In the morning, while it was still very dark, [Jesus] got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35 NRSV)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly [. . .] and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. (Col 3:16 NRSV)
NOTE: As we embark on a 28-Day Dynamite Prayer Adventure, starting May 1, I want to share with you a thought on prayer. Hence, this month’s newsletter article highlights prayer as part of my regular routine. This is from my September 15, 2019, Facebook post titled Weekly Word-Picture. In reading this, I pray it will help ignite and/or enrich your prayer life.
The picture below is of a painting I bought from the talented wife of a Lutheran pastor during my pastoral ministry in St. Joseph. I bought the painting because I felt it accurately depicted how I often look and feel at the start of a new day . . . if not in body, certainly in mind and spirit. (After all, it’s been a long time since I’ve had that much hair on my head and that small amount of hair on my chin!)
I suspect that I’m not alone in often looking and feeling this way on waking up from a good, long sleep – at least until after drinking that first, precious, piping-hot cup of coffee (or in my case, tea!). However, throughout the years, I’ve discovered that even a whole pot of hot tea just isn’t enough to revive my still-sleepy and often-weary body, mind, and spirit. I needed something far more substantial. And I found it in what I call my 3-Peat Routine.
My 3-Peat Routine consists of starting my day (with tea in hand) practicing the 3 P’s: Prayer, Psalm and Praise. That is, I spend time in prayer, reading a Psalm and offering praise to God – a routine I repeat daily (thus, the 3-Peat). I use the above scripture verses as my foundation for my daily routine.
First, if it was important for Jesus to get up and get away to pray, it should be important to me. Second, I believe there is no better way to shake off the waking fog of sleep than to put the Word of God deep in my heart and let loose, singing (or for me, reciting) a Psalm and praising God – if for no other reason, for the precious gift of another new day!
So, if you’re like me and you look a lot like the guy in the painting when first waking up,
I encourage you to try the 3-Peat Routine of Prayer, Psalm, and Praise – or come up with a spiritual discipline practice of prayer, Psalm, and praise that works for you. Regardless, it’s important you establish a daily routine, by spending valuable time with God as Jesus did to prepare your body, mind, and spirit for the daily grind you’ll have to endure and the spiritual warfare you’ll soon wage once you’ve finished your cup of caffeine. Just a thought …