A Morning Prayer
Lysa TerKeurst

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

It is very early in the morning. Not many people are stirring yet.

Though my body begs me just to roll over and go back to sleep, my soul is stirring to get up and go sit with Jesus.

Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present.

I decide to open my Bible to the Psalms and use the verses I read as prayers to start my day.

And the more I pray those verses out loud the less I hear all the nagging things of the world. A beautiful melody of truth starts to rise up and suddenly my worries fade in the light of God's truth.

His perspective on things that are troubling me starts to overshadow my anxiety. Like shade on a hot summer's day, I feel relief in His presence.

I know that He is preparing me for what I will need throughout this day. He is already standing in every minute of my day and He sees what I will face. So, He's equipping me to be able to handle what is ahead of me with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.

In Psalm 81:10b, God instructs me, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." He will give me what to say today. What to say in happy moments. What to say in aggravating moments. What to say in moments where I feel insecure and what to say when I feel completely confident. What to say in disappointing moments. What to say in response to questions.

He also reminds me that sometimes it is good to keep my mouth closed and say nothing at all.

All the words that rumble about in my brain and those that will proceed out of my mouth, Lord, You be the author of those.

Psalm 84:1 reminds me that God's dwelling place is lovely. So, I ask God to dwell in me richly. I want Him to be what radiates about me. I want Him to be my pretty today.

Not my hair. Not my outfit. Not my efforts. But simply Him and His spirit dancing invisibly about me... shifting a wrong attitude, guarding my words, and whispering constant truths into my heart.

Psalm 86:11 is what I ask the Lord to give me. "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart..."

Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the truth and not my feelings.

Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be.

Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity...rather than a personal inconvenience.

And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13a, "Great is your love toward me."

You already see all the many ways I will surely fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all.

Have mercy, that's amazing.

But what's most amazing is that the God of the Universe, the Savior of the world, would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this.

Dear Lord, I love You. All that I have read here is the desire of my heart. I know and confess that sometimes my actions and reactions betray my love for You. Please forgive me. Thank You for Your grace that is able to recognize this new day as a new chance to walk closer with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
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This “morning prayer” is taken from Lysa’s new book just released this month called, Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl. If you've ever wanted a book that will show you how to move into a closer relationship with God, this is the book you've been looking for. Order your copy today!

Application Steps:
Set aside time today to personally pray through the verses in Psalms listed in this devotion. Personalize them by inserting things personal to you. For example: Psalm 86:11 talks about having an undivided heart. List out those things that divide your heart and pull you away from the closeness you desire with Jesus. Spend some time confessing these and asking for wisdom to know how to better handle them.

What distracts me from spending time with Jesus?

Is it important to spend time with Jesus in the morning or is there another time I'm more alert and able to concentrate?

Power Verses:
Mark 1:35, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (NIV)

Luke 5:16, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (NIV)

© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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Blogger ~Me said...

Lisa, before I logged on this morning to read my daily devotion, I prayed for encouragement and God's presence throughout the day because I knew I had a difficult one ahead of me. Thank you so much for your words this morning - God put them there for me to read! He knew what I needed to read and hear this morning! God Bless!

Blogger Unknown said...

"I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all."

Blogger Marilyn Fox said...

I am so glad that I am not the only one who struggles with going back to sleep. Thank you for being so transparent. I loved this. It was exactly what I needed today. Lord, let me not consider this time a mere duty but an amazing,awesome privilege. Thank you.

Blogger glitterfaith said...

It is always great when we know that what ever we face, God is with us. Amen

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Morning,

This is what I’ve been looking for and it say’s all of the things I feel and know that's in my heart. This is my perfect Morning Prayer, thank you, thank you and thank you!

Blogger RobinSing said...

Lysa, this is my first venture into blogging. I wish I could find the words to tell you how your devotional spoke to my heart this morning. I'm sure the same is true for many others. Wish I could get this message into the heart of my prodigal, but I'll just have to leave that one to Jesus. Thanks so much for allowing the God of the universe to speak through you. By the way, I had just finished my morning-time in the book of Psalms when I opened my e-mail to your post; how cool is that?!?

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Wow , thanks for an awesome devotion..
Yes, I need the Lord to be author of my words especially towards my family!
Thanks for being tranparent about th sleep thing, I so struggle with that, especially with four boys under 6.

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thank you, Lysa, for this beautiful reminder of the Lord's words and time with use early shaping our day! I had just finished reading in Psalms and Matt. 6:24-34, as well. Only coming to Him can relieve my anxieties for the day. By the way, just received your book the other day, and am loving it!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I just read this in your book & it just jumped off the page into my heart. I want Him to be what radiates about me too & His spirit dancing invisibly around me. Oh how I want that more than anything. I fall sooooo short soooo often, but His sweet gentle spirit continues to lovingly convict me & encourage me that He is My Portion. He continues to teach me His way(Psalm 86:11) and is showing me areas where my heart is divided. I've found that when I can focus on praising Him & asking Him where it is in my life that I'm being ungrateful He always lovingly does. There is ALWAYS something I can Praise God about, regardless how I feel. I heard this in a sermon a few weeks ago that someone had prayed "Lord, you've given me so much this week to be thankful for, if I may be so bold to ask of you one more thing, Give me a Grateful Heart." I also read this on someone's blog this week & it really encouraged me, "Remember the shortest bridge between despair & hope is often, "THANK YOU JESUS!"
In His Perfect Love,
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to leave this scripture in my last post,

"Those who know your NAME will trust in you, for you LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."
PSALM 9:10

I'm praising Him today & He put a new song in my heart. I love Him! :~)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a perfect devotional for me today. I have been wrestling with commitment versus complacency and the Lord has been speaking to my heart that while I'm in this place I should be talking with Him more.

Thank you for this very timely devotion.

I am actually reading this at the end of the day, but God placed this on my heart this morning.

...and again this afternoon.

No more sleeping in.

Time with the Lord is better than anything else - so why do i get so lax when it comes to carving it out?

Thank you for this post. It's just what the Dr. ordered.

"...what to say when I feel completely confident" hit home. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional was exactly what I needed to read! I work full-time, take graduate school classes in the evenings, and help with sports teams. I usually have my time with GOD in the morning, but lately I have been hitting snooze several times in the morning. I have even been getting to work late. I'm just SO TIRED! I am unsure of how to rearrange my schedule, but please pray that GOD can show me how to handle all of my responsibilities with Him first!

Blogger Eagles Wings said...

Wow, I shared this devotion with some friends and here is what they said...one emailed me and said "Wow, thanks. I really needed to hear that message today. Thanks for thinking of me!" Another friend said "Thanks for sharing this! It was a much needed read ;)" another one said "I LOVED this one! Hope you have a blessed day!"

just thought I would share with you how God used your devotion yesterday...

Blogger Christine said...

I loved this. "I want Him to be my pretty today." What a great devotional today.

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