From the moment we wake up in the morning, a lot of things can fill our mind, call our name, and demand our attention. But one thing is sure: time spent first with God, focusing our hearts and minds on what matters most in this life, is time never wasted. And it's always worth more than we can fully see. Rich treasures of strength, wisdom, and peace, filling our hearts and lives await us.
Yet many times the reality is that our day begins, and we find ourselves still burdened down with the same problems and worries from yesterday. Spirits heavy, thoughts swirling, before our feet even touch the ground.
There’s so much in this life we can feel anxious about, even when we know God’s truth and believe that He’s in control. It can still be a daily battle in our hearts, in our minds.
Today is a gift straight from His hand. And He promises to bring good in whatever we journey through. He’s the very reason we can live with joy right in the battles and have peace that is unexplainable to the world.
As sure as the sun comes up every morning, we can know that God's mercy and grace always surround, He is never far away, but always close.
I’m resting there this morning, on this new day, hope you are too.
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Prayer for Your Quiet Time to Help Focus Your Thoughts on God:
Thank you for another day and thank you for your Presence with me. I know you have great purpose in this very day, and I’m so grateful that your plans are good. I give you praise for your compassion and love. I thank you that your mercies are new every morning and your faithfulness is greater than I could ever imagine.
I pray that you’d give me a heart to seek you above all else. Right now, would you please enlighten the eyes of my heart that I might see you and understand your Word. Help me to notice how you’re powerfully at work within me, help me to hear your voice above all the other chatter of this world.
Give me wisdom from your truths, fill me with a desire to faithfully follow after you, more than any other thing. Thank you that you are far greater than whatever I may face in the day. Thank you that your presence goes with me, and that your joy is never dependent on circumstances, but it is my true and lasting strength. I ask for your peace to lead me and for your grace and goodness to cover my life this day. Let your Spirit and power breathe in me and through me again, fresh and new.
And even though I woke up with the same troubles I had yesterday, I know there is great power in my choices. So today, dear God, once again, I choose to listen for your voice above everything else. Forgive me for not trusting you enough. Forgive me for spinning my wheels and trying to work everything out all on my own. Help me to truly let go of what you have asked me to release to you and to believe that you’re at work in ways I can’t fully see. Help me in my unbelief.
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"I love you and I need you today."
I know that you are all-powerful, that you are Sovereign, and that nothing is too difficult for you. Yet today, I still struggle with worry and fear, still carrying the same burdens leftover from yesterday. It’s hard to shake it off even though I’m desperate to leave it fully in your hands. Please lift all the things that are weighing me down, right off shoulders and heavy heart, and give me the peace that only you can provide. I know that you care for whatever concerns me, and your ears are open to my prayers. I know that you understand my struggles, and you see right where I am, even on the days I feel that no one notices. Guard my heart and mind in you today, as I meditate on your words and truth.
I choose to find my joy and strength in you today. I choose to walk in love. I choose to set my eyes on you and off all the struggles and chaos of this world. I choose your peace over worry. I choose kindness over hurry. I choose forgiveness over disunity and resentments. I choose your Spirit-filled power over relying on my own strength and ability. I know that my life is far from perfect, and the enemy would want nothing more than to take me straight down before I even get out the door. But I believe in your truth, and I have Jesus in my life, and because of that, I have all that I need to live free and abundantly for this very day.
Lord, open my eyes to see the power in your Word. Open my ears to know what you are saying. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and draw me close into your Presence. Speak to me and show me your ways, oh Lord. Help me to know your voice above all else.
I love you and I need you today. Thank you for your huge grace.
In Jesus’ Name,
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12 Verses to Start Your Day:
“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
“God is within her, she will not fail. God will help her at break of day.” Psalm 46:5
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies Oh lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God, may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 143:8-10
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"...you will find rest for your souls."
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
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"...You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23:6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
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"...the one who is in you is greater..."
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes…Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the world of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6: 10-11, 14-18
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome then, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
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"Give it to God."
All those things that have been pressing on your mind and heart since before you opened your eyes this morning? Give it to God and press on with your day, strong and confident that He's got it.
He will help lead your way.
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's Facebook page, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also on Twitter and at her blog www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
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Originally published Wednesday, 19 December 2018.