Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Reflection: Outward-Focused Rhythms
By John Tillman
Morning routines are important and are shaped by the culture surrounding us. Londoners take, on average, 90 minutes to go from waking to walking out the door, while in Shanghai, the average person spends only 9 minutes grooming in the morning.
How we spend our first 59 waking minutes affects the rest of our day. Whether we start with a shower, or a workout, or reading, or a snooze button, the way we start our morning is important.
Our culture desires to maximize this time in monetizable ways. We often look to design habits that make our lives more productive and therefore profitable, but we don’t often design habits that make life more meaningful and therefore more satisfying. One of the reasons we may find our morning routines unfulfilling is that they typically center on ourselves.
Instead of focusing mostly on activities that are forms of self-investment, practicing daily rhythms that are rooted in Christ can take us beyond ourselves.
One way to open ourselves up is by praying for those few may be praying for—the unlovable, the unnoticed, the hurting, the hated. We lean into the love of Christ to supply ourselves with love for the unlovable and the hated. We draw up living water from the well of Christ, to pass on in Jesus’ name, to the hurting. We take hold of Christ’s light of truth, directing its caring spotlight on the unnoticed.
Jesus promised his followers a “rich and satisfying life.” This life only comes, however, to the sheep who learn the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd. The abundant joy and fulfillment Jesus provides transcends the good days and bad days of life, by helping us transcend our fixation with ourselves.
The psalmists are also focused on being satisfied in God. Psalm 90, a psalm of Moses, pleads with God to “satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love.”
Spiritual rhythms don’t have to be practiced in the morning to be effective. (In fact, we recommend integrating spiritual practices throughout your day.) But spiritual practices flourish when connected to actions that go beyond ourselves.
Scripture reading, prayer, and reflection on the character and nature of God each morning is time well invested. Especially when the actions growing from our faith flow outward, into our community.
Prayer: Refrain for the Morning Lessons
My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody. — Psalm 57:7
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Deuteronomy 7 (Listen – 4:13)
Psalm 90 (Listen – 2:03)
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Read more about Thoughts and Prayers
The kind of prayer that Paul engages in is fruitful in creating action—good desires and the deeds that follow.
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The results of true prayer are tangible actions on our part, empowered by God to make a difference in our world.