When I was a young, sleep-deprived mother, rudely awakened to the early hours of the morning by a baby, I learned that the key to survival was preparation at a time when I was not sleep-deprived. I developed the habit of laying out my son’s clothes and nappy the night before so that I was ready to start the day with some semblance of organisation. It meant I wasn’t looking for items with bleary eyes and foggy brain, and became a routine that really helped me.
I love the Message version of the opening verses of Psalm 5:
“Listen, God! Please pay attention! Can You make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King God, I need Your help. Every morning, You’ll hear me at it again! Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on Your altar and watch for the fire to descend.” (Ps 5:1-3, The Message)
For me, morning prayer is the only way to start the day. To be sure, there are days when it seems more like ramblings than coherent prayer, but God hears and understands the cries of our hearts. Each morning I lay out the pieces of my life, like clothes on the chair at the foot of my son’s bed, and ask for God’s holy fire to descend, so that everything I do may be surrendered to Him and in receipt of His blessing and help.
It’s a practice I heartily recommend.