Monday, January 23, 2012

On Prayer: The Morning Rush

To live an Orthodox Way of Life it is important to begin the day in peace. One cannot live spiritually if your day begins with a harried mad dash to work, eating on the way, rushing through traffic.  It's amazing what you see people doing in the morning commute.

The morning can be very busy especially if you have small children to get ready for school, but the key is to program enough time for all the essential activities plus Prayer.  This may mean getting up an hour earlier so you have time for meditation and prayer as well as a relaxed and nutritional breakfast.
If you get up earlier you will find that all is quiet. You can shower in peace and then go to your quiet place in the house for prayer.  Because you have provided the proper time, this does not have to a quick perfunctory prayer, but one where you appreciate the quietness and go deep within opening your heart to God.  To enter into prayer we need to sit quietly and steady our minds on God.  We leave behind all the cares of the coming day because we know we have this special time to do this.  You remember that you are God's child whom He loves unconditionally, and then with humility enter into a dialogue with Him.  The essential ingredient is to create this peaceful time where you are not rushed or forced into the worldly cares of the day.  This is your private time with God.  Protect it.

You can find advice on morning prayers here.  Be sure to allow time for the practice of the Jesus prayer as well as this is the prayer that will get you thorough the day.

When you have completed your daily prayer routine think about the difficulties you might face during the day.  Think how you can handle them in a way that will be pleasing to God.  At the end of the day you can evaluate how well you did and give thanks to the Lord and ask for His help to handle them better if need be. (Morning and evening prayer are like bookends on an Orthodox Way of Life.)

Once you have finished this, the you can with a peaceful mind, filled with God's presence proceed with the essential activities which you have organized to accomplish before leaving for work without undue rush.  It's important to allow time to prepare and eat a good breakfast sitting comfortably.  You have nourished you soul and you also need to nourish your body.

As you begin your commute, do not try and beat the traffic or allow yourself to be irritated about delays or missing a stop light.  Allow sufficing time so you will not be rushed but arrive a few minutes early at for work.  Go with the flow of the traffic, not trying to beat it.  Try and keep in mind the quiet presence you enjoyed in prayer. 

Once at work, review your activities of the day and commit yourself to doing them according to the will of God.  All ow for unexpected events.  When you do find situations that begin to upset you, remember your prayer time and immediately recite the Jesus prayer.  If you encounter a situation where you anger is aroused or if you find yourself emotionally upset, take a walk while you recite the Jesus prayer to yourself.  Saying it just ten times will calm your soul so you can continue without causing greater stress or difficulty to yourself or others.

The key is to allow the proper amount of time in the morning so you can begin with peace.  This morning peace will go along way during the day. There is only so much time and we have to allocate it so we can maintain our peace and stay in contact with our Lord. 

Lets share our ideas about how we can begin the day in peace. How do you manage this?

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