For the past week or so I got out of the habit of reading the Word and praying before the day starts. As a result, my anxiety level has been getting higher and higher, and my strength, wisdom, creativity, and decision making, have weakened significantly. I have been waking up in the middle of the night with inordinate stress and finding myself being more stressful throughout the day.

Worse than not praying and reading the Word first thing, I have been opening my news apps and Facebook feed. Lord, have mercy! No wonder!

So, this morning I got back into my old, good habit of getting into the Word and prayer first thing in the morning before I did anything else. As I began reading one of the Psalms, my heart became calm as I read about the psalmists exuberant joy due to God’s strength in his life. (See Psalm 21).

This psalm begins with joy in God’s strength and ends with joy in God’s strength. It also talks about answered prayer, God meeting you with blessings, joy in God’s presence, and protection from the enemy’s schemes and attacks. Now that is much better news than any other news source you could read!

Then the test came. As I was reading and praying, I tangled with one of my teenagers as she was about to leave for school. And here is the proof in the pudding – I did not overreact! I was calm, but stern, and I kept my composure. This was God’s strength in me. I know the difference all too well.

I want to encourage you, even challenge you, that right now, especially while our country is in such chaos, and just days away from the election, that you begin each day with the Word and prayer. If you are anything like me, you need it now more than ever.

John