Put Your Heart into It

“In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” - (Jeremiah 29:12–13)

A lot of times we don’t have what we need in life because we don’t pray for it. James 4:3 says, “You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” God promises that His people will find Him when they search for Him with all of their hearts (see Jeremiah 29:13).

The Bible tells us that while Peter was in prison, the early church prayed for his release with passion and persistence: “the church prayed very earnestly for him” (Romans 12:5). The New King James Version puts it this way: “Constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” The words “constant prayer” also could be translated “prayed with agony.”

This was not a flippant yawn of a prayer on Peter’s behalf: Lord, please save Simon Peter . . . or whatever. No, this was a storm-the-gates-of-heaven prayer. I wonder if the church had prayed as fervently for James. Maybe they thought he would get out of that situation. Then they got the news that he had been executed. Peter was arrested next, and they saw how desperate the situation was. They saw how much they needed God.

God could have answered their prayers straightaway. But instead He took His time because it was His perfect time. That means the disciples prayed through the night. They had no guarantee their prayers would be answered in the affirmative. They didn’t know whether Peter would be delivered.

Have you seen the urgency of your situation? Have you prayed like this for your marriage? For your family? For your children? For your husband? For your wife? Have you prayed like this for your church? For your country? If we don’t put any heart into our prayers, then God won’t put a lot of heart into answering them.

Copyright © 2013 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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