Three Simple Prayers for Your Day

simple prayer for your day - words over prayer corner chair

1. Start with Openness.

When you get out of bed in the morning, stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, palms open and facing upward. Say, out loud or silently, “God, I receive the gift of this day, and I open my heart to your desires for my life and this world.”

2. Pause to Reflect and Regroup.

In the middle of your day, take a few moments to get quiet and gently review how the day has gone. Give thanks for the blessings, and ask for help with the challenges. Then continue into the rest of the day.

3. End with Embrace.

Before you retire for the night, spend a few moments in a posture that for you is one of comfort—a seated yoga position, curled up on the bed, or nestled into a favorite chair with arms embracing yourself. In prayer, acknowledge where you hurt, where you feel need, and what you long for. You are confiding in One who loves you infinitely. Embrace your identity as one who is loved.

What simple phrase or act has helped you keep praying through the years?

About Vinita Hampton Wright 139 Articles

Vinita Hampton Wright has served as senior editor at Loyola Press for 16 years and recently became managing editor of the trade books department. She has written various fiction and non-fiction books, including the novel Dwelling Places with HarperOne, Days of Deepening Friendship and The Art of Spiritual Writing for Loyola Press, and most recently, The St. Teresa of Avila Prayer Book for Paraclete Press. Vinita is a student and practitioner of Ignatian spirituality, and from 2009 to 2015 she blogged at Days of Deepening Friendship. For the past few years, she has co-led small groups through the 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three cats, and a dog. In her “spare” time these days, she is working on her next novel.

20 Comments on Three Simple Prayers for Your Day

  1. Vinita, it’s a constant source of amazement to me that every single time I read one of your posts I feel as if you’re speaking directly to me, about my life and my prayer practices! Sometimes I’ll read a post without first noting the author and when I get to the end, I’ll think, “This just feels like it’s from Vinita,” and it always is! You are a blessing in my life.

  2. Thank you. These prayers mean so much to me. I am so short on patience and I have a spouse with Parkinson’s. he is the best man in the world and deserves so much more. Keep us in your prayers.
    Rosalie

    • You are in my daily prayers. Know that you are a wonderful person, always helping others. God knows hard you work for others, especially for your hubby with PD. May God bless you abundantly!

  3. The phrase that has helped me to keep praying is one my Dad said to my sister when she said she had fell out with God for letting our brother , die. ( John was only 37 years).
    Dad said ” well remember, just because you’ve stopped holding God’s hand, GOD, is still holding yours.”
    I think it showed my Dad’s great faith when he’d just lost his son. I Know without a doubt they, with mum, are all in Heaven.

  4. At my darkest time when I was suicidal, I couldn’t pray a single word, but I would make the sign of the cross and know that I was held inside the Holy Trinity. Sometimes I would simply hold my Rosary beads.
    Thankfully I am much recovered. Last year I was given a lovely novena and I have taken it to heart. ‘Lord Jesus, I surrender my heart to you. Take care of everything’ I always say thank you and have found enormous comfort in that handing over of all my worries, and intentions. Lastly just this May during a retreat in daily life I was given a healing gift directly from scripture. From Isaiah ‘You are mine’ My broken heart was restored and I was freed from so much pain and rejection. I wrote those words down in a big love heart and keep repeating them with joy and gratitude. I hope this might encourage anyone else struggling. God loves you, and always will.

    • Peggy, while I’ve never been suicidal, there have been times in my life – grief, trauma, sudden bad news, when I, too, could not pray and sat holding my beads after making the sign of the cross. A good friend reassured me that at such times we should allow the Communion of Saints to pray for us and on our behalf, upholding us to God. This is not to say we shouldn’t continue to try to pray, but that we are never truly alone as we are one in the Body of Christ. Blessings to you and for your courage.

      • Jean, you make a beautiful point. We are not lone; we dwell in God along with the vast communion of saints, and there are times when we must rely on their prayers because our ability to pray has diminished. Thanks for this powerful reminder.

    • Peggy, thanks for your post. I’m sure it will encourage others. I once heard a preacher describe a man sitting down at the dinner table after a long and frustrating day, and sighing heavily. The preacher said, “That sigh went straight to heaven.” I was a youngster at the time, but I’ve never forgotten the truth described: we pray through our words, our thoughts, our actions, gestures, tears, sighs, laughter, and silence.

      • Thank you Vinita. In the depths of silence I have indeed found comfort. May I share my own Psalm of restoration.

        In silence I have learnt the truth
        And thankfully now am living proof
        That God answers prayers.
        He’s not aloof –
        He understands our needs before us
        And kindly offers ways to prove this.

        In loving hugs and warmth of smiles
        He melts the pain of many trials
        And teaches wisdom, truth and love
        And gifts of peace, from heaven above.

        The scars remain, they’ll never go
        But strength restored, I’ve come to know
        If I just trust my heart will grow
        And I can rest with grateful spirit
        And share the joy now found within it.
        Amen ?

  5. I rejoice in the idea that the saints pray with us and for us especially when we can not find the words. Being one who celebrates the Eastern Rites, I pray something like the Jesus Prayer in my own words. “Sweet Jesus have mercy on me.” I also carry in my briefcase a small folder icon of Jesus on one side and Mother Mary with the baby Jesus on other side.

  6. thank you very much for this simple, easy and meaningful way of entrusting god your day.

    Immediately upon opening my eyes in the morning my prayer is “take me Oh lord as wholy thine, i lay all my plans at thy feet, use me today in thy service, abide with me and let all my works be wrought in thee”.

  7. Vinita, I usually enjoy what you write, but your mention of taking a “yoga position” when praying really raises a red flag for me. I understand that people think yoga is just an exercise, but it is a pagan practce and can open a person to the demonic. There is a difference in seeking God in all things as St. Ignatius teaches, and incorporating the New Age into Catholicism. It is dangerous and blinding. I speak from experience, here, and it distresses me to see Catholics fall into this.

    • A. L., I must respectfully disagree. Christians have been sitting, standing, praying, and meditating in various positions for centuries. Just because another philosophical or religious system has used a position, doesn’t mean followers of Jesus cannot. I did not encourage readers to take up yoga, but I know that many people, Catholics/Christians included, use yoga stretches and positions for physical health and fitness and that those readers would feel included if I used the phrase “yoga position.” Muslims prostrate themselves during prayer; all sorts of practitioners raise their arms and hands, lay hands upon others for healing, and so forth. I might lie prostrate before God; and I do regularly lay my hands on others in prayer. The devil cannot take this freedom from God’s people. I do not deny that there are ways we can open ourselves to evil influences. But if my prayer is to God through Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, I am not inviting other forces into the moment, regardless of my posture. Also, “New Age” simply co-opted ancient practices, many of them quite Christian. There’s nothing new about it.

      • Sorry but you are too defensive of your correctness to say yoga position. Why not say “cross legged”? And there is danger in inviting yoga into a Catholic life.

      • Thank you for your earlier reply. I have a great concern for souls, as I know you do, too. Out of a personal experience of being sucked into occult, New Age, and all sorts of un-Christian activity because I was letting those little doors open, I felt inclined to say something to spare someone else that pain and life of sin. I agree that using our bodies to pray is a marvelous gift, and we should do this. However, we should not use our bodies to pray as other religions do, especially those that are not praying to the True God. Isn’t Satan is a cunning serpent, and doesn’t he come disguised as an angel of light? So, of course practicing yoga as an exercise seems harmless- that is the way he works. I don’t think we need to live in fear, but awareness. God bless!

  8. I arise each morning with Psalm 118 vs. 24 “This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” I then open my blinds with “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” I pray off and on throughout the day, for myself, for others, prayers of thanksgiving – you name it. Unfortunately by the time I engage with God in the Examen at day’s end I realize how often my own wilfulness has taken precedence over what might have been God’s will as the hours passed. This is the rhythm of my prayer life, giving thanks for another sunrise, entrusting my day to God, then a review of where I’ve done well and where I have failed. Underpinning it all is my deep sense of gratitude for everything but most of all for God’s mercy allowing me to rise and fall and try all over again another day.

  9. Lots of food for thought in all comments. Thank you all once again. Especially Vinita. Going through a time in life as I think it is drawing to a close. A.M.D.G.

  10. I once put myself in the hands of St. Francis Xavier who is the patron saint of my parish and he interceded so strongly for me that he brought me to his land and here I am trying to do at least a little of what he did in my homeland – introducing God to people.

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