Emily Dickinson once wrote:“The Heart wants what it wants – or else it does not care”. That is likely an accurate portrayal of so much of what prevails in our culture. The very nature of the prosperity gospel shapes and molds God into a heavenly Santa Claus dispatching our every wish.
I am guessing that a lot of things masquerade for prayer in our post modern world. But I suspect that when we find ourselves in the battleground of spiritual conflict, true prayer begins to surface. We can pour out our epithets and our selfish requests, but what is real prayer. Psalm 37 shares a promise of God giving us the desires of our heart.
But what is the context of that statement. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I wonder, if I set my heart on God intently so that He is my one true desire, will I then have a blank check for Him to give me whatever I want as some seem to suggest? I believe it is more likely that what truly happens is my heart begins to change and my desires become a reflection of God’s heart. It is the transformation that we see modeled by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when He cries out, “Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done, Father.”
A friend shared with me a couple days ago a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer who said, “If we are to pray aright, perhaps it is quite necessary that we pray contrary to our own heart. It isa not what we want to pray that is important, but what God wants us to pray.”
Let’s reflect on that a bit in the days to come. What would happen in our churches if we set our hearts on God. What would happen if we asked Him to so redirect our prayer life that we begin to pray what He wants? The promise of I John 5 is that God grants all of our petitions that are His will. What does your heart desire today? Is it true of you that your heart wants what your heart wants? Or do you want the LORD God more than anything, so that ultimately Your desires become a reflection of His heart?