Praying from the heart means we come to God without any thought to what others are thinking about us. In the Message paraphrase of the Bible, it says: ‘Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play.’ If we’re praying because we want others to think we’re a great Christian, we’re not praying a heartfelt prayer. Heartfelt prayer changes things, and often the thing it changes is us. The Holy Spirit brings to the surface all the things we’ve carefully hidden from others, and even ourselves. Like a mirror, He shows us the truth about ourselves. Once we can see the truth, He can start working in us to change things. He can help us become cleansed, corrected, and confident, with a clearer understanding of His will. Heartfelt prayer is usually passionate. It means we come before God with a real need, or intense gratitude. It means we’re so thankful to God, or so aware of how much we need Him, that communicating with Him comes from the heart. There are many example of people praying like this in the Bible. Firstly, Hannah was found pouring her heart out to God, asking for a child. She told the priest: ‘I am a woman who is deeply troubled…I was pouring out my soul to the Lord’ (1 Samuel 1:15 NIV). Nehemiah also prayed from the heart when he heard about the extent of Jerusalem’s destruction. Nehemiah writes: ‘When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven’ (Nehemiah 1:4 NIV). Both of these prayers came from desperate places, they weren’t trying to gain attention or look like great people, they were seeking God from their hearts. And that’s what we should do too.
Find a quiet, private place to sit and pray. Share with God the situations you’re in, or the things you are truly grateful for.
The UCB Word For You