Preparing My Heart for Prayer
Have you ever heard this expression, “You can come to God as you are, and you don’t have to try and fix yourself first”? There is an element of truth to this idea. When we first accept the Lord as our Savior, we are not in a position to “fix” ourselves. Thankfully, God offers His comfort to us, assuring us that He loves us and will not reject us. This gives us the strength to come as we are, knowing we are accepted as His beloved.
But just because we come as we are, doesn’t mean we should stay as we are. Although we cannot fix ourselves, there is often quite a bit of work that needs to be done in us. This holy work can only be done in cooperation with God and at the leading of the Holy Spirit. This is where we partner with God in prayer.
Yes, we can come to God at any time, in any place, and pray about anything. As we approach His throne, it is important to posture our hearts to not only receive from Him, but to first be with Him. Preparing to be in His presence is a big part of preparing our hearts to pray.
Although God is our Best Friend and Father, we must still acknowledge He is holy. His holiness demands that we prepare ourselves to approach Him in prayer. Just because we know God intimately through our personal relationships with Him, does not mean we should handle God in a common way.
Psalm 24:3-5 (NKJV) tells us:
“Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”
Living a Holy, set a part lifestyle has a great impact on our prayer life. We prepare our heart for prayer by starting with purification. We need God to purify our thoughts and to keep us pure in spirit. Even if we are not willfully sinning, we must still recognize our need to be purified.
The Psalmist reminds us in Psalm 66:18-20 (NKJV), “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!” I find it interesting that verse 18 in the NIV translation says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” This verse speaks to the fact that sometimes we have “cherished sin” and we do not want to surrender it to God. The entire passage affirms to us it really does matter to God how we go before Him in prayer, and therefore, it should matter to us. If we want to have clean hands and a pure heart, then we must be intentional about the preparation that comes through purification. How we live our lives matters to God and will show up in our prayer life.
As we consider the Old Testament priests, it is amazing how they had to do specific acts of purification just to be able to enter the Temple. The presence of God was so reverenced, the people did not take it lightly how they presented themselves before Him. Praise God we are New Testament believers, but let’s not miss the lessons these priests offer us today. We want to be those who too respect being with God so much that our hearts are prepared to approach His throne whenever we pray. When we do so, we will have the confidence that comes from knowing God invites us, He welcomes us to be in His presence, and He hears us every time we pray.
Warrior Woman Blog
Hello beautiful Warrior Woman! Has God spoken to your heart today through this blog post? Let me know - I would love to hear from you! If you are viewing this post on my website and have not yet subscribed to my email list, be sure to do so to receive monthly blog posts delivered directly to your inbox. You will also get to download my free Prayer Focus Guide and Planner, Ia special resource I have created to help guide your focus as you prioritize prayer during your private devotional time with God.
About Patrice Championing women to live authentically and pursue God passionately, Patrice Burrell is called to lead others to the grace of God, rooted in the truth of scripture. She is a blogger, author, life coach, and worship leader who loves practicing the presence of God through a lifestyle anchored in spiritual disciplines. As a Bible teacher and preacher, she exhorts women to remember their true identity is defined in Christ, not culture. When not serving at her local church with the small groups and singles' ministries, Patrice enjoys visiting local Orlando attractions, reading books while sitting along the beach, and finding unique ways to explore her writing creativity. You can connect with Patrice on her blog, Warrior Woman Blog, on social media in her Facebook community, Warrior Women, and @patriceburrellministries on Facebook and Instagram. Patrice is excited about her new release of her second book, Living My Best Life: Embracing God’s Gift of Living Full and Single. It is a six-session Bible study designed especially for single women. You can also check out her debut book, Warrior Slay, a devotional book on the power of worship and prayer. Click: https://linktr.ee/judahartspublishing_patrice