Ask anyone, “Do you want to be a good person or a bad person?” and pretty much everyone will answer “Good!”
Hey, we all want to be virtuous, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy, but sometimes we need a few new ideas; a bit of inspiration.
In the spirit of the New Year, I thought we could share some of our best spiritual habits and how they’ve blessed our lives. Just choose one and please describe in detail in the comments. Emily M. recently wrote beautifully about Family History: One Hour a Week and I’ve often thought about the Hildie’s habit of writing kind notes to people at church (maybe you can expand on that in the comments Hildie?).
I hope you’ll all contribute something. Obviously, we can’t all pick up 30 new habits. But maybe we can each learn something that helps us this year. I’d especially love to hear your ideas on getting to the temple more often, preparing for lessons and balancing the busyness of life with the need for contemplation.
And not to be pushy– but I can’t wait to share my best habit with you. I’d like to shout it from the rooftops– START A PRAYER JOURNAL!
You know how you promise to pray for people? Well, years ago, I started writing down a list of people I was praying for and kept it next to my bed. Every single day, I read each of those names and talk to God about the needs of my family and friends, the kids in my Sunday School class, friends-of-friends, people mentioned in testimonies at church, strangers who I read about in the paper…
My prayers aren’t long or beautiful, but just the daily awareness of the many needs and struggles around me lends perspective to my own problems and keeps my friends and family in my heart. Without my prayer journal, I might forget that Andrea’s husband is struggling with cancer, but naming every member of her family in my prayers keeps them in my thoughts. I often feel inadequate when I hear of someone who is suffering. But I can always pray for someone. And sometimes that’s all I can do. I also write a quote at the top of my prayer list that guides my day. For months now it’s been these words from Mother Teresa, “Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without feeling happier.”
Thanks to my sister’s wise advice, I tied my prayer journal to my scripture study. I would never let my loved ones down by skipping my prayers and I won’t let myself down by missing the answers that might come in the scriptures. Now, I don’t feel ready for the day without my prayers and scriptures.
My sister also recommended writing down trivial prayers too. Do you know how fun it is to pray that you’ll find the perfect birthday present and put a check mark next to it? Or to pray about your friend’s job interview and hear they did wonderfully well? Many of our biggest prayers will not be answered the way we’d like, but I’m convinced our Heavenly Father wants to answer our prayers on a daily basis. It’s the same way that we’re not going to take our kids to Disneyland for their birthdays, but we’d love to make their favorite dinner.
I’ve said enough and I want to hear from you, what’s your best spiritual habit? Can you share a small change that developed your relationship with God and added joy to your life?