I thought I’d give a big thank you to all of you, wonderful people, who have been recording yourselves praying in the morning each and every day for the benefit of all of us, who could do with the encouragement. And we need it. Especially in the morning.

Each morning I wake up to the sweet voice of one of you, when most people have already been up for hours. I’m ok-ish about it now, but in all honesty, I have been ashamed all my adult life about my inability to look sharp before midday. Together with another sufferer, Judah Smith, I admit, that my least favourite ever scripture is Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning when it was still dark Jesus got up to pray.” I tried it. Can’t do it. Hope you appreciate my honesty.

Because honesty and truth are big in the bible too; ‘the Truth’, being one of the names that Jesus called himself. And honesty is our personal way how we do truth. I find, that I can’t connect to God in prayer properly, if I don’t lay bare what’s on my heart. “Lord, I’m so tired/upset today,” I often say – and the barrier is broken, which tells me, that this is a perfectly valid prayer.

I talk to God a lot at work. I hear myself saying things like: “Help me with this, please. Don’t let me make a mistake now. There’s a long way down from this ladder, please keep me safe…” I should add that my work is gardening. And again, in all honesty, it is something that I learn as I go, as I haven’t got any formal training or qualifications. So, I need A LOT of help. The good news is, that I’ve never fallen of a ladder (yet) and when I do involve God in my work, he is there, coming up with totally unexpected solutions to something I thought I couldn’t do.

Only last week I was called into a large country garden, where I’ve worked before. I remembered that last year I was asked to put together a support system for a bed of tall flowers. I spent ages at it and at the endof the day I was told: “Oh well, at least you are good at weeding…” This year, however, I was straight to the point: “God”, I said, “please help me here, is there a way to please these people?”

And so, I’ve had an idea how to support groups of flowers that they could still look and move naturally and make the stakes almost invisible at the same

time. It only took me a few minutes. I’ve finished and went home. Later that day an email arrived thanking me profusely for “the excellent work you’ve done in the garden.” In all honesty, I couldn’t claim those words of thanks for myself, even if I wanted to. It belongs to Jesus for who he is: my helper, my friend. I rely on him increasingly more and more throughout my life.

And as I apologize for (occasionally) sleeping through morning prayers, I so appreciate you for it and I bless you wholeheartedly as you stand in all honesty before God every morning.