Prayer is the foundation of the one resolution we decided on for 2016: to seek God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness first. After reflecting on what seeking God’s kingdom means, I suggested we could begin by starting every day with “Good Morning, Lord.” Our focus verse this week comes from Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae. His advice to those long-ago Christians helps us give substance to a simple morning prayer.
- “Pray and keep praying.” Saying good morning to the Lord is an excellent way to begin the day, but our prayers shouldn’t stop there. If we’re serious about seeking God’s kingdom, we must keep praying throughout the day.
- “Be alert.” Every day is different. Being alert when we pray means going deeper than just a hello to God at breakfast, lunch, and supper. It means paying attention to the day’s details that help us seek God’s kingdom: a depressed colleague who needs a prayer and a moment of conversation; the harried waitress who needs a prayer and a smile; a sick neighbor, an ambulance driver, your own short temper in a traffic jam…
- “Be thankful.” Prayer is more than asking God for help and guidance. Prayer is also remembering what God has done for us in the past and is doing for us right now. As every day’s challenges are different, so are every day’s blessings. Some days I’m blessed with energy to work; other days I’m blessed with time to be still and reflect. Some days I’m blessed by being with family; other days I’m blessed by my cat curled in my lap…
To Seek First, Pray First
Starting each day with “Good Morning, Lord” is possible in almost every circumstance, as are short prayers throughout the day. But just as prayer is more than rote blessings at meals, it’s more than brief “arrow” prayers. Prayer is quality time spent with God, time spent listening as well as talking. Putting prayer first means making it a priority. Time of day doesn’t matter. If mornings are too rushed, evenings might be better. If you’re exhausted in the evening, find a break in the middle of the day. What matters is for prayer to become a part of the pattern of our lives. To seek God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness first, we must keep prayer first.