How to Create a Godly Morning Routine
"But I cry to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you." Psalm 88:13
In college, my morning routine went something like this: I woke up either to an alarm or not depending on if I had an early class. (If I could prevent having an early class, I for sure didn't have one.) Then I would reach for my phone which doubled as my alarm, and turn it off. Then I'd check all my texts, start replying, and then switch to social media.
Usually, I'd end up watching a bunch of random videos, and then my next alarm would go off. You know, the one that's saying "this really isn't a joke anymore–you need to get moving, now!" I'd roll out of bed, quickly make myself look presentable, grab breakfast, and I'd be off to class hoping everything I needed was already in my bag.
I felt exactly how you would assume–a little stressed, always running a little late, a little distracted, and unaware of my connection to God.
My excuse was the same throughout college: I'm not a morning person.
But you don't have to be a morning person to create a godly morning routine. Once I realized this, I was able to create a godly morning routine that allowed me to start each day feeling at peace, on time, focused on my purpose for the day, and fully aware of my connection to God.
Sound like something you want, too? Here's what I learned...
Morning Routines Start at Night
To change a morning routine that we aren't happy with and aren't sure is the most glorifying to God, we have to start at night. In the morning I used to wake up to my phone, and in college I was usually waking up that way because I fell asleep doing a similar thing. Phone in hand, and then right by my bed plugged in to charge.
Time is a gift God gave us to steward, and to be good stewards of our mornings we have to start by stewarding our nights. Some of these things are simple habit changes, like going to bed a little earlier or turning our phones off or leaving it in another room so we can set aside time to reflect or pray at the end of the day.
When our mornings continually feel distracted or stressful, we should start by reevaluating what we are spending our time doing the night before. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time..."
Start a godly morning routine by changing your habits and patterns the night before.
God Tailor-made you, so you Can Tailor-make your Morning Routine
We were all made uniquely by God, we are God's handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). So, my morning routine might look very different than yours, even though both are glorifying to God.
I think the most important thing about creating a godly morning routine is focusing on connection to God.
How I connect to God and how you connect to God might be very different. Maybe you are a morning person and you love to wake up before the sun to spend time in prayer.
Or maybe, you hate journaling and would rather pray out loud and then go for a quick walk around your block to focus on praying for your community.
Think about how God uniquely created you and then structure your morning routine around how you can connect to God based on your personality, habits, schedule, and preferences.
Start with the Word
Maybe this is a little bit of tough love, but we really need to start every day in God's Word. I used to read my Bible at night and there's nothing wrong with that. I was convinced since I was not a morning person I would never have time to start the day in God's Word. But a mentor challenged me on that belief, and I started to try connecting to God each day in the morning.
The morning doesn't have to be an hour long sit down with God, using a study Bible and drinking coffee while the sun rises. But maybe it's keeping BibleGateway on your phone and reading the verse of the day from your desk at work while you turn your computer on and focusing on one word or phrase that stands out to you.
"All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 God's Word equips us, empowers us, and prepares us for anything and everything that God might have for us each day.
Maybe you'll come back to your Bible later that night or later in the day, but start with His Word every day even if it takes less than a minute.
A few final thoughts...
Creating a godly morning routine is one thing, and sticking to it is another. Some days will look different than others. Sometimes you're traveling and your schedule looks different, sometimes kids aren't sleeping when they should be, or you have to get out the door for a morning meeting.
Give yourself grace as you learn what connecting with God every morning looks like for you.
Seasons change and so routines should too. Be prepared to continually reevaluate what a godly morning routine looks like in your current season. It could be very different from the last season, and it might be very different from the next one.
If you're someone who is really happy with your current morning routine, remember that there is always room to grow and ways to grow deeper in your connection with God. Continually seek guidance from His Spirit and make room for new practices and new opportunities to draw near to God.
-What do your current routines look like at morning and at night? What do you like or dislike about them?
-How has God uniquely made you? How could these personality traits, preferences, or habits help inform a godly morning routine?
-Write about your experience with reading God's Word. How could you creatively read the Word more throughout your day?