How to Pray for Bad Attitude Stinkers

Got a bad attitude and want to shed it?
Let me introduce you to a little gem of a verse that we can pray to get rid of our nasty stinky attitudes for good!

When I was a youth pastor many moons ago, I took our youth group out to an area where homeless people lived so we could give them some food, toiletry items, and share the love of God with them. We made a lot of friends and this one guy in particular had a soft spot in my heart. His name was Shorty.

We picked Shorty up Sunday morning to take him to church and because he hadn't had a shower in a few weeks he smelled horrible. His hair was disgusting and his skin was encrusted with dirt. So I took him to our house to let him shower.

Filth Has to Come Off

Since his clothes smelled like something had died in them I searched for some clothes that fit him. I looked through my husband's closet and found an out fit. I was hoping that after he showered, he'd put it on. But as soon as Shorty got cleaned up he put his old, crusty, smelly clothes back on.

I said, Shorty, it's not going to do you any good to clean your body and put dirty clothes back on. I handed him my husband’s clothes and told him he could take the dirty clothes off and put on the clean clothes.

Have You Taken Off Dirty Attitudes & Put Them Back On?

This is what a lot of Christian believers do. Jesus washed us clean of all our sin and we put on a new robe of righteousness. But many people choose to reach back down and pick up old negative attitudes and stinking thinking the same way they did before they got saved. They are clean on the inside but their attitudes make them smell on the outside.

James 1:21 NLT:

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

The word "filth" in this verse in the Greek is the word, "raparian". It describes a man whose body and clothes are so dirty that they smell disgusting to everyone near him.

James is describing a believer who is pessimistic, negative, uncooperative, and cynical. They just stink like crap! You've met people like this, I'm sure! Their attitude and disposition is so unpleasant it drives everyone away from them.

But could that also be you? Could it be me? If so, we - you and I, have to make the decision to "get rid of all the filth" - which is not referring to dirty clothes, but the stinking attitudes you and I may have.  We've got to lay down these attitudes and push them so far out of the way that we aren't able to reach down to pick them up again.

Push Away Attitudes Till They're Out of Reach

That's just what I did with Shorty's clothes. I didn't wash them. I tossed them out! I didn't want Shorty to have any chance of picking those filthy, crusty clothes up and putting them back on. And that's what we must do with our filthy attitudes. Let's pray that we push them so far out of the way we will be unable to pick them back up.

You can pray like this:

"God, thank you for washing me with the your Word, and what Jesus did for me on the cross. It makes me brand new. Forgive me for clinging to my old ways of thinking because they stink! Today, help me to drop those old bad attitudes and never pick them back up again. Right now, I let go of old stinking attitudes and ways of thinking. I ask you to help me think and behave in a way that is consistent with being a new creature in Christ. Because that's who I am!"

How Do You Know if YOU Have Bad Attitudes?

  1. Do people gravitate toward you or are they repulsed by your smell? (Hint, hint!)
  2. Do you talk more about negative things or positive things?
  3. Got any attitudes that smell to you? (Get rid of them before others detect the smell!)

Liked this? Then you'd also enjoy this one: Are You Following Your Own Directions When You Pray or God's?

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