By now most of us have abandoned all or most of our New Years resolutions. The abandonment happens because we fail to make our resolutions a priority. I’m sure that you’ve heard that it takes 21 days to create a habit, but my research found that number to be closer to 66 days.
Yes, you read that right. It takes at least 66 days to create a new habit.
I have been reading Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler & Lois Tverberg; in chapter 7 they talk about the Jewish tradition (habit) of speaking blessings (berakhah) over every part of their day. From the moment they open their eyes in the morning until they fall into peaceful slumber at night the devot Jew is speaking barakhah to God.
Each blessing starts something like this, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe,” or, in Hebrew, “Barukh atah, Adonai Elohenu, Melek ha-olam . . .”. And continues with humbly blessing God for His provison.
I wonder what life for the American Christian would be like if we took prayer this seriously. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV Paul wrote, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Most believers, that I know, take this to mean that we should maintain a prayerful attitude & listen for God to speak to us during the course of the day. While this is true, berakhah is more than that. It is a continual attitude of gratitude & reverence.
Do you thank God everyday that you:
- Woke up
- Went to the bathroom
- Had coffee that was hot
- Stubbed your toe
- Were smiled at by a stranger
- Missed an important meeting?
I know I don’t. However, I think that adding a similar practice to my Year of Gratitude will greatly enhance my prayer life & the lives of those around me.
What spiritual habit do you need to cultivate today?
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