Line One

Prayer at the Beginning of the Day

O Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.

The day begins. When my feet find slippers, my body and mind are busy: turning up the heat, waking children, feeding cats, and making lunches. I move from one activity to another, keeping an eye on the clock to make sure everyone gets out the door on time. My first hour passes without much thought at all about how I have already begun the day. I’m not in turmoil or particularly peaceful, I’m just doing what needs to be done. Reflection and prayer are in my second hour – a sacred and important part of my day, but not its very beginning.

The problem isn’t really about an hour’s delay, it’s with my assumption that I don’t really need to acknowledge the beginning of the day as a gift. Without greeting the day directly, any peace I find will depend upon an external circumstance – or be delayed until I finally do greet the day with intention. I may be very grateful for what the day brings without ever being aware of the day itself – like being thankful for a drink of water without considering the glass it comes in. When I pray these words, I become aware of the day that God has given me.

 I ask God for peace because I cannot create it. While my actions and thoughts can reveal the peace God gives, they cannot produce it. Only God can grant me to greet the coming day in peace. When I ask to begin my day this way, I trust the coming hours to a graciousness far beyond my own limited peace and kindness. I can get through the tasks of the first hour, or I can live in peace in the midst of them. God’s gift, and my choice.

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