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Three prayers to help you open your heart to God's love.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).
Jesus tells us this is the first and greatest commandment–and it’s perhaps the hardest to keep. Sometimes we can honestly say, “All my longings lie open before you, Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you” (Psalm 38:9). Other times we truly try, but seem to make little progress in giving our whole life to God.
Why? It’s not always that we have deliberately hardened our hearts. Sometimes it’s like a rock has grown around our fears or worries or hopes, making them impossible to open and impossible to release. But nothing is impossible if we seek God’s help.
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These three prayers can help when your heart seems cold and stony:
1. Lord, open my heart through humility.
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15).
2. Lord, open my heart because I am a sinner.
“God, have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). “Cleanse me…and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).
3. Lord, open my heart to obedience.
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).
When we offer God our all, we must offer it with the admission that we are flawed and imperfect, and attached to the flesh in ways we can’t completely see or understand. We offer every weakness and sin, every wart and blemish. And what does God do in return? “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
Let it be so, Lord Jesus!