We all long to live freely, yet, everyone has habits or patterns we need to break. The key to transformation in our lives is to take our attention off ourselves and turn it towards loving Jesus. Ramping up our willpower is not the answer. Only pure love for Jesus entirely breaks addictions, habits, and unhealthy patterns. Is accountability important? Yes, but ultimately, what sets us free is not our discipline but regular encounters with Jesus. When we are convinced that Jesus is the lover of our souls, we will realize nothing in this world can satisfy us but Him. Here are eight prayers to help you focus as you seek to break bad habits.
1. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. - Hebrews 11:25 NLT
Father, I often think sin will satisfy the deepest desires of my heart. Only to leave me devastated and empty. Help me realize sin overpromises and always underdelivers. The pleasures of sin are fleeting, lasting for a short time. May I find my delight and satisfaction in You, not my bad habits. Help me to break free from any pattern that has a strong hold on me. I long for freedom, and I acknowledge I can only be released by looking to You for help, not myself. So, Father, I choose to fix my eyes on You and call upon Your name for deliverance. I will receive Your help now. In Jesus' name. Amen.
2. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. - 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
Lord, I thank You for being faithful when I am not. I often miss the mark, and I confess to this. Your words say You will show me a way out so I can endure. As I seek to build good habits and break the bad ones, may I never lose sight of Your faithfulness. No matter how many times I fail, I will choose to run to You for help. For I believe freedom is found in You. Please give me the strength to run to others and not be ashamed to ask for help. Teach me to see the value of my brothers and sisters in Christ. As I pursue good habits, may I invite others on my journey towards freedom. In Jesus' name. Amen.
3. And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2 NLT
Lord, as I allow You to transform the way I think, may this help me see my bad habits in light of Your Word. I trust this will lead to good habits. Change me and mold me into Your image God. I long to be more like You in all I do. You ask me to give my body to You because of all You have done. So, I give my entire self and offer my body to You as a living sacrifice. May my body bring You honor. Father, please break any incorrect thinking patterns in my mind that lead me to bad habits. As I read Your Word, let it wash over me and change how I see the habits I struggle with. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
4. People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. - Proverbs 28:13 NLT
Father, teach me to walk in the light of Your presence. Your words instruct me to confess my sins and walk in the truth. Give me the strength to have friends and close ones who can hold me accountable for my progress. On days where I miss the mark, help me get back up and celebrate my progress. I am victorious because of You. You are my strength. Your mercies are new every morning. Lord, I thank You that Your love for me does not change based on how good I am. Your love is constant. This brings me peace. I cry out to You for help, trusting You will answer and lead me into a life of victory over my habits. I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
5. Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. - Ephesians 4:22-24 NLT
Lord Jesus, I often forget my identity as a child of God. You call me holy and set apart because I'm bought by You. Before my behavior changes, transform my heart first, Lord. Break my heart for the things that break Yours. I submit my habits to You, and I relinquish control. I cannot do this on my own strength. May I never compare myself to those around me. Teach me to look to You instead. When I am doing well, teach me to give You credit. I acknowledge that my former way of life was corrupted by lust and deception. But now, as I let Your Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes, I believe in changed habits. I choose to put on my new nature and walk in a way that honors You. I ask for Your help, Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.
6. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. - 1 John 1:9 NLT
Father, teach me to rest in Your grace when I miss the mark. I also ask for strength to confess my shortcomings and receive Your grace. You are faithful and just to forgive, even when I struggle to accept Your forgiveness for myself. Only You can cleanse me from wickedness and forgive my sins. Help me want to submit my habits to You, as You work in me to change my behavior. Teach me to walk according to Your Word, not my fleshly desires. Mold me into Your image Lord. As a child of God, You call me more than a conqueror because of Jesus’ blood, which purifies me. You call me clean and blameless. I rest in this truth. As I change my behavior, I refuse to trust myself. As I make progress, I will be sure to give You credit. Thank You for the strength You offer, Lord. I have received it now. In Jesus' name. Amen.
7. For anger gives a foothold to the devil. - Ephesians 4:27 NLT
Father, I am aware the battle against the enemy is real. Teach me to put on the whole armor of God every day so that I can withstand the attacks of the devil. As I seek to change my habits through the ups and the downs, teach me to process my anger in Your presence. When I struggle to change, I get frustrated and angry. In my anger, help me to not give into sin. I am aware the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to discourage and destroy me. Father, I am reaching out to You for help. Give me the strength to not give the enemy a foothold. My desire is to be always on guard. Thank You for giving me the will and want to do good. You do this work, and I am grateful for it. I will submit this to You now. In Jesus' name. Amen.
8. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. - 1 John 2:15-17 NLT
Lord, I realize the temptation to love the world, and the things of this world pull at me every day. Give me the strength to defeat the habits that attempt to destroy and enslave me. I desire to find my satisfaction in You, not the things of this world. As I lay down my passions, I choose to pick up the great treasure, which is You, Lord. Knowing You satisfy the deepest desires of my soul. I submit my habits to You and ask for strength and freedom to choose good habits. I refuse to trust in my abilities and lean on Your power Lord. With Your help Lord, I will live a life led by Your Spirit, laying down the desires of my flesh and choosing to delight in Your ways. Thank You for being a Father who cares about the details of my life. Transform my life. I ask this in faith. In Jesus' name. Amen