Every Christian I know gets up in the morning with some sort of desire for a good day. I know of no one who actually relishes the idea of a total disaster, although I have encountered plenty who expected it, planned for it, and sure enough, got it.
These “good days,” of course, are always measured by our expectations. To the degree that we accomplish what we set out to do and no person or circumstance violates our standard of expectations, our days are classified as “good.” Anything less than that spells trouble.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the success or failure of your day does not depend on your circumstances, but on your preparation for them, and your reaction to them. And one of the greatest tools at your disposal is the time you spend alone with God in the morning.
Here is a growth idea that will add strength, beauty, and productivity to the activities of your day when you use it during that morning time. After you have spent some time praising the Lord, and have submitted your authority and your will to Him, pray for a “G.O.O.D.” day!
“G.O.O.D.” stands for “Goals, Opportunities, Obstacles, and Details.” As you begin to look ahead in a spirit of praise and submission to what your day holds, there are certain things you will want to see accomplished. Those are the goals for your day. Make your requests as specific as possible; begin with, “Lord, enable me to….”
These goals may be the result of your Bible study time. They may have something to do with your work schedule, your finances, or your relationships with others. Your goals may be grand at times, and rather mundane at other times. But always they are what you believe God wants you to accomplish, and what He wants to empower you to do.
In praying through your day, pray also for opportunities. These requests usually begin with, “Lord, open the door to…” or “Lord give me an opportunity to…”
These opportunity requests may also flow out of your Bible study, or may be related to your goals for the day.
“Lord, give me an opportunity to talk to Joe this week.”
“Lord, open the door to share this insight with someone.”
“Lord, give me an opportunity to do something gracious and kind for someone today – and help me recognize the opportunity when I see it.”
Those are examples of opportunity prayers. Sometimes opportunities drop in our laps as little surprises from a sovereign God. But you can also create them by asking God to open doors in His timing, and by being ready when the answer comes.
Very rarely do we establish goals and look for opportunities without also experiencing some obstacles along the way. Simply put, an obstacle is anything that hinders you from accomplishing your goals or taking advantage of your opportunities.
Interruptions can be obstacles. Bad news is another example. Mechanical problems, sickness, conflicts with others, and family problems are all examples of hindrances we encounter.
The worst thing to do with obstacles is to ignore their possibility until they happen. When you simply answer the question, “What could possibly hinder me from achieving my goals or passing through my open doors?” you will quickly discover something to pray about.
Obstacle prayers often begin with, “Lord, protect me from…” They serve as a reminder of our need for God’s power, God’s protection, and a godly attitude. Praying ahead of time about possible hindrances enables us to face the day with our minds alert, our priorities established, and our defenses up.
The fact that Jesus instructed us to pray for today’s “daily bread” reveals another truth. Jesus was speaking to people who in many cases really didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. To them, the message was, “There is nothing too big to pray about. The same God who gives you spiritual life will take care of your physical needs as well.” But to those of us whose cupboards are full, this request for daily bread means just the opposite. It says to us, there is nothing too small to pray about. The same God who created the universe is vitally concerned about the smallest detail in your life.
One thing I noticed about my children as they learned to pray is that they never seemed too busy or too rushed to talk to God about the details. They would tell Him about trips to Grandpa’s house, exactly what they wanted for their birthday, how much they love Him, and that they didn’t want to have bad dreams that night.
That is a far cry from those adults who talk to God about a crisis, but never “bother Him” with their daily schedule or their list of things to do. If the purpose of prayer is to develop intimacy with God, I know of no better way than by talking to God about the details of your life. After all, intimacy is measured as much by my sharing the events of the day as it is by sharing the depths of my heart.
Some people can take this simple outline and legitimately pray through it in a matter of minutes. Others could pray through it for an hour or more. What matters is not how much clock time you occupy, but how spiritually and mentally prepared you are when you leave.
Good days are not the result of circumstances, but of men and women of God deciding that their time is too precious, their Christ is too worthy, and their days are too few to be wasted. Pray through your day tomorrow. . . and have a G.O.O.D. day!