Wednesday, Sept. 16
“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than your words without heart.”—John Bunyan. I have a habit of forming words and sentences when I pray, even when I pray silently. It’s as though God will understand what I’m saying only if it’s in precise English. I need to remember that God is not a human being with such limitations. He reads our heart perfectly. In fact, when our words don’t really match what our heart is saying, guess which one God accepts as legitimate. This brings me to the sad fact that my words to other human beings often don’t equate to what my real thoughts are. I would be embarrassed if people could read my heart as well as my words. We are all a lot more deceitful than we would like to admit. In fact, we are so used to doing this that we don’t even realize that we do it. No one is exempt from this deceptive practice. As the Bible says, our hearts are desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). All of that will change when we get to heaven. Every one in heaven will be radically changed. What we say will be precisely what our heart says, yet there will be no embarrassment because every thought, every word, every feeling, and every motive will be free from sin. It will be impossible to have a wicked thought. I doubt that John Bunyan believed that what he was proposing would be fully attainable. He would have known this by knowing his own inability to perfectly conform. But it’s a legitimate goal to strive for. And while we wait for heavenly perfection, God is gracious, loving, and forgiving.