Pray First

16 Jun

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”  ~ Martin Luther

We are often overwhelmed with the tasks waiting for us in our days.  The more that are added, the higher the stress level.  When we have so much to do, we have different ways of meeting our obligations.  Some are list makers.  They will prioritize everything that needs to be done and then begin checking off the list one at a time.  Some just jump into the fray and do things as they meet them.  Still others freeze up in anxiety.  Most, I would posit, forget the important first step:  prayer.

Prayer is an essential part of our lives.  It strengthens our relationship with God and gives us inner peace.  That inner peace is important in helping us to face the demands of our days and our lives.  Without prayer, we are often off center.  That is why we are encouraged not only to pray each day but to begin each day in prayer.  For it is in beginning the day in prayer that we can find the wherewithal we need to face the day.

That is one of the reasons that I truly enjoy morning Mass.  Mass is a great prayer.  When I come over to the church at the beginning of the day and set up for Mass, I have the opportunity to look at the day ahead of me and make plans.  As I celebrate Mass, I am nourished by the Lord.  That prayer helps to calm me and center me.  There are times that I may have gone into Mass agitated, angry, distressed, or a whole host of other emotions.  By the end of the Mass, I was put together again.

Prayer does wonderful things for us.  Prayer is so essential.  Yet prayer is often the first thing cut from someone’s schedule as they look at how busy their day is going to be.  They wonder what they can cut to give themselves some extra time and they often cut prayer.  That is not the best thing to do.  In fact, it could be the worst thing.

Do yourself a favor.  Pray first.  Then let the day unfold.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure to begin your day with prayer.