It is cold and dark in this house and I want to stay close to my wife in our warm bed. Morning prayer calls me. I slip out of bed and hurriedly pull on the robe she gave me 20 years ago that my kids make fun of. I used to watch them put it on and play either Luke Skywalker or the Emperor from Starwars. When it is cold, its difficult to leave those covers.
Downstairs I switch the coffee pot on and pull out my journal. I check the temperature, its 24 degrees outside, brrr. While the coffee brews I read from Psalms and a selection from the Old and New Testaments. Finally the coffee pot sputters that it is finished and I get my first cup of morning brew! I am grateful for the hot coffee.
With coffee in hand, I prayerfully journal my thanksgiving to the Lord, my mind is fully engaged now. There is so much to be thankful for. Our marriage, our children, our families, our friends and especially our church family. Today our son is safely on his way home from a year’s service in Iraq. All the “what ifs” are vanishing. As I write, I stop periodically and lift my hands in gratitude to the Lord.
I pray for Becky, daily. We are blessed beyond words and we know it. We are grateful and I am especially grateful that we share life together. Whatever ministry I have been fortunate to have, there is no question that we have served together. She is woman of beauty, deep joy and a deeper wisdom.
Next I pray for our children. I remember how Job interceded for his children, so I lift them up in prayer daily. Each day I specifically pray for one of them, but daily I lift all up them to the Lord. I am so grateful to be a Dad. I put photos of them in this journal , it’s a life story really. Prayers and Photos, mmm, that’s a subject for another day.
Next I pray for the church I pastor. It is wonderful to be a participating part of a body of believers. Each day, except for my day off, I pray for four families. It used to be three but this body of believers is growing. You know I’ve come to understand and know our congregants better as I pray for them. I get these cards weekly from our congregation with needs, hurts, hopes and dreams written upon them. Its still amazing to me that people trust you to pray with them.
I pray for our D.R.E.A.M. at Woodland Church. I pray for us to be sincere and effective in loving people as Christ loves them. Although while, I pray and write and drink more coffee. The pages are stories of prayer and answers to prayer, it truly is a book of faith and confession.
The economy in Detroit is suffering as most people, even outside of Detroit, understand. However it seems that a lot of people don’t understand and support this industry in our country. I’m sure prior to my moving here almost a decade ago, I would have felt the way that others feel. Yet, I have watched the battles between management and labor as they have sought to reduce costs and build an economical and environmentally friendlier automobile. You know what they are doing it. Peoples jobs matter to them. There is fear and anxiety in the air here. There a whole lot of people here and across the country that do not work for the “Big Three” but their businesses, their employees and our communities depend upon the prosperity of these companies. Therefore I pray for the industry, for wisdom for those who have to make decisions about bridge loans, product development and so forth. As I pray the peace of God descends into my soul. I’m going to need this gift for there are worried people that I will talk with today. You can share what you have, can’t you!
I hear the children getting up and heading for the showers. In a few minutes all of the peace and quiet is going to disappear. The furnace is kicked on and the house is warming up.
Finally I pray for a friend of mine who is a missionary. I travel the world in prayer as a pilgrim, by praying for the different nations. As I finish writing, Becky comes in and gives me a kiss, and she wants to know if there is any coffee left. Why does she have to ask that? She prepares breakfast and the kids sound like a herd of elephants coming down the stairs. “What’s for breakfast? Where’s the juice? We’ve got to hurry, Mom.” I am so grateful to be the Dad! I put that in the journal, again!
Whatever this day will hold, I have been with the one who holds the universe in the palm of his hand. I’m encouraged and truly ready for the day. And even if I’m not here they come to the breakfast table and life speeds up quickly.
One of my mentors, Dr. Milford Addison told me once, “You can’t live fast on the outside, if you live slow on the inside.” Morning prayer for me is slow, but it helps me to hit the ground running. See ya!