One of the most significant habits I've developed in my life has been morning prayer and scripture reading. To me it has become like food. I don't know how I would survive without it. The habit of prayer and scripture meditation helps me start my day focused on God. It prepares my mind and heart to face the circumstances and challenges of each day. It allows me to put my life in proper perspective, trusting in God.
Over the years I've done a number of different types of prayer and reading. The one I would like to share here I found a few years back called Morning Prayer Affirmations. It has been adapted from a book entitled "Handbook to prayer: Praying scripture back to God". It takes about 20 minutes to pray through this meditation. If you are looking for a way to connect with God each morning, this is a great place to start.
1. SUBMITTING TO GOD
•Because of all You have done for me, I present my body to You as a living sacrifice for this day. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, affirming that Your will for me is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1–2)
2. ADORATION AND THANKSGIVING
•Offer a brief word of praise to God for one or more of His attributes (e.g., love and compassion, grace, mercy, holiness, goodness, omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, truthfulness, unchanging character, eternality) and/or works (e.g., creation, care, redemption, loving purposes, second coming).
•Thank Him for the good things in your life.
•Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. (Psalm 139:23–24)
4. MY IDENTITY IN CHRIST
•“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
•I have forgiveness from the penalty of sin because Christ died for me. (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3)
•I have freedom from the power of sin because I died with Christ. (Colossians 2:11; 1 Peter 2:24)
•I have fulfillment for this day because Christ lives in me. (Philippians 1:20–21)
•By faith, I will allow Christ to manifest His life through me. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
5. FILLING OF THE SPIRIT
•Ask the Spirit to control and fill you for this day.
•I want to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) When I walk by the Spirit, I will not carry out the desire of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16) If I live by the Spirit, I will also walk by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
6. FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
•Pray on the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)
•“Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4–7)
7. PURPOSE OF MY LIFE
•I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind, and I want to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:37, 39) My purpose is to love God completely, love self correctly, and love others compassionately.
•I will seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness. (Matthew 6:33)
•I have been called to follow Christ and to be a fisher of men. (Matthew 4:19)
•I will be a witness to those who do not know Him and participate in the Great Commission to go and make disciples. (Matthew 28:19–20; Acts 1:8)
•I want to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit, and so prove to be Christ’s disciple. (John 15:8)
8. CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DAY
•I will trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge Him, and He will make my paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)
•“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28; also see 8:29) I acknowledge that You are in control of all things in my life, and that You have my best interests at heart. Because of this I will trust and obey You today.
•Review and commit the events of this day into the hands of God.
9. PEOPLE IN NEED
• Pray for people you know who are in need. (1 Thess. 5:25)
• Ask God to show you those who don't know his love and salvation. Pray that they may hear the good news of Christ and have responsive hearts. (Colossians 4:2-4)
• I am an ambassador for Christ, given the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21) Ask God for guidance, wisdom and love in representing Christ to those around you.
10. PROTECTION IN THE WARFARE
Against the World: Renew
•I will set my mind on the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)
•Since I have been raised up with Christ, I will keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. I will set my mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. (Colossians 3:1–2; also see 3:3–4 and Hebrews 12:1–2)
•I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus. Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, I will let my mind dwell on these things. (Philippians 4:6–8; also see 4:9)
Against the Flesh: Reckon
•I know that my old self was crucified with Christ, so that I am no longer a slave to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin. I will reckon myself as dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. I will not present the members of my body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but I will present myself to God as one alive from the dead, and my members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:6–7, 11, 13)
Against the Devil: Resist
•As I submit myself to God and resist the devil, he will flee from me. (James 4:7)
•I will be of sober spirit and on the alert. My adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But I will resist him, firm in my faith. (1 Peter 5:8–9)
•I will take up the full armor of God, that I may be able to resist and stand firm. I put on the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness; I put on my feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; and I take up the shield of faith with which I will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. I take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition I will pray at all times in the Spirit and be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13–18)
11. THE COMING OF CHRIST AND MY FUTURE WITH HIM
•Your kingdom come, Your will be done. (Matthew 6:10)
•You have said, “I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Revelation 22:20)
•I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to me. (Romans 8:18)
•I will not lose heart, but though my outer man is decaying, yet my inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for me an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while I look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)
•My citizenship is in heaven, from which also I eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)