How Does Prayer Help Me Eat Healthier?
I often attribute prayer as the biggest factor to my losing over 40 pounds. I’m aware many people, even Christians, may wonder what that’s all about. Isn’t praying to God about eating healthier maybe just superstition or sending “positive vibes” into the great unknown? Since I’m encouraging people to be prayerful about their daily eating habits, perhaps I should give some very Biblical, Jesus-endorsed reasons to adopt this routine. Therefore, let’s quickly look at what happens in our heart, on our end, when we pray about what to have for dinner.
I believe Matthew 6 offers a lot of clarity here as to what goes on in our heart when we pray. Notice the structure of the Lord’s prayer in verse 9-13. The first five lines pertain to God – not ourselves and not our problems. Jesus outlines who God is to us (our Father), how He is to be viewed (hallowed), and whose kingdom is more important (His). After this, the prayer begins to petition God for daily bread, forgiveness of self and others, and protection from temptation.
This is one of those moments where I say, “Jesus, you really get me, don’t you?” Jesus understands that our biggest problem isn’t our problem, but the way we view our problem – we view it as bigger than God. No, we may not admit this, but we act as if God can’t handle our problems, at least in that moment of temptation. The Savior of our hearts responds to this dilemma by giving us a prayer that rightly magnifies God and exalts His name above our problems. Through the Lord’s prayer, Jesus offers us a way to correct the perspectives of our heart.
When I’m prayerful about a food temptation – like when I’m craving a double cheeseburger and fries from Wendy’s after a stressful day – and I spend a few moments meditating or praying on God’s relation to me, the respect and honor He’s due, and the need for His will to overrule my will, my heart begins to get its perspectives in order. I begin to see God as my peace and comfort and food as secondary. My heart begins to rest in God and the work of Jesus; the desire for such a decadent comfort food subsides. Now, with my heart right, I can make a smart decision for dinner – which may be a small burger from Wendy’s or simply going home to food I already have.
As a side note, I hope you can see it’s not a sin to enjoy a cheeseburger and fries, as they’re as much God’s creation as anything else. However, to eat any food as a way to comfort myself, basically providing my own momentary salvation – that’s a sin. (Psalm 62:1-2) By itself, a Wendy’s burger and fries aren’t sinful.
Of course, this little article is about food, but couldn’t we use this for every temptation or trial? Every problem, no matter how big, needs to be placed in front of God as soon as possible; we’ll soon find out He dwarfs every trial we come against and there’s no need for us to self-medicate with food or any other addiction. Everyone who has the Spirit of God within them is capable of adopting this routine. The next time a high-calorie temptation comes your way and begins to appear super-sized, put it before God in prayer and watch it shrink in size.