The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-charge Trinity Church, Russellville

When you awake it is customary to greet other members of the family with "Good morning," or whatever language you speak. Some, of course, prefer not to be spoken to until they have had a cup of coffee or tea. Meanwhile, best wishes are offered for each as they begin a new day.

Some of us like to say "Good morning" to God as well. "Thank you, Lord, for keeping me safe during the night and bringing me to a new day." You might even have a special prayer of dedication that you say to offer your day to God, seeking God's guidance and companionship. A few of these prayers I have shared in previous devotionals. I say several.

A good practice in any of these morning prayers is to ask God's presence in your life for events to come that day. If you have a problem to solve, ask for guidance. If you have a family party to attend, ask for God's blessing upon each member. If it's just going to be a boring day, ask God to inspire you with something new that you haven't seen before. The answer to the prayer may be as simple as seeing a bright blossom on a garden flower.

A good morning prayer that I say frequently is one asking God to "let me serve love." It gives focus to the way I wish to be with everyone I meet. If you were to use a similar prayer it might help you if a little quarrel were to arise with someone. You can remember to serve love, and not do anything hurtful to damage the relationship.

Other portions of the prayer I use ask for strength for the day. "Let me know the power for life that is in me, the life-force that is in my senses and the might that is in my heart. Let me serve love with my strength this day."

Here is the prayer by John Philip Newell that I find so helpful to set the course for the day.

"Thanks be to you, O God, for the stirrings of new life in me this day, for rising from the dreams of the night to a fresh flowing of energy, for the vitality that awakened my body and the desires that stir my soul.

Let me know the power for life that is in me, the life-force that is in my senses and the might that is in my heart.

Let me know you as the source of such force and be wise to its true streams and false currents.

Let me serve love with my strength this day, let me serve love with my strength.

In heart and mind and body this day let me serve love."