Saturday, August 20, 2011

Unite My Heart

Psalm 86, a prayer of King David, is a favourite of mine.  It seems to sum up much of the Christian existence.  I often make verse 11 my prayer:
"Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name"
While some verses can seem a little presumptuous to pray, verse two for example says, "Preserve my life, for I am godly;" we should be aware that this is the direction of life of the Christian.  Everyone who is born again has been fundamentally changed into a new being - into one who can come before God to pray with the confidence of Christ who is the perfect and godly one in each of us.

Unfortunately, we do not often share this confidence with King David.  Our recent sin is fresh in our memory, and we do not feel holy.  Whether we have said words in anger, let our gaze linger upon something we shouldn't, or have harboured resentful thoughts, our own heart is betraying our new nature and our prayer lacks conviction because of our guilt.

In such moments we must take hold of forgiveness from the Father and have him unite our heart, lest we be like the kingdom divided against itself that will fall (Matthew 12:25).  Prayer is a part of this process, but the same verse 11 gives us further advice to achieve a united heart.

The first part, learning God's ways, and learning to walk in His truth, is the same thing as having a heart united and set upon Him.  The internal conviction is not separate from the external action.  1John 1:6 from the New Testament shows us that our actions, how we "walk", must match our words which claim fellowship.  If it is clear that our actions don't meet our convictions, we should be praying for something more serious than our walk with God - our souls are likely more in step with the world and our heart is united with the devil.

Before you can worry about becoming more like Jesus, you must first seek salvation from him.  Only then will your heart be freed from the devil to become new and holy, and then the battle with competing desires will begin.  You can be sure that you are saved if you long for your heart to be united, to walk in God's ways, and to live by His truth.  In a sense, the prayer for a united heart will only be truly complete when Jesus returns and our transformation is complete, but for now we can continue to strive, and pray, and enjoy each step of progress.

Pray, with David:
"Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name"
May God grant you to desire and to achieve this prayer.