Morning Prayer Matters: Easy Ways to Start Your Day

Here are 4 simple ways to start the day with God as a parent:

A prayer from childhood

Growing up a mile from our small-town Catholic school, we always had just enough time on the drive each morning for my mom to make us pray (ok, sometimes to a chorus of groans) her classic, quick morning prayer. Maybe your mom did, too.

Good morning, dear Jesus, this day is for you.
And I ask you to bless all I think, say, and do.

Sometimes the oldies-but-goodies are the best when it comes to faithful prayer routines. Many bleary-eyed mornings I still wake up with these words on my mind.

A prayer for school

Now that my family has started our own prayer practices, we still make time for prayer each morning on the drive to school. Our kids love being named and blessed in turn, and I love the reminder that the Holy Spirit will be with each of us today – children and parents – to watch over us and guide us.

Dear God: May wisdom, peace, and courage be with [name].
And may the Holy Spirit within [him/her],
guide [his/her] words, thoughts, and actions today.

Years ago I asked for “school ride” prayers here, and another mom shared these words. I copied the prayer on the back of the parent handbook for my son’s preschool. My husband scribbled it onto a sticky note for his car so he could learn it, too. Ever since that day, it’s become an anchor of our family’s morning routine.

Whenever I hear its familiar rhythms from the back seat, I love remembering the stranger who first shared her simple morning prayer. Her own practices have shaped our own, reminding me how the Body of Christ is connected in mysterious and life-giving ways.

A prayer for joy

Recently my co-worker and I were talking about habits of prayer, and she shared with me that every morning when she wakes up, she prays the words of Psalm 118:

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I love the idea of these words of joy being the first thoughts of the morning, so I’m starting to memorize them to pray when I first wake up, too, remembering the power of God’s Word to shape our own words each day.

A prayer for light

I once heard an amazing homily on the earliest words of the Book of Genesis. The priest asked us to invoke God’s first words in all of Scripture – let there be light – as our own prayer for each new morning.

So now I try to remember this petition as I start every day:

Let there be light. Let us be light for others today.

As a child I was fascinated by the story of creation. I loved its retelling at Easter Vigil, sitting in the dark pew with my tiny candle. Over and over on the drive to school, I made my dad tell me the story of God creating the world.

Praying these first words from Genesis when I start my day reminds me of the goodness of creation, even when life is dark around me. It reminds me of the first burst of Light and Love that gave life to all of us.

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7 Comments

  1. caramac54 on 12 February 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I love it!

  2. Nell @ Whole Parenting Family on 7 July 2015 at 6:16 am

    It’s a beautiful thing to have these at my disposal now!! Thank you, Laura. I especially love the “let there be light” one.

    • motheringspirit on 7 July 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Isn’t that beautiful? Brilliant priest – I have never forgotten it!

  3. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on 7 July 2015 at 6:58 am

    These are lovely, thank you for sharing them. I do the first one with my kids at the start of our homeschool day, but I think I will add the second one too. I know they would love to be individually named like that in prayer each morning.

    No one ever taught me to pray at all, so I love reading things like this. I usually prop myself up on elbows each morning and just sleepily say, “Thank you, Jesus” and then proceed with a rambling prayer while I stumble around and get my coffee. I will certainly start using your ideas too, and I’ll share this on my FB page 🙂

    • motheringspirit on 7 July 2015 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you so much, Amy! I’m delighted to hear that these will be useful for you. I always love to find new (and simple-to-remember) prayers to pray with my kiddos, too!

  4. ela on 8 July 2015 at 2:51 am

    Great ideas! I woke up all sleepy and grumpy today and I just needed a reminder that I should rejoyce so it’s my prayer for today. For me it’s now easier to pray in the morning than in the evening. Recently I have been starting my prayer with some Bible chapter. Honestly, I’m reading it mostly to catch up on the Bible stories, which have been mostly unfamiliar to me but each time I read something I’m amazed at the power of God and it realy helps me to focus on my prayers later.

    • motheringspirit on 9 July 2015 at 7:13 am

      Ela, I hear you – I often need to remember to choose joy in those first moments of waking! Isn’t it amazing how starting the day in the right place with God sets the whole rest of the day on a better track?

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