So glad you could join us on Day 4 of 21 Days of Prayer!
A habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice and is especially hard to give up. It seems that when Hebrews 12:1 says, "...let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us", that it is talking about habits. Or more succinctly, bad habits. But in the same way that we have bad habits, couldn't we also have good habits?
Philippians 2:14 admonishes us to "Do all things without grumbling and complaining" which indicates an act of our will to cultivate a habit of viewing life in an optimistic and positive way. But remember, a habit is settled, regular and practiced.
Nothing But the Habit
Perhaps you've heard the story of the Traveler on the train. He wanted a cigarette but when the train stopped, there wasn't a store nearby where he could buy any. Then he saw a newsboy selling papers and smoking. He asked the newsboy if he had an extra cigarette. He didn't but he told the Traveler that he had the "makings" for one.
So the Traveler asked if he would roll one for him and he did. Then the Traveler searched his pockets for a match but didn't have one. So he asked the newsboy for a match, too! When he handed him a match, the newsboy said, "Captain, I guess you ain't got nothing but the habit, have you?"
Changing Habits Through Prayer
Every time we make a decision to improve our lives or upgrade our day to day experiences, we find ourselves challenged by our own settled, regular and practiced ways. It's what Hebrews called the "weight" and the sin that "so easily beset us" and often, it will leave you feeling like you "ain't got nothing but the habit"! Just as the traveler was driven to smoke, habits can be hard to change. They are that "regular tendency" that we must face head on, recognizing them as the relentless road block to our goals in the new year. Today, we must pray and ask God to give us the strength and commitment to break those habits that interfere with the good that we desire in 2018.
Let's Talk to God!
Lord, help me to break habits that keep me from becoming the person You have called me to be. I surrender and open my heart to the limitless possibilities that await me when I make better choices. I settle the arguments in my mind, knowing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Today I put off the "old self" with its regular practices and put on the "new self" that is being renewed daily in the knowledge of Christ.
It is because Your word says (I Corinthians 6:19-20) that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in me and I am not my own, that I forsake drugs, smoking, drinking, sexual immorality and any other habit that may hurt my body.
I am bought with a price and therefore, I will honor You O Lord, with my body by taking good care of it.
I also surrender my will regarding relationships, employment, finances and personal discipline.
I take these and all other goals that might be impossible in my own strength and give them to You.
Holy Spirit, I invite you into my life to take control. From this moment forward, every time I am faced with a habit that seems too hard for me to overcome, I will declare Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me," in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!
~Inspiring Hope and Seasoning Faith, Pastor Sean