Are you a morning person or a night owl? I can’t figure out what I am. A lot of nights, I stay up too late writing, but if i get to bed at a decent hour, I wake up pretty perky and ready for the day. I guess I’m a morning person who stays up too late sometimes.
No matter if I’m bright-eyed or dragging in the morning, I’ve found that much of my morning routine is on auto-pilot. I bet yours is, too. We’ve been taking showers and applying make-up for decades, friends. We got this!
Instead of getting ready in a mindless fog, I’m trying to invite Jesus into my morning routine. Not only does it make better use of the time, it helps me start my day off strong mentally and spiritually. Just another way to live the pray-without-ceasing life.
Here are some ways to interact with God while you’re getting ready for the day. Some of these are from my experience and others are tips I’ve seen here and there. I hope you’ll share your ideas in the comments! (Hint. Hint.)
One of my best pray without ceasing tricks is to train my brain to associate things I see regularly with something or someone I want to pray about. I call them mental monuments. Think about the things you see and use each morning. How can you connect prayer to them?
- Coffee: I’m learning to love the whole morning coffee thing. I’ve always been a Diet Coke girl, but hot coffee with a hefty shot of cinnamon vanilla creamer is growing on me. I must be growing up. There are plenty of ways your morning pick-me-up can become morning prayer. Pray the Scripture etched on your favorite mug. Pray for the coffee lover who needs your prayers the most. As you pour your coffee, pray in thanksgiving that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5 NIV).
- Shower: Do you take long steamy showers or quick cold ones? I tend to get in and out pretty quickly so I can sleep longer. Shower time is probably one of the most automatic times of my day, so it’s a perfect time to focus on prayer. Pray for God to show you whose feet you can wash that day (see John 13:14). Ask God to give you clean hands and a pure heart (see Psalm 24:3-4) Come clean with God about any sin that’s tripping you up. That’s a big one for me. I don’t know…the shower just seems like a good place to get honest with God, to lay things bare, if you will.
- Getting Dressed: Now, I’ll be honest. This part of my morning routine is probably the hardest. Depending on my mood (and my weight), it’s either “Oh, the choices!” or “I have nothing to wear!” Getting dressed is an ideal time to “put on your armor” for the day (see Ephesians 6:10-18). It’s a perfect time to deliberately “clothe [yourself] with the Lord Jesus Christ” and ask for strength to live by the Spirit and not by the flesh (see Romans 13:13-14). It’s the right time to remember you’re one of “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved” and choose to “clothe [yourself] with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12 NIV).
- Finishing Touches: The older I get, the more finishing touches I need, and all those things happen in front of the mirror. My bathroom mirror has way more than my reflection on it. At any given time, you’ll find a name or two written on there in dry erase marker, usually someone for whom I committed to pray daily. Some days are harder than others. If I need to be reminded who I am in Christ, I look myself in the eye and declare what’s true by praying an “identity” prayer I wrote a while back and taped to my mirror. As I spritz on my signature fragrance, lyrics from Cheri Keaggy’s song, “Restored,” always come to mind. “So I’m practicing joy, choosing it daily, putting it on like a favorite cologne.”
- Shoes On and Out the Door: Whether you wear high heels or orthopedic insoles, slipping on shoes can remind you to pray some powerful prayers. You can ask God to help you keep in step with His spirit (see Galatians 5:25). You can ask Him to make your steps firm (see Psalm 37:23). You can ask Him to be a lamp for your feet and a light for your path (see Psalm 119:105).
Though I still have many a mindless moment in the mornings, I figure any extra morning minutes I spend in prayer will help my day start off stronger. It’s like having my best friend keep me company while I get ready for the day.
Lord, thank you for being with me and for me from morning ’til night.
What do you think? How do you invite Jesus into your morning routine?