By Sheila Walsh

I don’t trust hotel wake-up calls. Whether you will actually receive one when you ask seems to depend on the state of mind of the person entering your request. If he’s just broken up with his girlfriend, for example, and her name happens to be Sheila, I’m either getting a call in the middle of the night or none at all. So I set my own alarm on my phone. I actually set two. The first is when it would be good to get up, and the second is when I’d jolly well better get up.

I’m just not a morning person, so I like to ease into a day slowly.

I used to crawl out of bed, check that our son was up and in the shower, turn on the television to the morning news, and make myself a cup of coffee.

It’s not a bad way to start the day, but I’ve found a much better way.

I realized that if the first thing I pay attention to is what’s happening in our world, those images and words impact my view of the rest of the day. But if the Word of God is the first thing I give my heart and mind to, I see everything as under the control of my all-good, all-powerful, and all-loving heavenly Father. It’s hardly surprising that this new start to my day has had a huge impact on my life.

The moment I awake, I say Psalm 143:8 (NIV) to myself—or, if Barry is already awake, I say it out loud. I repeat the verse several times. It’s become a great way to start a day:

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

My love will fall and fail, but God’s love never will.

for I have placed my trust in you.
The psalmist is very intentional here: trusting God is an act of the will.

Show me the way I should go,
I pray, “Show me, Father, which way I should go today.”

for to you I entrust my life.
I say, “My life is Yours, Lord, and I trust You with everything.”

Then I pray these simple words:

“Good morning, Lord! I don’t know where You are going today, but wherever You’re going, I’m comin’ with You!”

A good way to start the day every single day is to declare the Word of God and thank Him for it.

What does the Bible say about beginning your morning with prayer and with the Lord? Read these key scriptures.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8 NIV

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. – Psalm 30:5

It is good to proclaim your unfailing love in the morning, your faithfulness in the evening. – Psalm 92:2

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. – Mark 1:35 NIV