The alarm goes off before dawn. I hit snooze . . . at least once. My wife finally nudges me and I turn off the alarm and click the prayer app on my smart phone. For ten drowsy minutes we lie there, listening to the guided prayer from Pray As You Go. A bell begins this morning meditation on scripture. The summons to prayer is followed by an introduction by a lovely British voice, then a piece of sacred music. All this prepares us for the reading of the text for the day, and a few sentences spoken reflectively, inviting us to listen for the whisper of God illuminating our lives, preparing us to experience God this day.

Look, I don't always stay awake for the whole thing. But that doesn't matter as much as the fact that the sounds are awakening my mind and heart to the Holy even before I put my feet on the floor. It has an effect beyond my rational awareness of that effect.

Of course, sometimes, I'm stunned by the appropriateness of the meditation to what happened the day before, what came to me in my dreams, or what I sense is before me. But much of the time, it's just a gentle influence upon my first conscious thoughts . . . a better way to start the day, than stumbling in the dark, muttering to myself about the day that's already coming hard at me with its many obligations.

Take a look; better, listen in daily as a way to start a fire of prayer on the hearth of your heart.

Pray-as-you-go, http://www.pray-as-you-go.org

Intention: I'll try this simply guide to prayer, either tonight as I prepare for sleep or tomorrow morning as I awaken.