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What are you praying about? The Heat or The Heart?

May 22, 2007

Before I post part 2 of the sermon from James 1:5 about praying for wisdom, let me interject some fresh thoughts on prayer learned from this Dynamics of Biblical Change class by David Powlison.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord…He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when the heat comes, for its leaves remain green.”

If our hearts are trusting in the Lord, then we will flourish even in the heat of various trials.  Therefore, our deepest need is to pray for our hearts, not for the removal of the heat.  But most of our prayer requests stay at the superficial level of asking God to take away the heat.  When the world overhears the church praying, it gets the impression that God exists to make Christians comfortable, and that he isn’t very good at it. 

It is perfectly acceptable, of course, to lift up to God our desires for the heat to go away.  But don’t stop there.  Pray about what God is doing in your heart through this heat.  Pray for faith, for hope, for love, for patience, for an increased appetite for the word.  Repent of the anger and the idolatrous lusts exposed in this trial.  Pray about your heart, not just about the heat.

I’ve shared this thought now at two different prayer meetings, and both times the results were remarkable.   The sharing of prayer requests became a time of very significant ministry to one another.  And the prayer that followed felt more focused and full of faith and confidence that we were praying according to the will of God.

I used to snort condescendingly at prayer meetings that contained 45 minutes of sharing prayer requests and only 15 minutes of prayer.   But if we’ll talk about the needs of our hearts and not just complain about the heat to one another, I think that kind of prayer meeting can be mighty powerful. 

Who will be the first to call for a prayer meeting like this?  May they spring up like grass in a meadow.  

4 Comments leave one →
  1. egana permalink
    May 22, 2007 4:14 pm

    How about next Wednesday (May 30) night at my house, 7 pm – 9 pm? Come as you are, go away fed and washed by the Spirit!

  2. Egana permalink
    May 23, 2007 7:41 pm

    any takers?

  3. May 24, 2007 8:26 pm

    Blog’s pretty dead these days, Egana. Better find other means of promoting your group. Thanks for taking up the challenge!

  4. egana permalink
    June 1, 2007 9:37 pm

    s-ok, anyway, I forgot about it, so its a good thing no one showed up anyway! *wink*

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