Someone challenged me recently to “stop, drop and roll” every morning when I get out of bed. They were referring to living a life of prayer, whereby we should stop as soon as we rise in the morning, drop to our knees on the floor, roll over to face the bed and begin our day with prayer to God before doing anything else.
I decided to give this a try. However, I am not much of a morning person. The first few times, my knees popped and cracked as I immediately fell out of the bed and onto the floor. I rolled over to face the bed, put my head down… and fell back asleep. It seemed like a great idea but was not working too well for me. Then I noticed the rocking chair just a few feet away from my bed.
This was the rocking chair I once used to rock my son to sleep at night, from the time he was born until he was old enough to crawl out of my lap. Every night for those first few years, I would rock my son back and forth in that chair, singing to him as he fell asleep. It was my favorite part of the day. I always sang “Amazing Grace” to him, and the words and melody made me very happy. I believe God was listening and smiling down on both of us, and it was a very special time in my life.
My son is way beyond the rocking chair these days. Sometimes I would glance over at that rocking chair, not really knowing what to do with it. It seemed empty. But now I had a new idea. I would modify the “stop, drop and roll” to be “stop, sit and rock” instead. Now each morning when I wake up, I walk a few steps and sit down in the rocking chair to pray, before I go any further. “God, I thank you for giving me this new day,” and then I pray for those things most urgently on my mind that day. It only takes a few minutes, but it orients me in the right direction before I have a chance for anything else to occupy my mind. The rocking chair is a sign of comfort for me, and holds good memories of a special time when I felt very close to God. Now when I sit in the chair each morning, it feels like God is wrapping His arms around me.
But I will see Your face in righteousness;
When I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence.
The experiment worked. It is similar to setting your GPS for the day or looking at a compass. It will change the direction of your life. After trying it for awhile each morning, I decided to also add it to the end of my day. Before climbing into bed, I stop once more by the rocking chair to sit for a minute, thanking God for the day and for bringing us home safely.
I encourage you to try it too. Find your own thing, whatever works for you, but do it first thing in the morning – stop and pray. And during the day when things come up – stop and pray now! Life a life of prayer.
Why would Jesus be nailed to the cross for our sins and then disregard our prayers?
– Max Lucado