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A Heart For Prayer

One thing that matters to God is the heart of a person. The heart is very important in the eyes of God because it’s the core of our being. It’s the seat of our emotions, thoughts, feelings, choices, desires, etc. That’s why Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our heart above all else, for it is the wellspring of life. The state of our heart and what is enthroned in it is reflected in our emotions, desires, choices, etc.

Father in heaven, I pray that my heart will delight in communing with You. May I always see prayer not as something that I find tedious but something that I look forward to doing every day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

A Heart for Prayer

A Heart for Prayer

Why Does the Heart Matter?

The heart matters to God because it’s the very core of our being. It’s where the roots of our emotions, desires, thoughts, feelings, and choices reside. We may appear to love God on the outside with all the good works we’re doing for Him, but God commanded us to love Him with all of our hearts (Matthew 22:37). Without God in our hearts, the good works we do for Him are but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.).

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

A Heart for Prayer

The Bible tells us that our hearts are deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9). Even Jesus Himself pointed out that the very root of sin is the human heart. In Mark 7:21-23, Jesus said that from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, and all other sins. All those evil things come from a person’s heart, which defiles them. Not only are our hearts deceitful and sinful, but they are also hardened (Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?).

A Heart for Prayer

A Heart for Prayer

Given the sinful nature of our hearts, at times, it’s hard for us to pray as God wants us to. We may only pray out of obligation or just for the sake of doing it. But in that case, we can’t pray with all of our hearts and delight in it. Forcing ourselves to love praying is impossible. But how can we delight in praying if our hearts are not oriented toward that?

That’s where God’s work comes in. Our once hardened hearts of stone are turned by God into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). When God begins to work in us, He also works in our hearts (Philippians 1:6). That is why we are described to be new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), meaning we also have new hearts, which are now soft and responsive. With new hearts, we now have new desires. If a person didn’t care if they sinned before, now their desire is to follow Christ, seek to live a holy life, and delight in the things of God. If before people saw reading God’s Word and praying as tasks they had to do out of necessity, now they’re eager to do them. It’s all because of a changed heart, a heart whose desires and affections are for God (Philippians 2:13; Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:16).

A soft heart whose desires and affections are for the Lord is only something that the Holy Spirit can produce in our lives. Even as believers with a changed heart, we should continually pray to God that as we live our Christian lives, God shall always be the main object of our affection and that He is always the One enthroned in our hearts. As we pray for that and delight ourselves in God, delighting ourselves in prayer follows.

Heavenly Father, may You always be the main object of my heart’s affection. Write Your name in my heart that I may always revere You and yield to Your will. May You always be the One who is enthroned in my heart and the One who is my greatest delight. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Heavenly Father, may You always be the main object of my heart’s affection. Write Your name in my heart that I may always revere You and yield to Your will. May You always be the One who is enthroned in my heart and the One who is my greatest delight. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

A Heart for Prayer

How Do You Pray for Your Heart?

Having a heart for prayer comes from having a heart for God (Psalm 37:4), one whose desires and longings are to honor God and glorify Him. With that in mind, we can continually pray to God that He will always be the main object of our affection and be our heart’s delight. During prayer, we can reflect on our hearts: our desires, motives, what is enthroned in it, and everything else that dwells there (Psalm 139:23-24). We can ask God for help with having the right heart before Him (Psalm 51:10; Psalm 19:14) and pray that we shall always long for Him and love Him with all of our hearts (Mark 12:30; Psalm 73:25-26; Psalm 84:1-2). As we pray, we can keep in mind that the Holy Spirit works in our hearts.

Holy Spirit, you see and weigh that which is in my heart. I pray that I shall always have a right heart before You and that the meditations of my heart are always acceptable and pleasing in Your sight. May I always delight in You and always desire to honor You in every area of my life. May I always live a life that is pleasing in Your eyes. Help me always love You with all of my heart and see prayer as something I delight in doing, for it is where I commune with You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Whenever we struggle with prayer, the solution is only sometimes to be more relaxed with our discipline. At times, pausing and evaluating our hearts is also a good thing (2 Corinthians 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?). It is because, in the end, prayer is something we do out of delight. If we don’t delight in doing it, perhaps we should look into our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate to us. The good thing is that in the end, God also gives us the grace we need to have the right hearts before Him and to work and will for His good pleasure.

A Heart for Prayer

A Heart for Prayer

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