Do you ever wonder how to pray effectively? How to pray as God wants us to pray when He tells us to pray?
Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision, and a missionary evangelist of the last century, is credited with the quote “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
But what breaks God’s heart? What does God care about and watch over with passionate longing?
We know that He cares about everything in our lives and in His whole universe. God cares about the individual sparrow (Matthew 10:31). He knows our hair count (Matthew 10:30), and He calls the stars by name (Psalm 147:4). From small to stellar, God cares.
We also know from His Word that there are three particular subjects that command God’s specific care and attention. If we want to be burdened by the things that God cares about, by the things that weigh on His heart, these should become the focus of our intercession.
- God cares deeply about His honor, His glory.
“I Am the LORD: that is My Name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise… (Isaiah 42:8).
And so we have the first of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt have not other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).
God is zealous for His honor. This gives us a proof that Jesus is God, because God glorified Jesus (John 13:31&32; Acts 2:32&33), but will not share His glory with another!
Prayer that honors God in His Majesty and Might glorifies Him. Catch a glimpse of His glory and lift it up to Him. When we recognize Him as He is, we’re praying with honor to the Most High God.
- God cares deeply about His Church.
He loves the Church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25-27). He walks in the midst of His Church – it is His Body (Revelation 1:13&20; 1 Corinthians 12:27&28). He cares about its reputation, its purity, and its witness (1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 5:25-27; Matthew 28:19&20).
The Church of God, which so has His attention, is made up of His faithful saints (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1).
Prayer that pleads with God to continue to pour out His Spirit on His Church for all it needs in order to be all He wants it to be is prayer that pleads His own passion.
- God cares deeply about the lost.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). It is God’s will that none perish (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16). And He calls for rejoicing when the lost is found (Luke 15:4-7). Since from before the foundation of the world, God’s plan for the salvation of the lost has been in place (1 Peter 1:18-21).
Prayer that the lost come to the Lord whatever the cost is prayer that cooperates with God’s highest design and desire. Cry Christ’s cry from the cross, “Father, forgive them….” You’ll touch the very heart of God.
If we want to pray after God’s own heart, we’ll pray, among other things, that He receive all the honor due Him, we’ll pray for His Church – you, and me, and Christians around the world, and we’ll pray that the lost come to Christ before it’s everlastingly too late. As you read the Word, write out verses of Scripture that you can pray when worshipping The High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, Whose Name is Holy (Isaiah 57:15). Use those Scriptures that encourage us to pray for each other as we serve and shine and stay close to the Lord (Ephesians 6:18-20). Plead the portions of the Bible that call out to the unsaved, that they will turn their hearts to the Lord at His bidding – those in our home, our home town, and around the world (Isaiah 55:6&7).
“May my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” Shall we take this to be our individual and corporate plea? Amen. So be it.