Do you dare to pray for the desires of your heart?
Delphne Tan // January 8, 2019, 11:21 pm
I started praying for things again.
I know, it sounds so silly to say it out loud, but I’ve recently started praying for my desires again. I am praying for what I want to see happen in my studies and the biggest breakthrough is praying for a husband again.
Why did I stop praying? When did I stop praying?
I developed a strange cynicism that caused me to see all of my desires as sinful, and God does not need to grant them. It’s so insidious how the enemy twists our faith against us.
I quoted to myself all the verses on how man is but dust, our worthlessness, our evil desires, our sinful flesh … and I developed this joyless theology of life. Inside, there were desires, and dreams and hopes that were bubbling, but I suppressed them, telling myself that these were not of God.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
First, the psalmist calls us to delight in the Lord, which suggests walking closely with a sovereign God in our lives. We see Him as our greatest delight. And in that process, our hearts’ desires are surrendered to Him.
Walking with God, in my experience, is a constant process of surrender and transformation. Sinful desires are weeded out along the way, and new desires for the things of God are birthed within.
I am facepalming right now because this way of thinking had caused (and was probably also caused by) the hopeless, depressive way that I lived by. Even though I hated it. Everything was dull, nothing gave me joy.
Now I see that yes, although my flesh is sinful and the desires of my heart may not always be right, I can trust that as I delight myself in the Lord, He will change my heart where it is wrong, and will fan new desires that are of Him. In His time, He will give these new desires to me.
I’ve been procrastinating about writing about this topic because I think it digs deep, and I have shut the door on my hopes and dreams for so long that I’m fearful to face the skeletons of these dreams that I have starved.
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”” (Ezekiel 37:2-6)
This was the Lord’s word to Israel when they felt that their bones were dry and all hope was lost. But God in His redeeming mercy came to them through Ezekiel, and reminded them that He can give them life again – that they would know again that He is God.
What a beautiful picture of His grace. He can resurrect the old skeletons of our dead dreams. He can flesh out those dreams (literally) and give them His breath of life. And in that process, what does He want? He wants us to remember that He is Lord of our lives, our good good Father.
And so, with that assurance of his faithfulness and his strength, I am stepping into that space to pray boldly again for my dreams and desires.
In this newfound intimacy with God, I know that as I lay before him all my heart’s desires, He will take them and give to me what is good for me, even when I, in my limited perspective am unable to see the reasons for His choices.
My desire to be married, my desire to love others, my desire to begin ministry, my desire to write, my desire to sing … everything. He holds them all, and in the process, my heart is changing to desire more of Him far above all else.
What are some dreams and desires you have shelved because of disappointment, or an unbelief they would be fulfilled?
Remember that God is our good good Father who knows us better than we know ourselves. Come before Him again with your arms outstretched. Place your heart’s desires in His hands. Offer them to Him and find hope in His warm embrace.
I pray you will find that in His presence, all else fades away. I pray your love for Him is rekindled. I pray for a new desire for the things of God to be put into your heart, and that there will be colour injected into your life.
I pray for the dry bones in your cupboard of dreams to be renewed and given God’s breath of life again.
This article was first published on Delphne’s blog and is republished with permission.