Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 18, 2015

October 18, 2015 “The Prayer Within”

“Take delight in the Lord,  and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)

Good Morning and Blessed Lord’s Day to All!

Oh my! That’s just exactly what I wanted! How did you know?”  I wonder how many times those words have been spoken by a grateful husband, wife, or child upon receiving an unexpected gift for some occasion…a birthday…Christmas…or just as a way to say “I love you.” Those who are attentive in love instinctively know what the object of their particular affection really appreciates, and quite often, perhaps not even knowing exactly what that desire is, do, in fact, choose the perfect expression of love for the one receiving the gift. It doesn’t really matter how expensive or fine it may be. It could be as simple as a poem or as extravagant as a trip around the world. The point is, it is a gift that fits the desire of the heart. Truth be told, sometimes it’s a “hit and miss” proposition when it comes to giving someone what they really desire, so we assuage our shortcomings with the old expression, “it’s the thought that counts.”  We don’t always get it exactly right. But there is One who does “get it right” all the time. As the recipient of the gifts of a generous, loving God, we would do well to keep that in mind as we pray. Most of the time, as we petition God for some particular blessing, we do so with an expected response from God that fits our particular request. If we receive from God exactly what we request, we attribute that to God’s grace. If we do not receive exactly what we request, we often assume that God hasn’t really heard or prayer or we wonder why he has not granted it. We focus more on the tangible, expected and desired answer, while God, the “giver of every good and perfect gift”, knows our heart, and grants us that which we truly desire as we delight in Him. John Wesley said it like this:

“Prayer continues in the desire of the heart, though the understanding be employed on outward things.”

I believe what he is saying is that though we pray focused on some particular outcome and that is the understanding we have of our spoken prayer, in fact, the prayer within, directed by the Holy Spirit, is the prayer heard by God…a prayer that continues in the desire of our heart. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us before the Father in ways which we do not totally understand, but God understands, and grants those petitions made on our behalf by His Spirit interceding for us. When those answers come and we experience them in their completeness, we may raise up a prayer of joy…”Oh my, Lord! That’s exactly what I wanted! How did you know?”  In fact, he has known you and me before we even took our first breath. He knows all about us. he understands the desires of our hearts even better than we do ourselves. That’s the amazing love of God at work. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Let’s pray!

How Wonderful, how glorious, how gracious You are, Heavenly father. You know the desires of our heart, and You bring us blessing upon blessing. Thank you for your amazing, abounding love and grace. Thank you for the salvation we have through Your Son, Christ our Lord, in whose Name we do pray! Amen!



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