The Best Way to Start Your Everyday

The Best Way to Start Your Everyday

Psalm 143:8 may capture it best:

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

Two things make up everyone’s everyday: receptivity and productivity. We are creatures who constantly take in and put out. We absorb and we exude.

The question is what will it be?

The psalmist tells us the best way to start.

The Battle Is On

David writes as a man in turmoil. The enemy has pursued his soul (Psalm 143:3). His spirit is blacking out. His heart is appalled (Psalm 143:4). Don’t picture him waking up mid-morning at a cozy B&B. It’s more like a battle, and his enemy is in motion.

It’s more like how it is most days for us, even though the warfare against us is largely unseen. Our alarm clock goes off, and the prince of the air never hits his snooze. We wake up in a warzone.

Sometimes that may mean that we, by faith, cherish some extra time under the covers and stick it to our enemy. The decisive battle has been won, after all. Our blood was spilt for victory when our sins were nailed through Jesus’s hands. When he died, we died. When he conquered death, we conquered with him, and every force set against us was exposed to open shame. The hope of our eternal souls is not dependent upon how quickly we spring out of bed.

A Prayer of Our Own

But we will get up, and whenever we do, the scheming principalities are soaring. Circumstances breathe down our necks. Stress starts pounding on our doors. We gear up for 17 straight hours of receptivity and productivity.

This is where David’s prayer in Psalm 143:8 helps. He gets to the heart of the matter. If we are stepping into absorbing and exuding, first things first, let us soak in God’s truth and then submit all our doing to his guidance. The best way to start the day, everyday, is with the prayer, in short: let me hear and lead me on.

Let Me Hear . . .

Let us first hear of God’s steadfast love and steady our thoughts on this anchor: God shows his love for me in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8). For my sake, God made his sinless Son to be sin so that in him I might become his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for me (Galatians 3:13). Let us receive his words: You did not choose me, but I chose you. I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine (John 15:16; Isaiah 43:1).

Rest firmly in the gospel of his grace — that he loves you, that he has his grip on you, that he is never letting you go (John 10:28). Let us hear this because it’s in God we trust, not the hottest news story, nor the latest best-selling book, nor the lies whispered to us by our enemy. God tells us what really is. God is the one we believe.

Lead Me On . . .

And then lead us on. Where do we go? What do we do? There are thousands of tributaries just around the bend. This prayer is simply: God, make us know the way.

We all are called to productivity, meaning that we all will say things and do things and decide things. Praying this second piece of Psalm 143:8 starts the day by demolishing the idea that we have it all figured out. God must give us the wisdom we lack. He must lead us by his sovereign hand. He must because we renounce the ruinous attempt to control our own world. He is our God. This is his world. We lift up our souls to him.

This prayer is hope of the deepest kind, first elating us by the wonder of God’s love at Calvary and then humbling us by the truth that we never stop needing him. There is his definitive, rock-solid demonstration of covenant love and unfailing faithfulness. And then there is his nearness now, his grace today and guidance tomorrow.

Let me hear and lead me on is the best way to start the day.

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.


Recent posts from Jonathan Parnell:

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .