The most important aspect that a person of prayer must have is patience. We have tendency to give up very easily when we pray. When we sow a seed, we have to wait with patience until the seed buds and grows. No seed grows overnight. No child becomes an adult overnight. It is the same for prayer. When we offer a prayer, we must wait patiently. We must continue to pray until the prayer is answered. A way to pray patiently and not give up is to start again repeatedly.
Patient prayer is a continuing prayer. It is a persevering prayer. It’s a prayer that is offered repeatedly. It’s a prayer that is offered until it is answered. It is a prayer that is offered until the one overcomes difficulties. One of the benefits of patient prayer is that a holy habit can be formed through patient prayer. Holy habits beget holy results.
The importance of good habits cannot be overemphasized. Bad habits are easily formed. On the other hand, they are difficult to break. Bad habits beget bad results and bring bad influence to those around us. We see our bad habits flowing down to our children.
Good habits are hard to form. On the other hand, they are easily broken. Good habits are hard to continue unless they are cultivated sedulously. As much as good habits are hard to form, good habits beget good results. Good things don’t come to us easily. Good habits beget good results and bring good influences on those around us. We see our good habits becomes good examples and become blessed influence on our children.
When we read the Gospel of Luke, we can have a glimpse of the holy habits of Jesus. First, Jesus had a holy habit of reading the Bible. “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). ‘As was his custom,’ Jesus went into the synagogue and read the Word of God. The habit of reading the Bible is a holy habit. People are influenced and stimulated by what they read. They are changed and transformed by what they read. The Bible is the Word of God. It is the bread for our spirit. The Bible contains the wisdom and knowledge of God. When we read the Bible every day, we experience an amazing transformation.
Second, Jesus had a praying habit. “And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him” (Luke 22:39). ‘As was his custom’, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and prayed. Jesus fellowshipped with the Father God through prayer. Jesus received the Father’s guidance through prayer, and he received wisdom and power through prayer. Prayer is having an intimate fellowship with God. Prayer is receiving God’s help. When we pray God helps us through good encounters and opportunities. When we pray, God helps us with an inspiration of the heaven. When we pray, God helps us by striking us with amazing ideas.
In order to form good habits, we must understand the importance of good habits. Good habits are formed when we choose good habits and set our mind to form good habits. We must be focused in order to form good habits. Habits are formed through concentration and repetition. Good habits are formed when we overcome the moments we want to give up on those good habits. The greatness of man is the result of habit. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” The excellence of man is decided by the person’s character. Holy characters are formed through holy habits. Samuel Smiles said, “Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
Habits are prophetic. When we observe a person’s habit, we can predict his or her future. Good habits create good future. We must be faithful and firm in order to form good habits. Benjamin Disraeli said, “We rarely fail from lacking wisdom. What we’re always lacking is faithfulness.” He is not saying that we don’t need wisdom, but rather, he wanted to emphasize that true wisdom is in faithfulness. I would like for all of us to form good habits through this year’s special daybreak services. I pray that the blessings of God may awake the dawn and fill your lives as you come before God in prayer.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.