A lot of us teach our children bedtime prayers, or we make a habit of praying before meals. But for me, because I have been given the grace to believe in God, I believe that each day is a new opportunity to get to know him and to love him more intimately. This realization, though, is nothing if I do not act upon it. So I make a habit of praying every morning.
Prayer starts with a humble awareness: that we are nothing without God’s love and grace. We should begin every day with this attitude of humble thanksgiving after rising from a long night of sleep. I’ve been praying the same prayer for a long time now – longer than some of you have been alive – but, like with prayers that are habits, sometimes I don’t think about it. I wrote this as a reflection to remind myself just why I pray what I do.
I sing as I rise today
I call on my Creator’s might
The prayer begins with joy and thanksgiving, as all prayer should: “I sing as I rise today.” Yes, to rise to a new day is something worthy of joyful thanks! It is a recognition that God has made this day for me. It is he who caused me to rise; he who has given me another day to get to know him more clearly, to love him more dearly, and to humbly serve him more truly, as I continue my earthly journey toward his heavenly kingdom. This is why I sing as I rise this morning, and why I humbly call on my Creator’s might to guide me and to protect me through the challenges of this day.
The Will of God to be my way
This is my recognition that it is the will of God that is the source of all that is good and true and beautiful in this world – and especially in my own life. God’s will birthed all of creation, including this very day. I pray that throughout this day I will be conscious of the will of God in every moment, that I might have the insight and the courage to choose all of my actions in accordance with his will.
The eyes of God to be my sight
Every day, I want to become more able to see the world through God’s eyes. I wish to see not only the natural beauties of God’s creation, but I pray that I may begin to see the face of Jesus in the faces of all the people I meet in my day as the Father seems them through his eyes. I need God’s eyes to be more compassionate, more forgiving, in the manner that Jesus called us to when he said, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).
The Word of God to be my speech
This part of my little prayer is twofold: before I have spoken a word to anyone else, my first words are to God in praise and petition. I pray that my own speech toward myself and toward others will be full of the grace of Jesus, that I speak with kindness and mercy, that I will cause no harm by speaking rashly toward or about others, that my words be a source of faith, hope and love for others…
The hands of God to be my stay
In this petition I am asking God to guide me in his way, that he enlighten my conscience and strengthen my courage to always do the right thing, to choose the right actions and words in all my dealings during this day.
The shield of God to be my strength
Paul instructs us to “put on the full armor of God” (Eph. 6:11); I want to be armed and defended daily by God, and so I ask particularly that he give me the “shield of faith, with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Eph. 6:16). I know that I am weak, that I need his shield of faith to strengthen and to protect me during the course of every day.
The Path of God to be my way
At the end of this simple morning prayer, I confess and remind myself that the path of God is the only way for me to find the joy that my heart yearns for every day. It is in faith alone that I recognize that his way is the way that my eternal soul was made for, therefore, it is the way that I seek to follow throughout this new day.
This little prayer helps me recognize each new day as both a gift and a holy challenge. I admit my need for God and my desire to honor him in each moment, in each act and each word over the course of this day he has given me. If you’re looking for a prayer to have every morning, I’m glad to share it with you. The full prayer takes a few seconds, but it helps me start every morning right.
SKM: below-content placeholder
I sing as I rise today!
I call on my Creator’s might;
the will of God to be my guide,
the eyes of God to be my sight,
the Word of God to be my speech,
the hands of God to be my stay,
the shield of God to be my strength,
the path of God to be my way.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.