Monday, August 9, 2010

What are your intentions?

In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart. John Bunyan

This quote appeared in a book I am working through Give Me 40 Days by Freeda Bowers, a forty day journal focusing on praying for others. The focus scripture for today was Hebrews 4:12 The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It cuts all the way thourgh, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints and marrow come together. It judges the desires and thoughts of man's heart. Verse 13 adds, there is nothing that can be hidden from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves. GNE

I think I had always studied the first part of verse 12, never giving much thought to the last sentence about judging the desires and thoughts of our hearts. Freeda Bowers writes about checking our heart to ensure we are praying out of the right motives. Her example is praying for a son who is on drugs: are you praying simply because he is an embarrassemnt to you? Another example is of a woman praying for the salvation of her mother. "Why?, Freeda asked her. "So she won't go to hell." Bowers felt prompted to tell her that "everything done in the earth is to be done solely for the purpose of bringing glory to God (1 Cor. 10:31.) That even means salvation."

It made me think about some of my prayer requests. As I'm praying for Daniel and Jason to become men of God, am I praying this to avoid the complications and my own heartache should they choose another path? When I am praying for health and healing in my relationships is it just so I can be comfortable in my life?

How are your intentions in relation to prayers?

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