I’m currently reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s little book The Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible. I hope to post some of Bonhoeffer’s thoughts on the psalms at some point, but in the meantime the book’s final section (really an appendix or afterword), “The Blessing of Morning Prayer”, stirred my heart and conscience and seemed a good follow-up to yesterday’s post on morning prayer in the Small Catechism:
The Blessing of Morning Prayer
From the unity it has attained the whole day takes its order and discipline. This unity must be sought and found in morning prayer and will prove itself in work. Prayer in the early morning is crucial for the whole day. Wasted time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, feebleness and lethargy at work, disorder and indiscipline in our thoughts and in our intercourse with other people – these more often than not have their cause in the neglect of morning prayer.
The ordering and arrangement of our time will be more positive when it is the outcome of prayer. Temptations which the working day brings with it will be conquered if there has been a real encounter with God. Decisions demanded by our work will come more easily and readily when they are made not in the fear of men but simply before the face of God. “And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23). Even mechanical tasks will be carried out with greater patience, when they are recognised as tasks laid on us by God. Increased energy for work will be ours when we have asked God to give us today the strength our work requires.