The Heart of the Matter
...unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11
"Too often our mountain-top experiences are quickly overtaken by the clamor of the world, and God once again is diminished in our minds. The goal is to establish a daily tradition of growing in the knowledge of God." -Edward Welch
According to Psalm 86:11, the primary reason the Psalmist asks God for an undivided heart is to see God properly and accurately-to fear His name. He desired an undivided heart so he would keep God central and primary in all things.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
How do we become pure in heart? There is no purity in heart apart from redemption through the cross of Jesus. But for the Christian, deep repentance is essential. Repentance is about hating sin, confessing sin, and killing sin by the power of the Holy Spirit. And the fear of the Lord is learned by consistently meditating upon Scripture and seeking to know God.
My alarm when off this morning at 5:15 am, my weekday wake-up time. I turned it off and slept for 15 more minutes. I was exhausted from a long Sunday and a busy weekend.
Once I got out of bed, the first thing I did was to open the Bible app on my phone and, with heavy eyelids, continue my 2-year Bible reading plan. Next, I read New Morning Mercies devotion book and a section of Scripture in Philippians 4, which went along with the devotional reading.
Now was the hard part--closing my eyes and praying! I had just read, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." I wasn't feeling a lot of strength at the moment. Tim Downs writes, "Some writers describe prayer as though it’s an ecstatic experience; as if every time they pray, angels descend on them. But it’s not like that for me. Is it for you?"
I returned to Psalm 86 and prayed this Psalm. I used it as my pray guide, allowing it to point me to Jesus and the righteousness that is found only in Him. I was reminded, once again, of my weakness and my need for God. Augustine said, “If the psalm prays, you pray. If the psalm laments, you lament. If the psalm exalts, you rejoice. If it hopes, you hope. If it fears, you fear. Everything written here is a mirror for us.”
If you need encouragement and focus in your prayers, look to the Psalms. I love Timothy Keller's daily devotion in the Psalms. It is a great resource to help and guide you. You can order it HERE. And be sure to read the head, heart, and hands application points below!