One problem I have when I want to cultivate a good habit is that I get super-excited and make things way too complicated. I draw up a spectacularly elaborate plan that is doomed to fail – I only say that last part BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS.
After all of these spectacular fails, I have (finally) been able to carve out a pretty sweet morning prayer routine. What this means in the real-real is that I (mostly) stick to this routine on a (mostly) regular basis. Except for weekends. That’s my next challenge. Maybe I’ll do a different prayer on the weekends… I’ll get back to you on that one. But case in point: It was a peaceful Saturday morning when I was thinking about writing this post about how great I am at my morning prayer routine and how I could offer y’all sage advice. Checking Pinterest and searching for some whimsical prints to illustrate my blog musings, I realized I had not yet said my morning prayers. 🤦🏻♀️
So, of course, I said them real quick so I could get back to what I really wanted to do: write this post. 😂
Okay, so I will definitely be coming up with a weekend morning prayer routine – I’ll keep ya’ posted on my progress.🕵🏻♀️
Depending on your season and station in life, you will need to cultivate a morning prayer routine that works for you.
You might be a stay-at-home-Mom with little ones underfoot and a foggy memory of what praying actually looks like🤔. Or you could a high-powered attorney who works early and stays late, who can barely make it through the Our Father without nodding off 😴. You may have four young kids and work outside the home🤯. Or perhaps you are retired, all the kids are adults, and you spend your days knitting beautiful crafts for your grandchildren and walking in your garden.🌸.
The point is that everyone’s prayer routine will look different – even if we fall into the same category – because everyone has different temperaments and different needs.
I am a high-school teacher who works like crazy during the school year 🤬 with a blessed respite in the summers😎. My husband and I are currently a “Waiting Family” for adoption – and so we are “child-free” for the moment. (Side Note: That’s the new way to say “child-less” which can be a tough term for those who are dealing with fertility issues and/or wanted children but never had them. But I digress). More on the adoption front in a future post.
As a teacher, I wake up earlier than the common horde and because my vanity requires at least an hour for hair and make up, I need prayers that are meaningful and short. Emphasis on short. But they have to be meaningful! I have tried some beautiful prayers, full of meaning for me… but I had to get my hair and face started or I’d be late for Homeroom.
If this sounds like you, try to find a meaningful, short prayer that you say between the time you wake up and before you get to work.
Here is my current routine which can help you get started. Take what you like and leave the rest.
💠Coffee: God’s Gift for Morning Prayer
Priorities! I truly find God in my coffee. Hot, Iced, Cold-Brew, Espresso – you name it, I love it. Just the scent of a coffee house fills my heart and stirs my soul. A well-meaning friend suggested I give up coffee for Lent one year… and I was like: Why would I give up God for Lent…?🙊
💠Find a short prayer you like. The Roman Catholic Tradition has an embarrassment of riches in terms of prayers. You need not even be Catholic to use a Catholic prayer. Or you can make up your own. For my work-a-day readers struggling to cultivate this habit, I strongly suggest the prayer be short. Short. Short. Short. ✅
💠Mostly: I say my morning prayers right after I watch a little morning news (Morning Joe) and eat my cereal (Special K Chocolate Almond) before I step in front of the mirror for hair and make-up.
💠Occasionally: I say my prayers on my walk to Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. Because I forgot to say them before hair and make-up. (And for those keeping count: Yes, for my iced coffee which is a completely different drink than my earlier hot coffee).
💠You know yourself best: Some of you will need to say the prayer upon waking, some will need coffee first, some will say it in the car or train on the to way to work… For those working in the home, you might say it while feeding the babes. In his book, Plan of Life: Habits to Help You Grow Closer to God, Roger J. Landry suggests that morning prayer can be done at any of these times. Some will do it upon rising, others after a cup of coffee and a shower. I rejoiced when he said that because I used to think morning prayer MUST BE SAID IMMEDIATELY UPON RISING. And I didn’t even have a chance to fail at that regimen because it never happened in the first place. You can find Landry’s book here.
💠Experiment! And see what sticks.
Here are the prayers I am currently using for my morning prayer (at least on weekdays).
💙The Morning Offering
It’s right there in the name! There are many versions and you can google it to find the right one for you. I use this traditional Catholic version. I have this visual saved on my phone because if something is pretty, I am more likely to use it.
Printable Prayers by Kendra Tierney. Can be found here.
💙Third Step & Seventh Step Prayers
Full disclosure – I belong to a couple 12 Step Groups. These two prayers currently resonate with me.
💙St Michael Prayer
I always shied away from this prayer in the past – too militant for me. And I didn’t like thinking about the devil or evil spirits because I felt like it set me up to be suspicious of others. But, like most things in my Catholic journey, St Michael showed up when I needed him most – when forces beyond my control were causing me serious anxiety. I was spinning out! Then I thought: Huh, maybe Saint Michael can fight this one for me… So I went on Pinterest to download an image of him for my phone. I like the ones that show him as strong and peaceful. At the same time, I came across St Joan of Arc in her battle regalia and downloaded that as well. I’m super visual so these images helped relieve some anxiety just by looking at them.
A few days later, I had an intense urge to read up on Saint Joan of Arc’s life story. That’s when I found out that one of the three voices she heard was Saint Michael (cue Twilight Zone music). Clearly, God was trying to send me some relief! I found the St Michael prayer and added it to my morning prayer routine. Today, far from turning me off, it offers me peace and protection. 🙏
Printable Prayers by Kendra Tierney. Can be found here.
Strong and Peaceful St Michael Image
St Joan of Arc, praying. In full battle gear.
What is your current morning prayer routine? What have you tried in the past that worked or didn’t work? What struggles are you currently facing? I would love to hear from you. Please comment in the section below.