One thing I have discovered as I become more and more conscious of what is happening within and around me is that if a day doesn’t get off to a good start, it very rarely finishes as a good day. Once a day gets away from us, we tend to go into survival mode. And a day can get away from us in so many ways. In fact, a day will almost certainly go wrong unless we consciously take the time to focus it first thing each morning. How do your best days begin? Most people don’t know. They have a hunch, but they have simply never thought enough about it or experimented with it. As you begin to practice the habit of daily prayer, and if you begin each day with prayer, I think you will discover this changes the way you enter into and experience your daily life. This knowledge will further empower you to harness prayer to give real direction to your life at the beginning of each day. Begin your day with prayer, however brief. Even if that is not your main time of prayer each day, and even if it is not the time when you use the Prayer Process, begin your day with prayer. Over time you will become more aware of how praying (or not praying) impacts you, your life, your relationships, your work, your health, your decisions, and every aspect of every day. This growing awareness is ordinary and practical, and yet, it is one of the highest spiritual gifts. After a while, you will feel the difference when you don’t follow your regular prayer routine. You may feel less joyful, unfocused, stressed, less conscious of what is happening inside and around you, less capable of giving those you care about the love and attention they deserve, and disconnected from God. It will be as if you feel disconnected from yourself when you don’t start your days in the way that you know works best. People who have a strong habit of daily prayer know how their best days begin, and the more mature among them (in wisdom, not in age) will do almost anything to defend their morning routine. They would rather get up an hour early than forgo their morning prayer. They know that a day that doesn’t start well tends not to end well; it is simply too difficult to shift the momentum of a day. How do your best days begin? Try beginning your day with prayer, however brief, and observe how it impacts the rest of your day. Matthew Kelly
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