I believe the way you begin your day significantly impacts how the day will go. It cannot be overemphasized how much your first choices each day impact how the rest of it plays out. Our first thoughts and actions will decide how we treat our spouse, our family, our friends, and our co-workers. They will determine whether we will put God first, and they will dictate whether we honor God by taking care of our own well-being.
As people who aspire to live their lives wholly devoted to Christ, this means beginning each day talking with Him. We need our marching orders and to attune our hearts to His. No one begins a long journey without first consulting a map or their GPS. We need direction, and our roadmap is found in Jesus Christ.
As soon as we open our eyes, we should thank God for keeping us safe through the night and express our love for Him. Every day we wake is a new opportunity to bring glory to Him. You may love your life, or you may hate it, but all Christ-followers have this in common: we exist to bring Him praise and glory, and to further His mission on earth. Every day we have work to do on His behalf. Since we owe Him everything, it is our duty. Since He loves us in the most incomprehensible way, it is our joy. Why would we want to begin our day thinking of anyone or anything other than the all-loving, all-powerful, all-good God of the Universe?
A practice I find helpful is to next walk through my day in my mind. Try praying through every appointment, conversation, and interaction you will have and ask for His guidance, blessing, and wisdom in each one. Again, why would we set off into the unknown without first consulting a guide to show us where to go? I follow this up with praying for the unreached and persecuted. After this I work my way through a prayer journal I’ve kept for several years, praising Him for answered prayers and advocating on behalf of myself and others for those prayers which remain unresolved. After praying, I engage in reading a devotional and then my Bible. Finally, I generally end listening and praying along with the “Pray the Word” podcast. At this point, my mind is properly aligned for the day and I am ready to begin.
Some of my morning practices are new, and some I’ve engaged in for years. Some are done with incredible consistency, and others are habits I’m still forming. What I’ve learned through this journey is how much the way you begin your day matters. I’m not perfect. There are days when the alarm finds me unwilling to get out of bed. But I will tell you my attitude and my ability to deal with whatever the day will bring improves dramatically when I begin my day focused on God and others. When you begin your day with a God and others first mentality, you will be less stressed about your own problems and refreshed by the Holy Spirit. Don’t let the circumstances of your life dictate how you begin your day. Determine to begin each one in God’s presence. I promise you the difference it will make will be noticeable and beyond all your expectations.