I was recently invited to moderate a ladies high tea for Gospel Express Ministries. I searched until I found the perfect dress. It fit perfectly – if I didn’t mind giving up breathing for the day.
Needless to say, I had to search for a different dress – a larger-sized dress.
In the middle of my search (during the month before the event), I gave up sweets for Lent. Because I lost four pounds, it was easier to find another (thankfully not much larger) dress.
I was shocked that I was able to go six whole weeks without any dessert. Normally I have very little willpower, especially regarding sweets.
Although it wasn’t my main objective to lose weight during the Lenten season, I was pleased with this side benefit. Yet I feared, once Lent was over, my sugar consumption would again be totally out of control.
So I came up with a plan: Rather than eating something I’d later regret, I would intercede for someone on my prayer list. This works well when dealing with other behaviors, too, such as watching too much television or spending too much time on social media.
Let me explain how this could also help you.
Each day, pick a different name (or group), such as your country, another nation, your spouse, one of your children, a family member, even an “enemy” (someone you have a difficult time with), and then, instead of eating that second cookie or watching another episode of Matlock, pray for them.
This works even better when I incorporate a verse I’m meditating on. Let’s use Proverbs 2:1-2 (ESV) as an example. Your prayer could sound something like, “Father, give (name of person or country) the desire to receive Your words and treasure Your commands in their hearts. Make their ear attentive to Your wisdom and incline their heart to Your understanding.”
Establishing this habit helps me pray for my country and others who are struggling. It also enables me to resist those exasperating little temptations.
And, I must confess, it’s nice to be able to wear a smaller-sized dress without having to hold my breath for the day.
Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, www.TodayCanBeDifferent.net. Connect with her at [email protected]