Make it a habit

Acts 10:9-23
We’d prefer to say we’re devoted to Christ rather than say faith is a habit. But don’t lose the relationship between them. Our devotion to Christ spurs certain habits. We call attending worship, for example, a spiritual discipline. Well, isn’t that a spiffy way to say habit? I say it is and that’s okay. Our habits feed our devotion. Using the same example, worshiping with the church deepens your commitment to Christ.

I remember a bit of advice I heard once about growing in faith. Someone said it was okay to “fake it ’till you make it.” In other words, go through the motions so they can bring you where you want to be. I’m not sure I would sign off completely on that. But it does relate to what we’re saying about devotion and habit. It’s also easy to fool ourselves into thinking we’re committed to discipleship. Still, some habits prepare us by conditioning our thinking.

Prayer can be as much habit as it is devotion. If we’re paying attention.

One time, I cut out a usual time of prayer at church. After our worship, someone approached me. I disappointed him because I “skipped prayer.” Well, I hadn’t. We did pray. He didn’t notice because  what we did that day wasn’t our habit.

In Acts 10, we read of Peter going to a rooftop to pray. From what we understand, this was a normal thing. Your rooftop was a place for gathering, conversation and even worship. Think of an outside, elevated living room. We’ve had people in our home to watch sporting events and movies. We’ve also prayed and studied the Bible together sitting on our couches. The rooftop would’ve been a place to do such a thing for Peter.

This day, though, he’s alone on the roof. It’s almost noon which means it’s time to eat. It’s also time to pray. Most likely, this was one of three prescribed times people might normally observe. Yes, it was their habit to pray evening, morning and noon. I can’t help but think of how Luke writes of Jesus’ praying. According to the physician, praying was a custom of Jesus. Yes, a habit.

Who knows how many times Peter prayed at noon before? This day, though, his habit made an impact on us all. Peter received a vision from God. It changed the course of his ministry and opened up the will of God to the rest of the world. And it came through his usual time of prayer.

Today, I’d like to reflect on that. If we aren’t creating habits of devotion, what are we missing? How is our devotion lacking? What habits help you live out your walk with God?

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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