Daily Bread October 02

Waking, I Begin to Pray
Esther Steward of Des Moines, IA, USA

Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.  Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. -James 5:13-16

Waking up too early from a restless night’s sleep.
Bouts of nervousness and uncertainty creep in.
Lying still in the thick predawn darkness.
Feeling vulnerable, scared, and alone.
The chores and responsibilities of the day fill my head and weigh heavy on my mind.
Each breath is taken slowly, deeply, and deliberately.
Every minute seems like an hour.
My anxious thoughts and worries run away with me for a moment.
Then, waking up a little more, I begin to pray…

I thank God for God’s love, mercy, grace, and generosity!
I pray for the presence and assistance of the Holy Spirit.
I pray for hope and joy.
I pray for guidance, clarity, and answers.
I pray for patience.
I pray to discern, listen, and do God’s will.
I pray to serve and minister to others with passion and compassion.
I pray for love and peace.
I pray to know, be, and do all God desires and calls me to, as a disciple of Christ.
I pray to be God’s eyes, hands, feet, heart, and voice in a world in need.
I pray to be a blessing to others.
I pray for friends, family, and for those I do not know.
I pray to be calm, and to be given the strength and courage, for today’s tasks.

Suddenly, God’s blessed assurance floods my body and fills my heart.
It’s a beautiful day the Lord has made, and I ask God to please let me rejoice and be glad in it.
I smile, realizing once again that God’s Spirit is always with me; I am never alone.
And, I smile in this remembered awareness.
Through God’s mercy and grace I am worthy, and of worth.
I breathe in God’s love and peace, and exhale my negative self-talk and doubts.
I am now ready to face my day!

Kicking off my blankets with newfound enthusiasm and energy, I quickly get out of bed-
It’s time to smile, greet the dawn of this new day, and receive God’s light and many blessings!

And, as I start the day, I think to myself, “God is good all the time; all the time God is good!” Praise God!

Prayer Phrase

“For everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Spiritual Practice

Seasons of Life

The Christian calendar takes us through many kinds of seasons: religious seasons, seasons in nature, and seasons of the soul. Depending on where you live on this beautiful planet, you may be experiencing the heart of autumn or the hope of spring. A season is a time of transition, reminding us that life occurs in cycles, both inwardly and outwardly. Contemplate what season you find yourself in right now. Maybe you feel called to notice the signs of the shifting earth around you, or perhaps you are drawn to the condition of your soul as you discern what season of life is inviting your attention. How are you formed through all the seasons of life?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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