A good habit is only beneficial when it can be maintained and tweaked and continuously built to adapt to your level of spiritual maturity and walk of life. In this very short post, I am going to do my best to show you how to build a habit that lasts. And those habits are the only ones worth building. Here are three characteristics of a good habit plan and how they apply to this topic of daily prayer:
A Good Plan is Proactive
A good habit-building plan is proactive, seeking out the areas in which we are likely to enter pitfalls and creating safeguards for them. Every person is weak in different ways, so we will each be susceptible to different dangers. For me, I struggle with laziness, which is a huge threat to habit-building. Assess your weaknesses and how they will impact your effectiveness in habit-building. For me, accountability is the greatest weapon against laziness.
A Good Plan is Measurable
A good habit-building plan is measurable, able to be evaluated, assessed, and changed if necessary. In his book, The Best Question Ever, Andy Stanley notes that the greatest habits, the ones that matter most, are formed by such small increments that we note very little difference. Think about it: exercise, healthy eating, prayer, daily Bible reading, etc.—you don’t see the difference within just two days. Moreover, you rarely see the difference over a week. But over a month or two or several…you will see a change. A good habit-building plan is measureable. You should see change happening in your live and should be able to evaluate if it is working or not. Little hint: if you cannot evaluate if it’s working or not, it is probably not working.
A Good Plan is Ever-changing
A good habit-building plan is ever-changing, adapted to ever-changing lives. This is not to say that we pray when we have time for it (a common pitfall to daily prayer). This is to say, if we are praying at 5 A.M. each day for an hour, but our work shift ends at midnight, then we have to change up something. Because we also need sleep if we are going to live our lives to glorify God. Your plan may likely always be changing. Yet, it needs to also have a strong element of consistency to it, or else we will fail in our habit-building.
In light of all that I have just said, let us take a moment to check up on how you are doing in your Bible reading. Hopefully last week you were:
– Convicted of your need to read the Bible daily
– Shown a very reliable way of reading your Bible
– Advised on the best time to read your Bible
– Able to figure out what to read in your Bible
– Convicted of the importance of Scripture memorization