Prayer At The Beginning Of An New Day
A Grateful Sunday Prayer for New Beginnings
At the beginning of time, God ordained that there would be six days for working, and one for rest. This rest is called the Sabbath, or a time to be still. Relationship with the Father is not just for the Sabbath, but for every day. This relationship is strengthened by prayer.
Prayer is the vehicle by which we can come before the Lord to be in His presence and hear His voice. Although church services are typically one day a week, prayer should be constant—just as our relationship with God should be.
A Prayer for Your Sunday:
Thank You for this Sunday. Lord, we come before you first and foremost with hearts of gratitude. You have seen us through another week, and we stand at the threshold of a fresh week, full of new beginnings.
Lord, help us start this bright embarking with You. Stir in us a deep desire to come into further relationship with You.
Remind us that it is not solely by going to Sunday service that we worship and come before You; rather, it is through the daily communion with You through relationship and prayer.Highlight to us how we may be obedient to Your call and heart. Embrace us with Your love, oh Lord, for we desperately desire to know You and to feel Your love around us. Give us a hunger for Your Word and truth, oh Lord. Help us begin our week this day in preparation through contemplation and connection with You.
In Jesus name, Amen.
Preparing for the Week
Just as we make calendars and to-do lists to plan for our weeks, we must prepare for our weeks spiritually as well. This is not merely a once a week job, but dedicating Sunday or a Sabbath day to the Lord for preparation will produce great fruit.
We can bring this about through time in prayer, time in the Word of God, and time in His presence. Listening for His voice and being ready to receive His peace will bless our relationship with Him.
Come to the Father with a grateful heart ready to receive His Spirit today. Know your relationship with Him is not confined to the walls of a church building; it stretches as far as the east is from the west. It is His delight to know you.
Verses for Your Sunday:
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
“Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” (John 14:23)
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)
Rest in Him this day, soak in His presence and peace to the full. Know He loves you, He is for you, and He is ever wanting to reveal His heart to you.
We are creatures made for relationship, and we were designed in every way to know our Creator. Just as He was with Adam and Eve in the garden, so He longs to reveal His heart to all His creation. May your Sunday be blessed beyond words within His arms.
Cally Logan is a writer and teacher from Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Regent University. Currently, she is a writer for Dear Sparrows Ministry site, and the Podcast, “Dear Sparrows.
” In her free time, she enjoys leading a high school girls’ small group, cooking, and spending time in tree houses.
Her latest books, Dear Young Sparrow andUnveiled are available everywhere or at DearSparrows.com.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/nathan-dumlao
The Personal Prayer at the Heart of the High Holy Days
Just before the start of the musaf (“additional”) service in Ashkenazi synagogues on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the prayer leader chants a personal entreaty begging God to be merciful to His people, gathered at this season in repentance of their sins. The prayer is known by its opening words hineni he’ani mimaas, “Here am I, poor in deeds. . . .” In all of halakhic literature there seems to be only one reference to it, by Rabbi Ephraim Zalman Margolis of Galicia (1762–1828), who wrote:
It is our custom that before the kaddish [marking the transition to musaf], the prayer leader recites in a whisper the prayer composed and written in holiday prayer books [and beginning] hineni he’ani mimaas.
Some have the custom of saying other prayers as he asks and pleads that his words be accepted. . . . He should take care to recite it with tremendous concentration, from the depths of his heart and with abundant tears.
Some hereabouts have been accustomed to raise their voices occasionally in the midst of this prayer to stir the hearts of the people sitting in stillness until he finishes his prayer.
In any event he should not take too long over it lest he inconvenience the public with too lengthy an interval between the [preceding parts of the service and musaf] . . . After whispering the [concluding] verses . . . he should begin singing the kaddish in its particular melody.
The novelist S.Y. Agnon also mentions this prayer in his collection of High Holy Day customs, Days of Awe:
Approaching the ark [of the Torah], [the leader] does not start [musaf] immediately but pauses a little and bestirs himself to concentrate and then voices the prayer leader’s plea in fear and trembling before saying the kaddish and praying musaf with his body stooped. . . .
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I am indebted to an article by Michael Rigler that traces this prayer’s inclusion in various collections of liturgical poetry as far back as a 1560 edition compiled by Rabbi Naftali Hertz or his sons in Thiengen, Germany. But there the trail goes cold.
Nobody knows who wrote the prayer or why, and aside from these two transcriptions of the manner in which it was recited we have no definitive way of situating it in place and time or any other clue as to how it came to be lodged in the liturgy at so crucial juncture in the service.
For this much is clear: if you were searching for the ideal point at which to exert the greatest pressure on a congregation to bend their hearts toward repentance and focus their minds in concentrated prayer, you could not possibly pick a better time.In sports terms, this is the equivalent of the final innings of the final test match—except that there’s been no warm-up, no time to get your bench in order before all of a sudden you’re playing for keeps.
With only few prior bursts from the ram’s horn to scare you into paying attention, repentance time is upon you, and you’re not ready.
So it falls on the prayer leader to guide you through, taking you by the hand a star actor playing the lead role of Hamlet or Macbeth, except that the actor playing Hamlet has a whole team of supporting players, clowns, and sword-fighters to vary the pace and keep the audience spellbound; the prayer leader on Rosh Hashanah is all alone as he escorts you on the prolonged emotional journey that will end ten days later, at the close of Yom Kippur, in cleansing and release. What he says now about this tremendous burden reveals as much about his office as about the community that office serves.
Here am I that am poor in deed,rattled and afraidin awe of Him who sits in wait for the praises of Israel,standing to plead before Himfor His people Israelwho have sent me,though I am not fit or worthy for the task.Therefore I ask youGod of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of JacobLord God, merciful God and forgiving God of Israel
Shaddai, awesome and terrible,
be You the expediter of my errandas I come to stand and plead for mercy
for me and those who sent me.
Having declared himself unfit for the great challenge, having begged divine intercession to make up for his deficiencies, having invoked the Lord’s honorific epithets and attributes of love and mercy and called in favors from the patriarchs, the prayer leader now falls into a whisper—at least according to Ephraim Zalman Margolis. These days, the entire prayer is usually recited aloud, although the lines about to follow are sometimes printed in brackets indicating a hushed tone. Why? Perhaps because, in getting to the crux of the matter, they are too brutally honest:
Pray do not convict them of my sinsor obligate them for my transgressions,for I am a sinner and wrongdoer.Let them not be disgraced for my crimesand let them not be ashamed of me—
and let me not be ashamed of them.
This is the heart of the prayer, and of the entire communal exercise of repentance. No one is really pure enough to lead this service. (And even if there were such an individual, have you taken a look at the congregation as a whole lately?) So the lines are said quietly because the situation itself is shameful, and deeply troubling.
Prayer leader and congregants a have entered together into an intimate and dangerous relationship in which each individual hopes he’ll be held accountable only for his own crimes and not condemned for anyone else’s.Several times during the service on these days of the year, the entire congregation stands together and recites a huge catalogue of sins—in the grave suspicion that somebody present has committed at least one of them and the grave hope that, for the sake of the virtues of others, all may be forgiven.
This prayer is an acknowledgement by the person selected to lead that not only is he fundamentally not up to the task but even if he were, there’s only so far his own merits will take him.
And receive my prayeras the prayer of an old and experienced man,with a fair record and a full beard,a pleasant voice,
and involvement in the minds of the people.
These verses always strike me as mixing candor and humility with a shrewd bet on the truth of a maxim in the Ethics of the Fathers (3:12): if you want to know heaven’s opinion of a man, the opinion of people is the opinion of heaven.
And chide the devil lest he try meand let our banner over You be Love,and obscure our sins with love.Turn our fast-days and misfortunesto merriment and joy,to life and peace,for us and all Israel,for truth and peace we have loved.And let there be no stumbling block before my prayer.
May it be Your will—Lord God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob,great and mighty and awesome God,God above, “I will be what I will be”—that all the angels who assist in prayermay bring my prayer before Your throne of gloryand spread it out before Youfor the sake of all the righteousand the gracious and innocent and honestand for the honor of Your great and terrible name.
For You hear the prayer of Your people Israel with mercy.
Blessed are You, who hears prayer.
In this final, swelling paragraph the prayer leader appeals to the Lord in the Lord’s own language—“I will be what I will be”—when He introduced Himself to Moses at the burning bush.
The leader’s plea is that he will be made capable of what he isn’t capable of, that he will be as pure and as undistractable as Moses, that the prayers he will now offer on behalf of all those gathered around him will cause forgiveness to rain upon the deserving and undeserving a, because he has tried.
Strong From the Start: Daily Catholic Prayer
A pattern of daily Catholic prayer will help you stay close to Christ each day.
And what you practice each day, you’ll do for eternity!
This article will tell you:
- Common prayers for daily Catholic prayer
- How to use them for maximum benefit
Why bother with daily Catholic prayer?
…because it’s an essential part of the interior life!
The easiest way to start (or re-start!) a prayer life is to simply add a few quick prayers into your day.
- This gets you praying
- You learn in the school of some outstanding Catholic prayers
- You frame the day in prayer
- You turn to God in the fabric of everyday life
This last point is very important! Daily Catholic prayer must be a part of your normal life, not something “extra” that you tack onto it.
The practice of Catholic daily prayer will give you a strong basis to develop another essential part of the Catholic spiritual life: mental prayer.
So let’s get started!
The daily rhythm
You pray with the flow and rhythm of your ordinary day to develop a habit of daily Catholic prayer.
It’s easy to do this. There are three quick steps:
- Find some major points in your day
- Choose a quick prayer for each
- Say the chosen prayer at the right point in your day
It helps to print out the prayers you choose. Keep them with you.
Commit to following them for one week so they become a habit.
Each daily Catholic prayer will ground you in awareness of God’s presence. When your day is “framed” this by short prayers, you get used to talking with God throughout the day. This is a good thing.
Please know that this is essential to developing a life of prayer! We are all called to holiness. Really. And to get there, you’ve got to live everything depends on God. Because it does!
This path of daily Catholic prayer is deeply rooted in the Catholic Church’s long tradition of prayer. It’s an easy and very effective way to grow closer to God.
What could be easier?
How to use the prayers
Of course, this is not the only way to pray! But it’s an outstanding start. Most Catholics use traditional Catholic prayers as some part of their daily routine.
The best advice: do not just rattle them off as fast as possible!
Let them nourish and express your own prayer. Your goal in daily Catholic prayer is to converse with God.
- Think about what these Catholic prayers can teach you about God, about yourself, and about how to pray.
- Listen quietly to hear the will of God. “The prayer of faith consists not only in saying ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in disposing the heart to do the will of the Father.” (Catechism, 2611, referring to Mt 7:21)
- Slow down. Feel the words with your heart. “If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain.” (Catechism, 2562)
- When your mind wanders off, let the words of the prayer help restore your focus on God.
Don’t get hung up on these specific prayers. Traditional written prayers are wonderful: you don’t struggle to find your own words, they teach you a lot, and you’re united with many others using the same words all over the world.
But you may need to adapt them to your own circumstances.
Here’s a suggested set of prayers to frame your day. (All of these and many more are contained in the Handbook of Prayers, edited by James Socias.)
This outline follows the traditional points of the day for daily Catholic prayer: morning, before meals, the beginning of work, noon, and night.
Again, you should adapt this to fit your own circumstances.
So let’s start daily Catholic prayer first thing in the morning!
Morning prayer is a quick way to offer yourself and your whole day to God.
It is a choice to begin anew each day, and to clearly choose God at the very start of the day.
Some people make a simple and informal prayer as soon as they wake up: “I will serve you, Lord”; or “Lord, help me to love and serve you today”; or even just “serviam” (Latin for “I will serve”). These are all great parts of daily Catholic prayer.
This traditional Catholic morning prayer is also very common:
Catholic morning prayer
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in thanksgiving for your favors, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father.Amen.
Grace before meals
Most Christians say grace before meals to give thanks to the Lord. Grace is an important part of daily Catholic prayer. This is often the first way that children are exposed to a life of prayer.
Grace before meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Beginning of work
A brief minute just before starting work is another important opportunity for prayer. This daily Catholic prayer is from an ancient form of the Litany of the Saints:
Prayer Before a Day’s Work
Direct, we beg you, O Lord, our actions by your holy inspirations, and grant that we may carry them out with your gracious assistance, that every prayer and work of ours may begin always with you, and through you be happily ended. Amen.This is an alternate prayer to use at the beginning of work, or at the beginning of the day. This traditional daily Catholic prayer helps us acknowledge the presence of God, ask for his help and protection, and dedicate the day’s work to him.
Prayer to Keep the Presence of God
Lord, God Almighty, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by your mighty power, so that we may not fall into any sin, and that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed as to be always just in your sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Noon: The Angelus
The Angelus is a traditional daily Catholic prayer that’s often said at 12 noon. This prayer is a beautiful meditation on the Incarnation, and on Mary’s role in it.
This is often said as a group prayer, with the leader speaking the V parts and the group responding with the R lines. If you’re saying it alone, just read both parts together.
V — The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R — And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary… (Say The Hail Mary here.)
V — Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R — Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary…
V — And the Word was made Flesh.
R — And dwelt among us. Hail Mary…
V — Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R — That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY: Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ, your Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Saying the Angelus at noon is a wonderful way to mark noontime, the center of each day. It helps us return our focus to the eternal. The Angelus steeps us in the spirituality of Mary, with its complete and humble service to the Lord.
If you’re at work during this time, it’s easy to say it quietly to yourself before heading to lunch.
The Angelus is also discussed in the article on prayers to the Blessed Mother.
Night: The daily examination
In developing a habit of daily Catholic prayer, one very important time is just before going to bed.
This is an opportunity to spend a few brief minutes reviewing the day with the Lord. We call this the “daily examination of conscience.”
This simple exercise helps you see the events of your day from the perspective of a child of God. This really amounts to only three quick “words” to say in the examination itself.
Daily Examination of Conscience
- Place yourself in the presence of God, and ask for his help in examining your day.
- Examine your day (the three “words”):
- “Thank you”: Thank the Lord for the blessings of the day.
- “I’m sorry”: Acknowledge your faults specifically and directly.
- “Please help me more”: Ask the Lord for help for tomorrow. Make specific resolutions.
- Make an act of contrition (see below).
- End with an Our Father and a Hail Mary.
It’s generally recommended to take only about 2 or 3 minutes for the examination part itself, or up to 1 minute for each “word.” A short time this can help you keep focused when you’re tired.
Here’s a traditional Act of Contrition:
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.I can’t recommend this strongly enough: The daily examination of conscience is an essential part of the Christian life. Make it one of the first things you add to your pattern of daily Catholic prayer.
It helps you develop your awareness of how you’re doing day-to-day in your life as a follower of Christ. Only by clearly seeing the details of each day, can we hope to improve.
One week to a new life!
Now you have everything you need to let God breathe new life into your faith:
- A wonderful set of Catholic prayers
- A strategy for making daily Catholic prayer a part of your life
So start now!
Form a specific plan that will work for you. Pick the prayers you’ll use. Then commit to just one week.
Follow your plan every day. I know, it may seem a little strange on the first day. It’s new; that’s to be expected.
But the second day will feel more natural. And then you’ll realize that your habit of daily Catholic prayer is comforting! It brings peace and order even to a hectic day. Your awareness of God’s presence in your daily life is growing.
…you have a habit of praying! You do it throughout your day, from morning to night, and it’s great. It takes only a few seconds here & there, and you’ve made your life richer.
More than that, you’ve brought God into your life.
And you’ll never turn back!
This article on daily Catholic prayer is only one from a set of articles on Catholic prayers. See the other articles for many other wonderful Catholic prayers. You’ll also find sound guidance for easily developing your prayer life in How to Pray.
The Web site CatholicCulture.org also has many more prayers that are ideal for daily Catholic prayer (opens a new browser window). CatholicCulture.org is a major Catholic site, and has many outstanding resources.
See our home page for more articles for the beginning Catholic.
Prayer at the beginning of the day of the Optina elders. Predictions of the Optina elders
Sixty kilometers from Kaluga is locatedAncient monastery, next to which is located Optina deserts, whose name is known throughout Russia. The history of the desert knew periods and rapid flowering, and complete decline. Glory to her brought here once the elders – seers and healers.
They hosted people coming from all over the country who need spiritual nourishment. After them, we remained moral precepts, predictions, and also one widely known prayer. It is called “Prayer at the beginning of the day of the Optina Elders”.
What is known about this desert and about the elders who glorified it?
The history of the Optina desert
In ancient times, to withstand raidssteppe nomads, built in Russia defensive structures – zaseki. In them, the residents sheltered from uninvited guests. But these zasekas with time often became a refuge of robbers, which were always abounded with Russian expanses. Legend tells that in one of these spots has settled with his dashing young men leader of a gang named Opt.
A lot of blood was on his hands, but suddenly it happenedin his soul a fracture.
Either he had voices or his conscience had awakened, but only he had repented of what he had done, took monastic vows under the name of Makarii, and ended his life in fasting and humility. From blood to holiness.
How not to recall the words of Dmitry Karamazov: “A broad man, too broad, I would narrow down.” However, it is not for us to judge – the will of God.
The difficult way of becoming a desert
This is where the Optina deserts begin. For the first time in historical documents, it is mentioned in the time of Boris Godunov. These were difficult years for the monastery.
The city of Kozelsk, next to which it was, was burned and looted by Lithuanians. I got rid of the enemy and defenseless desert.
Almost two centuries it was in poverty and oblivion, and only at the very end of the XVIII century began its revival.The heyday of the Optina desert is considered XIXcentury, especially its second half.
The elders who fought here were famous for their ability to see the future, to heal the souls and bodies of pilgrims with prayers and give instruction in difficult life situations.
Representatives of the leading Russian intelligentsia came to them, as wise instructors. Here at different times visited NV Gogol, MP Pogodin, MA Maksimovich, SP Shevyrev and many others.
Especially it is necessary to dwell on the gift of foresight,which were given to the Optina elders. Predictions of Russia's future troubles, recorded from their words, found their sad confirmation.
Back in 1848, when the fire of the revolution broke out in France, the old man Macarius was able to predict the future catastrophe that would befall Russia. Also all of his successors unanimously declared that the country was in danger.
They saw in it the payment for sins in which the society, more and more removed from religion, was mired. History confirmed everything that the Optina elders spoke about. Their predictions were fulfilled in the days of the Bolshevik coup.
For the service of God and the miracles exhibited by them, the fourteen elders of Optina desert have now been ranked as saints.
Prayer Beginning Day
Prayer at the beginning of the day of the Optina elders – brightan example of the wisdom and spiritual insight of these people. It is not a substitute for those prayers that contain the Morning Rule prescribed by the church tradition.
The prayer of the Optina elders at the beginning of the day is an addition to them. It helps to direct the charge of blessed energy to the creation of good in relation to all people, but in particular to those who are closest to us.
The text of the prayer helps to concentrate the mental forces in order to channel them into the right direction.Prayer at the beginning of the day of the Optina elders renderson us a blessed action in many respects because in the early hours our consciousness is not yet burdened with worldly concerns and is more receptive to understanding the meaning of the lines read.
Read in the morning, prayer contributes to the organization of our thoughts and forms a charge of cheerfulness. In addition, the text of the prayer is composed in such a way as to prepare a person worthily to meet any surprises that can happen on this day.
The universal values of prayer
It is important to note that the prayer at the beginning of the dayOptina elders also received approval from people who do not identify themselves with religion. Many psychologists note its effective psychotherapeutic action.
It is emphasized that the peculiarity of the prayer is that it is equally suitable for people of various religions. This theological text, unusual in its universality, can rightfully be called the instruction of life.
It concisely and at the same time succinctly shows how to start the day.
Prayer of the Optina Elders, the full version of whichgiven in this article, written in simple and understandable language. This is its indisputable advantage.
For her to understand and implement everything that is said in it, no special training is needed.
Even a person who does not possess sufficient strength in the faith, reading it, will not remain indifferent to these simple and wise words.
The concept of elderness in the Orthodox Church
The icon of the Optina elders shows us facesFourteen saints of God – the last elders of old Russia leaving for eternity. Speaking about them, it is important to understand that this word means not just a monk who has attained advanced age, but a person who has been granted special grace from the Lord God.
In it he is given the gift of insight, that is, the ability to see the future, the gift of miracles and the gift of healing. Only true devotees can be granted such grace in the service of God.
Not all elders are canonized by the church and canonized, but, undoubtedly, in the highest monasteries they are rewarded for their earthly ministry.Prayer for the beginning of the day for the Optina elders for a long timesurvived their retreating creators to the Lord. It is not included in any of the prayer rules, but is widely known, and is read at the beginning of the day by many believers. This is because in her words lies the immortal power of the Holy Spirit, on whose influx they were written.