Prayer is not merely a religious exercise that Christians perform. Neither is it seeking a handout from God. Prayer is seeking to know God. It is seeking Him with our whole hearts.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the priests, the prophets, and the people Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile in Babylon. In that letter he stated the kind of prayer that God acknowledges. “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found by you” (Jeremiah 29:12–14).
When a person searches for God with his whole heart, only then is God found. The heart of man is the central core of a person—the inner man. The Greek word for heart is kardia, which means, “the chief organ of physical life.” W. E. Vine says that the heart “occupies the most important place in the human system. By an easy transition, the word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements. In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life. . . . The heart, in its moral significance in the Old Testament, includes the emotions, the reason, and the will.”
Creator God, You knitted me together perfectly with a heart that is designed to be formed by Your own heart. Teach me how to be continually open to Your perfect presence so that my mind, emotions and desires are focused upon seeking a life devoted to Jesus.
–Adapted from The Prayer Factor: Adventures with a God who Hears and Answers by Sammy Tippit. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for individuals whom he has called to be your spiritual guides. Thank God for establishing order and authority in his church. Confess any lack of appreciation for the responsibility God has given to your pastor, elders, and deacons. Commit yourself to regularly upholding your spiritual leaders in prayer. Ask God to grant you a willingness to follow their leadership.
Pray by name for your pastor(s), elders, and deacons. “They keep watch over you as men who must give account.” Ask that “their work will be a joy, not a burden” (Heb. 13:17).