Sunday, August 18, 2013

Seven Ways to Pray: 2. Desires

If you want to catch up, read the introductory post for Seven Ways to Pray for Your Heart, which contains links to all the other posts in the series. Also, you can find Jon Bloom's original post here.

This week, we focused on desires. One of the things we prayed about was asking God to make our desires the same as his desires. As children of God, you would think that this was automatic, but as human beings, we were born into sin, and its desire for us can blind us to God's desires for us, and for us. [Not a typo!] We see this as God warns Cain in Genesis 4:7, and as Paul laments the human condition in Romans 7:11-23.

But what does God desire? Hosea 6:6 tells us of two things: mercy, as opposed to sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God, as opposed to burnt offerings. In short, God doesn't really care so much about the religious things that we do, as much as showing kindness to others (mercy is often translated as loving-kindness), and recognizing God's sovereignty over all. In fact, Jesus says the same when he distills all of the laws of the Jews down to two commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

So, how do we make our desires into God's desires? Jesus teaches us to pray this, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10). And David, in Psalm 51, prays similarly, asking God to purify him, creating in him a pure heart, and the right spirit (Psalm 51:10-12). David offers himself, his heart, broken and contrite, as a sacrifice (Psalm 51: 17). This is the attitude we need to have in order to make God's desires ours.

Are you seeking to make God's desires the desires of your heart? Pray that his will be done on earth as in heaven. Pray that you show mercy to others, and that you acknowledge God above all else.

Be blessed and shine with His desires!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23