Speak From the Heart
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9, NIV
My family and I went to a revival meeting once that nearly sent me into orbit. The subject was prayer, and the main points the speaker made were as follows: prayer is serious business, therefore we need to approach it properly; God doesn’t hear your prayers until you are saved; we should pray about the spiritual side of things long before the physical; and prayer is best when we are wide awake—it’s disrespectful to fall asleep when you pray.
The speaker was right about one thing, I suppose. Prayer is serious business. All throughout the Bible, we’re instructed to pray, and it’s a privilege, a chance to commune with the living God. How does one approach it properly? It’s a legitimate question, although when I talk to my Father, Brother and Counselor—Best Friend, I don’t follow any formula. I just speak from the heart.
The Bible offers the Lord’s prayer as an example of what’s appropriate. We are also given countless examples throughout the Old and New Testaments of God’s people praying. From Abraham in Genesis to King David in the psalms to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the patterns of prayer are as diverse as the personalities.
Stone and I had a talk with our kids after the so called revival—a damage-control session. We emphasized praying from the heart. Don’t let anyone tell you God can’t hear a person’s prayers, saved or not. Like Abraham, David and Jesus, lay your heart out there before Him. Don’t hold back. He knows everything anyway. His will is going to be done, and our prayers are a way we participate in that. We’re to come like little children before the throne of grace. We can ask anything in His name. The King hears us— inarticulate as we are—and He accepts our prayer.
FAITH STEP: Today when you pray, remember that you are speaking to the One who gave His life for you. You don’t have to impress Him; just speak from your heart.
Contributed by Gwen Ford Faulkenberry