I was recently making a loaf of simple sandwich bread for our lunches. Often, I mix the bread in a bread maker, and then shape and bake the loaf in the oven. I just like it better that way. As I put the pan into the bread maker, I went over all the ingredients in my head to make sure I had everything: water, honey, brown sugar, salt, flour, and…yeast! I had forgotten the yeast!
Without yeast, a loaf of bread bakes up into a hard brick and is unedible. It never rises, it doesn’t get soft and tender, and it belongs nowhere but the trash. I’ve forgotten to add yeast a few times to my bread, and was always frustrated and disappointed that I wasted my time and the good ingredients on something that no one would enjoy.
As I rushed to the fridge to pull out and measure the yeast, I realized a parallel. It’s the same with prayer. Prayer is the yeast of my day. It is good to pray over meals, it is wonderful to pray in the evening to take time and express thanks to God for the blessings of that day. But it is essential to start my day with prayer. Without it, I feel off. I wonder how many opportunities I might be missing because I didn’t take a few minutes to ask for guidance through prayer in the morning. I wonder how many of my good ingredients — my willingness to serve, my talents, my hope to be better — might go unused or less used because I didn’t tell the Lord in the morning how willing I was to help Him that specific day. I know that when I begin my day taking some time to have a good conversation with my Heavenly Father, my day has the ability to rise in a way it doesn’t when I don’t pray.
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