A Matter of the Heart

Saturday, Oct. 15                       

The October Guidepost included a quotation by Max Lucado.  “Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”  This is true and it’s Scriptural.  I suspect that Max based his quotation on Romans 8:26-27.  “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the  mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  I especially like that last part “in accordance with God’s will.”  Our heart’s desires are automatically edited to fit God’s will.  Did you notice that Paul didn’t say that the Spirit searches the mind?  When praying silently, I often find myself trying to select just the right words.  If my heart is really into it, I don’t need to worry about what words to use.  The Spirit sees what’s in my heart, and that is what reaches the throne.  On the other hand, it is easy to mouth words that are perfunctory, with no feeling or conviction.  Just going through the motions of making requests is like the prayer wheels of India.  You just spin the wheel and all that is written on the cylinder is going up to God multiple times a minute?  I don’t think so.  Unless the heart is in it, unless there is compassion, unless there is a sense of dependence on a gracious God, the words will be meaningless.   It’s how much I care about the person or the situation.  Do I really want God to intervene?  Is my heart aching for a solution that I can’t handle myself?  That, I think, is what Max Lucado was trying to get across.

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