by Carol J. H. Kobulnicky
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! Psalm 119:36 ESV
O my brethren, do not seek to find in circumstances the explanation of prayerlessness; seek it where God’s Word declares it to be, in the hidden aversion of the heart to a holy God. —A. Murray
Conviction. There it is. I’ve been distant from God the past several days. Not to say I haven’t prayed at all—I have. But it hasn’t been relational, joy-filled time spent with God. That’s the kind of prayer the Lord desires for us. That is the kind of prayer in which God transforms.
Never underestimate the power of a single verse of Scripture and/or a simple quotation. Reading this from a daily calendar I have, prompted me to head first to Psalm 119 and then to research who this man was.
The word “heart” is used 15 times in Psalm 119, and it refers to what rules the entire person—where our desires come from, our intellect, our feelings and our will. Inclining my heart to God’s testimonies, to His Word means I’m going to align my will with His. It is casting myself on Christ to be transformed and to do His will. And it’s something we need to continually do.
Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a faithful servant of God whose life prayer was, “May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love, and joy of God’s presence.”(1) His faithful service includes 60 years of ministry in South Africa, including founding, and teaching in, theological seminaries for men and women, as well as writing more than 200 books and tracts on Christian ministry and spirituality.
When I think about what fruit my life is bearing, I agree with Murray that to do so requires that I continually cast myself on Christ.
Father, help me to incline my heart fully to Your testimonies, to what you say, to Your Word—to cast my life on Christ. Forgive me for times when I blame circumstances and allow them to pull me away. Help me to truly delight in You. May not a single moment of my life be spent outside the light, love and joy of Your presence. In Jesus’s Name. Amen.
(1) Andrew Murray: Leading student in Christ’s school of prayer. Christian History. Christianity Today online. URL: https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/innertravelers/andrew-murray.html