The blessing of morning prayer

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.

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3 Responses to The blessing of morning prayer

  1. Morning prayer and devotions are indeed a blessing in the Christian life. No pastor should start his day without them. We are often tempted to think our work loads are too heavy, and we have to forego prayer and devotions to get on with the day’s task. I always find though that if I take time for prayer I get much more accomplished.
    If you will permit a shameless plug here, a book that will greatly help pastors and laity alike, most especially the laity, with morning devotions and prayer has just come available to the English speaking world. “To Live with Christ” by Bo Giertz, co Translated by Rick Woods and I.
    It is by far, even if I am a little biased, the best devotional book I have ever seen. I have a post about it and a link on my blog. Bo Giertz taught me the importance of prayer.

  2. John H says:

    Bror: Thanks for this. You have just secured a sale!

  3. I certainly hope, and hope with certainty that you will enjoy this little volume.
    your brother in Christ,
    Bror

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