I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word. I long for the Lord more than sentries long for the dawn, yes, more than sentries long for the dawn…
Psalm 130:5-6 NLT
What is your first thought, when you wake up? I go into day having offered my first thoughts to God. I have a very simple sequence of three prayers committed to memory.
Someone asked me recently about the difference between formal and informal prayer. It is often a matter of personal preference. Although caricatured as an anarchist, I like boundaries. I love the regular prayer rhythms that measure my routine in the Oratory. Prayer repetition means many are committed to memory, so I can more easily live below the head noise that distracts me from the focus of my prayer life. In my experience, spontaneity demands a lot of creative energy, drawing me away from simply abiding in Christ.
Having prepared the Oratory for the day ahead, organised my wife’s packed lunch, fed the dog, each activity accompanied by a quietly voiced prayer, I arrive at breakfast, where we end our night-time fast. Often, we feel hungry. I take that feeling of hunger and ask myself, how hungry am I for God today? This can sound contrived, yet how else can I guarantee that I’ll remember, amid the busyness of starting the day, that my primary focus is to love God and my neighbour?
My longing is not as intense as I imagine that of sentries longing for the dawn to be. Directing my desire for breakfast to considering God reminds me that my pilgrimage through this day is primarily in the service of God. Without it, I crash into my day consumed with my own needs, and forget I accompany Jesus throughout my day.
Contrast your own appetite for certain food with your appetite to hang out with God. There’s no judgement here. Guilt will distract you and is a useful tool of God’s enemy. Brush such guilt aside and nurture your appetite for God, and feed your soul with Christ even as you feed your body with breakfast.
Are you hungry for God’s presence each morning?
Thank you for each new day, and may I start each morning afresh with you.