There is no denying that the best way to have a good day is by starting your day with Jesus!
To some of us, this flows naturally, but to most of us, we need to make an effort to have mornings with Jesus. Like every other relationship in life, our connection with our Heavenly Father needs to be nurtured, but how?
Whether you are in the season of babies and toddlers, have a very demanding job, or find yourself struggling with health problems, starting your day with Jesus will help you keep a positive mindset no matter what comes!
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Mornings with Jesus
There are many who would argue that they are night owls and their best time to connect with God is before bed. That’s great!
If you cannot focus in the morning and have a good evening routine with Jesus, then do it! The point is to make an effort no matter what time of day it is.
BUT some of us need to start our day connecting with God in order to set a positive foundation for all the craziness we know is going to come.
My ideal setting is curled up in my favorite corner of the couch with a fuzzy blanket and my hands wrapped around a mug of hot coffee, but mornings with Jesus look different for everyone.
I’d like to give you a few ideas to get you started in your own routines and help you find your own special way of connecting with God at the beginning of the day.
Mornings with Jesus Scripture
There is no denying that we are bombarded with negative throughout our day. Sin, difficult people, anxiety, stress from work and home life, selfish spouses, and financial troubles are just a few of the obstacles that meet us when we awake.
It is easy to be overcome by them. David had a good idea when he said:
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 entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8-9)
Rest in God’s love BEFORE the obstacles of the day grab your attention. Make a point to entrust your life to God and hand Him all of the obstacles you know are coming.
For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
No matter what yesterday brought, today is new and God is here to help you through it. When I was in the midst of deep grief after losing my beautiful 8-year-old daughter, I remember being surprised that life went on.
The sun still rose in a beautiful display of color every morning out my east-facing window. I felt as if it shouldn’t. My life was shattered, how could the sun still shine?
Praise God it does! Life goes on and no matter what you are going through, God is walking beside you to help you through it.
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)
Starting Your Day with Jesus
For most people, starting their day in prayer is how they connect with the Father.
But that isn't the only way! There are actually many different ways to connect with God first thing in the morning.
- In prayer
- In nature
- With physical activity
- With worship music
- With gratitude
You can pray before you even get out of bed. But don't stop there!
As you are going about your morning routine, turn on the worship music! Or, even better, do your morning workout with a high-energy worship playlist!
To be honest, doing a combination of them can actually have a more profound impact on keeping your day focused in a positive direction.
Start Your Day with Jesus in Prayer
Paul instructs us to “pray without ceasing” and starting your day with Jesus in prayer is definitely the first thought to spring to mind.
Whether you are still snuggled in bed or curled up in your favorite recliner with a cup of hot tea, there is no better way to start your day.
I can be a scatterbrained prayer, I confess. Urgently praying about something dear to my heart one minute and thinking about my grocery list the next. If this is you, don’t be discouraged. Focus takes practice.
As you read your mornings with Jesus devotional, you can pray over each verse you are reading.
Journaling your prayers is another way to start your day with prayer.
This is helpful because it keeps a sort of record of what is on your heart and you can look back months or years from now and see how God was working in those prayers. It is also a great way to help you focus while praying.
What I have found extremely helpful in my prayer life is to begin my morning prayer with “I surrender this day to you”.
I then list any of my concerns or fears of what the day may hold and surrender them individually. This brings me a great deal of peace.
Start Your Day with Jesus in Nature
I feel blessed to live in the country especially at sunrise. The east side of our house faces a large hay field and the sun pops up over the horizon flaunting the beautiful oranges, reds, and pinks that take my breath away.
Even during difficult times the hope of a new day, the blessing of living another day, will fill your heart with gratitude and thanksgiving.
You can start your day with Jesus in any nature you have. Is there a nearby park you enjoy walking through? Perhaps you have a flower garden or a bench strategically set beside a flowering shrub?
Nature is an expression of God. You will find Him in His creation.
David was connecting with God through nature when he penned Psalm 19:1.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
And again in Psalm 147.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (verses 3 and 4)
Isn’t that a beautiful thought? The creator of the heavens and earth heals your broken heart. The same God that created the sun and the stars, the depths of the ocean, and the rugged mountains cares for you.
If you have a chance to get out in nature and watch the birds and squirrels hunt for their breakfast, observe the glorious fall colors, or pick flowers growing in an empty field, you will find that God will meet you there.
Start Your Day with Jesus with Physical Activity
I think many of us believe that mornings with Jesus means sitting still while praying and reading scripture, but God is all around us and wants to be a part of all of our activities and day-to-day experiences.
There is nothing wrong with meeting God during your morning workout. Honestly, when you are nourishing both your physical body and your spirit at the same time, you will find yourself ready to face the day no matter what it brings!
There are several ways to go about this:
- Listen to praise music while working out. The music helps me focus on God, praise Him, and trust Him to help me through all the trials that are sure to come my way.
- Listen to an audio Bible. Whether the treadmill is your jam, lifting weights, or you are a cyclist, bring scripture along with you.
- Commentaries are deep, but you will reap their wisdom. Some of the greatest soul winners from years gone by have wonderful commentaries and many of them are on audio now. Matthew Henry, Charles Spurgeon, and Oswald Chambers are among my favorites.
Start Your Day with Jesus with Worship Music
Worship music is a great way to start your day. You don’t need to be in church to have your own worship service and in today’s day of iTunes and digital downloads, you can take that music with you anywhere.
I do want to emphasize that even if you don’t normally care for the slower expressions of praise, they do play an important part in your connection with God. We all need to slow down and focus. Focus on who God really is.
God is all-powerful and holds all of creation in His hands. He holds all knowledge and wisdom. He is sovereign and righteous.
If we want to connect with God, we need to acknowledge these attributes and meet Him in a spirit of awe and reverence. Worship music will help you do this.
Youtube and Pandora have great playlists (if you don’t mind commercials). If you want ideas, Kari Jobe, Don Moen, Chris Tomlin, and Passion are great places to start.
Start Your Day with Jesus with Gratitude
Paul instructs us in 1 Thessalonians “give thanks in all circumstances”. This short verse can change your life when you follow it. The most important concept of this verses is “all circumstances”.
Paul doesn’t want us to only be thankful when things are going well. He wants us to be thankful even in the difficult times. He wants us to reach out to Him and praise Him for His goodness and provision even when we have to make an effort to see the good in our lives.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
When we begin our day praising God for the good things He is doing, our attitude is positive and it is easier to face the obstacles of the day. When we begin our day thanking God we are forced to recognize all of the little things He does for us every day. It fills our hearts with joy and helps us anticipate Him working in our lives.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
A cheerful heart is a result of gratitude and this small action will not only help you connect with God, but benefit your day in many other ways.
Journaling, gratitude prompts, or simply spending a minute or two listing all the things you are thankful for are great ways to connect with God and start your day on the right foot.
Spending time with God every morning is such an important part of growing stronger in your faith.
But it is also an important part of ensuring your mind and heart are fully prepared to battle the enemy when you head out for your day.
Hopefully, you can incorporate some of the ideas I've shared to make mornings with God a regular part of your daily routine!
Are you already in the habit of any of these ideas? Which one would you like to add to your morning routine? We would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.