Prayer: Create a Clean Heart

Prayer is intimidating. Talking to someone you can’t see or audibly hear is weird. In the Christian faith, prayer gives us direct access to our Creator and Savior and yet, many believers pray out of duty or desperation without ever feeling the presence of God. I know. I am describing myself.

My focus word for 2020 is Prayer. For the past six months I have been hearing God (because He has repeated to me), “prayer, work on your prayer time.” I can pray in front of crowds. I can go to God on behalf of a sick or grieving friend. However, I knew there was an aspect of prayer I was missing. My prayer time with God wasn’t meaningful. Last year I dedicated time to read the Bible through. I truly craved my time in His word each day. This year, I want to crave time with God through prayer.

In Matthew 6, Jesus gathered the disciples to him, away from the crowds, and taught them about prayer, where to pray, and how to pray. Jesus said, “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.” (Matthew 6:6 MSG) The goal is time alone with God to share what’s on your heart. Also to feel his presence and hear him speak to your soul. Its not displaying anything for anyone else. Just a conversation between you and God.

I gathered resources on prayer that I will be sharing with you throughout the month of February. I wanted to dive into books by authors who have been praying for a lot longer than I have. John Eldredge is one of my favorite Christian writers of all time. I have more books by him on my shelf than any other writer. Two of them were signed by him at conference where I heard him speak. Recently, he wrote a book on prayer titled, “Moving Mountains: Praying with Passion, Confidence, and Authority”. Each chapter walks through different aspects of prayer. There are great samples of prayers throughout the book depending on your prayer needs.

The one chapter that made me realize where my prayer time was definitely lacking was the chapter on “Consecration – Bringing things Under the Rule of Jesus”:

The act of consecration is “repairing the wiring,” the first step before God’s protection and provision can flow. It is the fresh act of dedicating yourself – or your home, a relationship, a job, your sexuality, whatever needs God’s grace – deliberately and intentionally to Jesus, bringing it fully into his kingdom and under his rule. It seems so obvious, now that we state it, but you would be surprised how often this vital step is overlooked (and then folks wonder why their prayers don’t seem to be effective).

Throughout the Bible people, animals, the tabernacle, etc. are all consecrated to God. Meaning, they are dedicated to God for His use. I often go about my day, checking of my to-do list without first consecrating my day and the tasks within it to God. Its like I am saying, “Okay God, I am ready for you to use me and all I do for You and Your plans.”

Each morning, I pray/journal a prayer of consecration. Giving Him every part of my day: going to the gym, the grocery store, my writing time, my studying time, time with my kids, etc. as an offering to use how He wants to use it all. I have found that my mindset throughout the day is different. I am not doing all of these things on my list for me, but for God. My stress level has decreased and my joy level has increased.

What does a prayer of consecration look like? I tell God, “I consecrate my day to you.” I list the things in my schedule. I even consecrate my interactions with my neighbors, friends, family, and other people I may encounter. I bring every part of my day under God’s Rule. It is like I am laying my heart before God to clean it up and use me however He desires.

Where are you in your prayer life? Is it a time of meaningful conversation with God or are you, like me, floundering a bit? I hope this month’s theme will encourage you to dedicate more time and energy to growing in your prayer life and connect with God on a deeper level.

Don’t forget this month’s free download for email followers!

I have a sample prayers as a part of my free Prayer Card download for email followers. If you are already on my email list, you should have received the download as a part of your weekly email. If you are not on the list, put your email in the box at the top right corner of this page or click “follow” on your mobile device.

The download consists of four sets of prayer cards that can be printed on cardstock or glued to large index cards. You could even get them laminated. These cards can easily be placed in your Bible or journal to pull out for your prayer time. Each card has a prayer topic, explanation, and verse on the front, then a sample prayer for the back. My hope is that these prayer cards will guide you through your prayer time and help you form prayers of your own.

One thought on “Prayer: Create a Clean Heart

  1. Pingback: Prayer: Set Your Heart on God | Leah Lively

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