A Prayer to Make Praising God a Habit
By Ashley Moore
“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.” – Psalm 119:164, ESV
Have you ever heard of habit stacking? This is a practice you can implement when trying to create a new habit, where you attach the new habit to something you already have a habit of doing. For example, if you want to begin a new habit of drinking 16 extra ounces of water a day, each night, you would place a fresh bottle of water beside your toothbrush. So that as soon as you are done brushing your teeth in the morning (existing habit), you can chug the water bottle (new habit).
So often, our new habits fail to truly become second nature because we make them too difficult to incorporate or, rather, too easy to gloss over in our day-to-day routine. Have you ever experienced failing to create a new habit?
Maybe you bought a membership to the gym but only went a couple of times because the trip across town was too much trouble. Perhaps you wanted to start eating healthier, but the added meal prep was so hard to incorporate that you found yourself opting for the drive-thru again.
Finally, you set a new goal to read the Bible right before calling it a night but find yourself crawling into bed after a busy day, unable to read without drifting off. These habits didn’t stick because they were too hard to implement. They worked against your already well-ingrained routine, and in the end, the resistance overpowered your willpower to create a new routine.
When I read the Psalmist’s devotion to praise God seven times a day in Psalm 119:164, I have to wonder if habit stacking was involved. Commentators are divided on whether praising seven times is literal or if the number seven signifies multiple times a day when the author stopped to praise. Nonetheless, we all can agree that praising God many times a day can only positively impact a person.
Maybe our other habits weren’t sustainable, and I hope that habit stacking can be a useful tool to help us give healthier habits another shot. But perhaps we can give habit stacking a shot by trying to implement more praise into something we already do multiple times a day. Perhaps let each time you check your phone today prompt you to offer up short and sweet praises to God.
You are worthy of our praise. All day, every day, our lives should be full of us offering our praise to you! You created everything. The sun, the moon, the stars, the mountains, and the trees. You made a spread of creatures and a diverse group of image-bearers that reflect Your glory! You gave us the law by which to live a perfect life, and when we failed to live up to it because of our sins, you sent Your Son to live it in our places on our behalf. In an upside-down deal, you exchange Your righteousness for our transgressions, Lord. So that we could inherit eternal life with you forever in Paradise. Lord, what else could we ask for? Oh, but how we do ask for more? Sadly, we are easily discontented and distracted by the pleasures of this life.
Lord, forgive us when we fixate more on what we don’t have and forget to thank You and praise You for all that You have given to us in addition to eternal life. Lord, You didn’t have to; you didn’t have to make food taste sweet or clothe flowers with your brilliant color palette. You didn’t have to give us satisfying friendships and relationships on Earth. You didn’t have to paint beautiful sunrises and sunsets each day for us. But you did, and you continue to do things that prompt us to praise You! Lord, You didn’t have to create us to enjoy it when we offer You praise, but in Your goodness, you made praise beneficial to us by increasing our joy! Thank You, Lord. I ask that You would help each of us to practice habit stacking our praises to You with something we regularly do so that our praise would increase, Jesus.
In Your name, I pray, amen.
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Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn’t writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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