How many times have you tried to form a new habit and failed? If you’re anything like me, you may have lost count of your many attempts. Whether it’s exercise, practicing your instrument, flossing your teeth (ok, hopefully that’s one you’ve got down pat…), spending more time with your family, or sticking to a budget, habits take some energy and effort on our part to start and stick to. Chances are it may take you more than one attempt to establish a long-term habit.
Praying regularly, although a spiritual activity, shares a common struggle with these other habits in that it requires a consistent change in behaviour to do it and a consistent change in behaviour is a difficult thing indeed. Yet, prayer is not an optional extra for the Christian. For us to abide in Jesus we need to pray. Jesus’ says in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Your spirit may be willing but the flesh often gets in the way of what’s best for us.
However, on the plus side, prayer’s spiritual nature makes it slightly different to other habits. The opportunities to pray are ubiquitous, unlike the opportunity to practice your instrument. In that sense, there is never a moment when God is not with you and so there is rarely a moment when you can’t stop and quickly pray. Even now as you come to the end of this little article, you might start to try and see prayer differently. Instead of getting up 2 hours earlier, right now, prayer is as easy as it will always be. You can take a moment right now to pray. Would you, as a starting point, take this opportunity to pray?