Devotional: Praying with a Sincere Heart
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Yesterday, we stated that our physical postures give expression to the attitudes of our hearts. Which begs the question, how do I allow the attitude of my heart to be sincere and authentic? What we see in Scripture is that God is much more concerned with our heart than us putting on a show or giving some false appearance of confidence, strength, or “having it all together.” Prayer is no different. Prayer is our communication with God and we should not make it about anything that it is not. We are not praying to meet the expectations of others, or to tick a box on a checklist of religious activity. We do not have to come to God with eloquent speech or fancy church words. We do not need to pray so that others might see how spiritual we are (see Matthew 6:5-15). God desperately wants a sincere heart as we pray, because God looks at the heart and not outward appearance.
At Grace Point, we say that “it’s ok to not be ok.” And if we are not ok, then our prayers should reflect that. If we are in a season of joy and rejoicing, then our prayers should reflect that. In Isaiah 29:13 the Lord says, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” The Lord doesn’t want us to pray with our mouths, but be far from Him. He wants our hearts.
Whether we have two minutes or two hours – God desperately wants as sincere heart as we pray. How can we align our hearts with him and be honest with Him today?
Pray that God would examine you and allow you to see truly what is going on in your heart. Pray that you would be able to fight the temptation to just pray what you think you should pray. Pray through Psalm 139 and ask God to search you and know you.
*Consider keeping a Prayer Journal through Pray 21 and use it to reflect where your sincere prayers are moving you.