5 Short Morning Prayers from the Early Church

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Short morning prayers can be as simple as a child’s: “Lord, thank you for today. Help it to be a good day. Amen.” 

Sometimes, that’s all we seem to have the time or “brainspace” for. Coming up with heartfelt words we haven’t prayed time and time again can feel like another item crammed onto the bottom of a to-do list that never seems to get any shorter.

Here’s an alternative.

These five powerful morning prayers from the early church kickstart the day with a focus on God, gratitude, and making the day count. They’re excerpted from the new book Fount of Heaven: Prayers from the Early Church, available now.

You alone are our King 

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). 

We praise you, we sing to you, we bless you, we glorify you, we worship you by your great high priest, Jesus Christ—you who are the true God, who are the One Unbegotten, the only Inaccessible One. 

For your great glory, O Lord and heavenly King, O God the Father Almighty, O Lord God, the Father of Christ the Lamb without sin, who takes away the sin of the world, receive our prayer.

For you alone are holy. You only are the Lord Jesus, the Christ of the God of all created nature.

You alone are our King. We give you all glory, honor, and worship! 

—Apostolic Constitutions 

Receive our morning thanksgiving 

O God of spirits and of all flesh, God who is beyond compare, and who stands in need of nothing, you have given the sun to rule over the day, and the moon and the stars to rule over the night. 

Now would you also look down upon us with gracious eyes, and receive our morning thanksgiving? Have mercy upon us; we have not “spread out our hands to a foreign god” (Psalm 44:20). 

For there is no new god among us. You, the eternal God, are without end. You have given us our being through Christ, and our well-being through him. 

Grant us also, through him, eternal life. We give glory, honor, and worship to you and to the Holy Spirit forever. Amen. 

—Apostolic Constitutions 

I am no longer silent 

To you, O Christ, I offer my praise as the firstfruits of my daily work. 

For you arose from the dead on this joyous day, flinging open the gates of hell and breaking the power of death, robbing death of its sting. You rushed from the tomb, appearing to those for whom you died and rose again, so that we, newborn, might also rise, set free from death. 

Now we will live forever with you, our ascending Lord. 

Heaven is ringing today with glad praises, while a choir of angels sings crowning anthems.

Though silent before, today I let loose in song to you. My breath and my instruments belong to you! 

Words to the true Word, mind to Mind, today I offer what I could afford. But from here on, if you will, I want to bring a more worthy offering. Amen. 

—Gregory Nazianzen1 

Fill our hearts with joy and gladness 

You are blessed, O Lord. You are the one who has fed and nourished me since I was young, and who gives food to all living things. 

Fill our hearts now with joy and gladness. And, since we always have enough, may we then abound to do every good work, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom glory, honor, and power be to you forever, amen.

—Apostolic Constitutions 

You raised me to face the morning 

As I rise from sleep I thank you, Holy Trinity. Through your great goodness and patience you were not angry with me, a sinner who fails to act. 

You have not destroyed me in my sins, but have shown your love for humanity once again. When I was flat on my face in despair, you raised me to face the morning and to glorify your power. 

Now enlighten my mind’s eye and open my mouth to study your Word and understand your commands. 

Help me to do your will and sing to you in heartfelt adoration and praise, to your most holy name—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever unto the ages of ages, amen.

—Basil of Caesarea

A plan for prayer

Fount of Heaven includes thirty-four categories of prayers—everything from morning and evening prayers to prayers for guidance and prayers for us to know Jesus better. Click See Inside on this page for the full table of contents.

After you pick up the digital book, here’s how to keep it in sight and top-of-mind on all your devices.

  1. Open the mobile app or web app and tap the library icon.
  2. Type Fount of Heaven in the search bar.
  3. On mobile, tap the three dots in the right-hand corner next to the title, then select Start a Reading Plan. On the web app, click on the title and then the Start reading plan button that appears on the right.
  4. Keep the default “at your own pace” setting or change it to your preference. When you’re done, tap Start in the top-right corner.
  5. Now Fount of Heaven will show on your home screen for easy access every morning—or anytime.

***

Get the digital version or the beautiful print edition now from Lexham Press.

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  1. Robert Elmer, ed., Fount of Heaven: Prayers of the Early Church (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2022), 274–77.
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Written by
Mary Jahnke

Mary Jahnke has a background in marketing, especially for Christian education, and serves as a content marketing strategist for Faithlife. She has experience in church communications and is always looking for helpful knowledge to share.

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Written by Mary Jahnke