Morning prayers never made sense to me. Evening prayers, I get: reflect on your day, be grateful for the goodness it brought, repent for the things you did wrong, and bless the people who crossed your path. But morning prayers? Doesn’t the prayer from the evening carry over? It’s not like your life has changed much between going to bed and waking up. In general, your life is still the same and it’s unlikely you committed grievous sins in your sleep. What is there to pray about in the morning? “Please bless this day,” feels empty and passive.
So I stopped worrying about morning prayers. I did evening prayers, and they’re pretty much the same. “Dear Heavenly Father, Ditto to what I said last night.”
Like everyone, I have a busy life. It is often interrupted by the distraction of the Internet. And children. And day dreaming. On one such day, where my to-do list was long and the Internet was enticing, there was a 10-15 minute task that I kept meaning to do, but kept putting off.
I needed just 10 minutes. And I needed to be accountable to someone else other than myself.
So I stopped and I knelt down. I prostrated myself in my bedroom towards the door and decided I’d do a prayer. A dedicatory prayer.
“Heavenly Parents. I have a lot to do. And I have one thing in particular that I need to do. By the power of faith I hold, I dedicate the next 10 minutes to You and to finishing this. Amen.”
Dedicating those minutes made them sacred. And I was “on the clock” responsible to God and the universe.
I’ve found these dedicatory prayers helpful. I’ll dedicate time to avoiding distractions or impulses (biting my nails). I’ll dedicate time to working on projects. The minutes set aside are precious and far more productive than if I was tackling them on my own.
I still don’t have morning prayer, but instead many many small dedicatory prayers. Praying for a whole day is too much, too easily ignored and forgotten. But the next 5 minutes, I can dedicate that.