshadow your time in prayer. Prayer is the best way to jump-start your day.