Do you ever become frustrated or discouraged when you pray? For many years I saved prayer time for the very end of my day--you know, those two to three minutes before dozing off while laying in bed.

Probably nine times out of 10 while I was silently saying prayers in my head, my mind wandered, I became sidetracked and in order to wrap things up quickly I blurted out some general requests like, “Please, Lord, help those in need,” and “Please protect my loved ones.”

In general, I think most people say their prayers at night. After a long day at work, commuting home, cooking dinner, perhaps going to the gym, we become exhausted. Those few minutes before bed are oftentimes the only taste of peace we get the entire day. And after all, many of us have been taught from a young age to “say our prayers before bedtime.”

There is nothing wrong with saying prayers before bedtime, but if we are not also praying BEFORE our day begins, we’re missing out on a world of hope and direction that the Holy Spirit has to offer us.

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“The Spirit makes up for our helplessness when we do not know what to pray for; unknown to us, he brings before God the prayer that perfectly matches God’s will for us,” NIV Zondervan Study Bible on Romans 8:26.

A few years ago I stumbled across the concept that people should set aside time in the morning, before they do anything else, to have quiet time and prayer with the Lord. I did NOT come up with this idea on my own. Many Christian authors, pastors, and scholars have written about it, but most importantly, the Bible often models this practice.

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The Psalmist references morning prayer many times. To note a few,

“In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3

“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147

“Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”Psalm 90:14

When I began putting morning prayer into practice, taking time to quietly sit and pray with the Lord before I did anything else, I felt like Dorothy when she stepped into the colorful land of Oz. Suddenly, my days had meaning and purpose.

Before I used to roll over, grab my phone, and scroll through social media for a few minutes before I sluggishly began the day, but now I was filled with a sense of hope and wonder. I finally realized that I should look ahead to each day and say to God, “Okay Lord, what amazing things are You going to do today? How can I better serve You and align myself with Your will?”

If you feel like your prayer life could use a jumpstart, try waking up a little earlier to begin your day with God. Trust me – you will not regret it. Your growing relationship with Him starts with these baby steps.