Prayer & Healthy Habits
What do you do regularly? What are your habits? Sometimes we joke about them and give each other a hard time about them. For instance, I make my bed every morning, even at a hotel. Yeah, I know.
Often we underestimate habits. The good ones we call mundane: brushing teeth and hair, sweeping, cooking, laundry. We forget their value and significance. The bad ones we either hide or deny or try to overcome, but even those we tend to minimize in an effort to alleviate the guilt we feel about them.
Habits make all the difference.
Habits communicate our principles, reveal our character and establish our integrity. Habits are those activities we do no matter what, when your back is up against the wall, when no one is watching, when you’re desperate and alone, when you’re confused or lost. It doesn’t matter if the sun is shining or the rain is falling, your habits get done.
Habits give comfort to us when storms rage and tragedy smacks and the lights go out. See when someone dies there are still towels to be folded, dishes to wash a child read to and a dog to walk. The more drastic the change, the more desperate we become to establish to some kind of normality, some order, some routine. Thank goodness for habits.
Habits, good or bad become our best friends. They define us. We depend on them whether we want to or not. That is why it is so difficult to break a bad habit and so imperative that we establish good ones. And the best news-it’s always a good time to start a good habit!
Spending time with God on your knees, in His word and with hands uplifted in prayer are three important habits worth practicing. All three of them take time, but the investment has an eternal return.
Spending time on your knees.
Over and over in Scripture we admonished to pray. Pray without ceasing, on all occasions, giving thanks and praising God. In Hebrews we are encouraged to ‘approach the throne of grace with confidence’. Peter encourages us to ‘cast all our cares on Him for He cares for us.’ The Psalmist writes over and over about how he cries out and how God hears and answers. Praying is our opportunity to lay it all down and out. To humbly acknowledge we can’t and our need for Him. We have so many worries and concerns. Jesus said, “Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” We need only go to Him in prayer and lay it at His feet in prayer. He invites us to tell Him all about it, not because He doesn’t know, but because it is good for us to tell Him. In doing so we are reminded of His goodness and faithfulness.
Time in the Word.
God speaks to us through His word. ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,’ Psalms says. Taking the time to read His word and study its truths actually transforms our minds. Through it we learn how to think. Paul writes in Philippians, ‘think on these things.’ He also tells us how to live when he writes, ‘be imitators of God’. We come to know who Christ is as we study his life here through the gospel accounts. The message of God’s love for us is clear from Genesis to Revelation. God’s word is unchanging, but through it He molds us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Studying His word changes us, who we are as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, friends, and neighbors. It changes us from the inside out.
Hands raised in Worship.
Acknowledging God as Master of the universe, as Creator of all things, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords puts all of life in its proper perspective. As we praise Him, recognizing Him as the Great I Am, the Great Redeemer, the Great Physician, reminds us that He is in control. We have no reason to worry or stress or even panic. He is sovereign. He has a plan for His glory and our good. We were made by Him to worship.
Worshiping Him, keeping Him squarely on the throne of our hearts safeguards us from idolatry. Further when we lift our hands in worship our open hands represent that we come with nothing, we hold nothing, we lift our hands in submission to His perfect will, in surrender. It is a beautiful posture.
What if we were known to spend time in the word, on our knees and in open-handed worship?
What if no matter what, we spent time with Him acknowledging Who He is and our need for Him, His wisdom, direction and strength?
What would it change?
The way we respect our husbands?
The way we serve our families?
The way we talk to our friends?
The way we minister?
“The heart is the wellspring of life.”
I bet these habits would change us from the inside out. I bet it would strengthen our marriages and our families and our friendships. I’m betting these 3 habits could change the world?
How about we start a revolution?