March 25, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way of everlasting. - Psalm 139:23-24.
It is a courageous act to ask God to search your heart for any sin. But it is necessary if we are to grow and move forward with Him because harboring sin in our hearts effectively prevents growth.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit. - Psalm 34:18.
The most difficult prayer for me to pray is for brokenness. But once we have asked for God to search our hearts and He has revealed sin to us we should then be brokenhearted over our sin. We should be so brokenhearted that we will turn from our sin.
That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. - Philippians 3:10.
The apostle Paul is essentially praying that he will grow or be stretched to know the Lord more intimately and to be more like Him. To be stretched spiritually is to go beyond where we have been before and it is necessary for us to grow.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face. - Psalm 5:8.
Praying for the Lord to lead you is a courageous prayer because you have to be convinced that the Lord’s plan for your life is better than your own.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. - Romans 12:1.
Presenting ourselves to God is to make ourselves available for His use. It is saying, as did Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me (Isaiah 6:8c).”
You are in the Lord’s army and the battle requires courage. Are you ready for some courageous praying? If so pray for God to: Search you, break you, stretch you, lead you, and use you.