In 1895, J.R. Miller (1840-1912), author of numerous devotional writings, published a short but sweet encouragement to begin the day with prayer, titled For a Busy Day: A Morning Prayer for a Busy or Troubled Week-Day.
He reminds us of the need to begin each day with prayer, especially week-days, which are sometimes a spiritual letdown, as when Christians may be facing the trials of a work-day, or a particular burden, without the sweet fellowship of the saints that one experiences on the Sabbath. It was Martin Luther to whom is often attributed the famous saying, "I have so much to do today that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." (This writer has written elsewhere about the origin of that quote.) When we have much to do, our need to commence with prayer is greater, not less.
Using Psalm 143 as the basis for his guide, Miller outlines six principles of such a morning prayer:
- Seek to hear God's voice first;
- Seek God's guidance to know the way wherein to walk;
- Seek to be kept from evil;
- Seek to be taught to do God's will;
- Seek God as the giver of life; and
- Seek God for deliverance from trouble.
It is in the same chapter in which our Lord Jesus taught his disciples to pray using the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6) that he adds: "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Every day we have need to pray, and to seek grace and help from above, especially on the hard days.
Is this a hard day for you, dear reader? Might it become so unexpectedly? We hope not, but if so, this little book may be a helpful encouragement to you to begin your day with prayer unto Him who "is able to exceeding[ly] abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20).