Habits aren’t for weak people. Habits aren’t for super-disciplined people. Habits are for everybody. Even God.
Jesus made it a habit to spend time with his Father. Can you imagine the divine conversations between God the Father and God the Son during these moments? What needs did Jesus have? What questions did he ask? What did he need help with?
Jesus went to the one place he knew he’d find the perfect answers. His Father. And he did it routinely.
“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16).
“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there” (Mark 1:35).
“After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone” (Matthew 14:23).
Recently I read the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. If you want help approaching the new year, as you consider self improvement, here are two recommendations:
- Habits are so important that even Jesus practiced them.
- Take 7 minutes today to watch this interview where James Clear lays out 5 quick rules for making good habits and breaking bad ones.
Spoiler alert, the 5 quick rules are:
- Start small (the 2-minute rule).
- Understand the compound interest of habits (the 1% rule).
- Break your habit into small parts (the Goldilocks rule).
- Everyone slips, so just get back on track (the “never miss twice” rule).
- Be patient (the stonecutter rule).
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, you knew the power of habits and routinely met your Father in prayer. Help me to make good habits and break bad ones. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Take a moment today to pray about habits using the PRAY acronym.
- Praise (tell Jesus what amazes you about his habit of prayer)
- Repent (confess your bad habits to Jesus, and trust that his mercy forgives)
- Ask (ask Jesus for whatever you need to build better habits)
- Yield (talk to Jesus about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)