If I was being truly honest with you, and I do try to be honest, I would have to say, I have always wondered if this promise is really true. It seems kind of bold. A little…I don’t know…dangerous. Almost like a blank prayer check. I mean, I can desire some pretty BIG things! You sure you can really deliver that God? I certainly would never make the statement to my children, “I will give you the desires of your heart!” Who knows what kind of trouble that might get me into!
So why would God say that to us? I mean, ask any Christian you know and they would tell you God doesn’t answer all prayers with a “yes!”. I get a WHOLE LOT of “no”s, and some “not yet”s, and quite a few “this is better”s. There are even times I honestly feel like I don’t get any answer at all! So why would God say he would give me the desires of my heart, if he doesn’t always give me what I ask for?
Well, there are a few reasons.
First off, this isn’t a blank prayer check. God most definitely does not say, “just ask for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” But before we get into what we are going to get out of this promise, it is important to notice the first part of this verse. “Delight yourself in the Lord.” Delight… enjoy… take pleasure in the Lord and in His law (Psalm 1:2) and in His salvation (Psalm 35:9) which comes through Jesus Christ. When you do this, when you take joy in living life as God intended, according to his law, and in obedience to Christ, the desires of your heart tend to match His desires. God will answer any prayer that is prayed in accordance with His will. I truly believe that.
Secondly, we are His children. He delights in giving us gifts. I have three children. I LOVE to give them gifts. I try not to spoil them rotten, and I would like to think they are pretty good kids. So when I get the chance to show them a little love, to give them something I know they REALLY REALLY desire, I will. If I, whom am evil, know how to give good gifts, how much better at that must God be (Matthew 7:11).
So, when we delight in Him, His law, and His salvation, our desires will be in line with His (for the most part). And He will give us those desires because we are His children and He enjoys giving us good gifts. So how do we go about asking for the desires of our heart? Is there a certain way we need to pray? Do we always have to pray within His will?
First off, God’s will will always be done. It is a lot easier and a lot less frustrating to pray for His will rather than against His will. That is why in the prayer Christ modeled for us He taught us to pray, “your will be done.” But the Bible also tells us it’s okay to ask for what we want (Matthew 7:7). We are told in scripture to pray humbly (2 Chron. 7:14). Pray with thankfulness in your heart (Phil. 4:6) and praise on your tongue (Psalm 66:17-20). Pray boldly (James 1:6).
I have recently fallen in love with the James 1:6 verse “But when he asks , he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;”. When you ask God for the desires of your heart, do so boldly! With confidence that your God can do all things! Do not doubt for a second that God can answer your prayer! He absolutely can! I am not promising you He will, but I am telling you He can!
Oh beautiful ones. God loves you! He has great plans for you and He longs to give you the desires of your heart, when they are in accordance with His will. Delight in Him, in His laws and in His salvation. Pray boldly, with praise and thanksgiving. And get ready to receive the desires of your heart!
If your heart is breaking reading this, because God hasn’t given you the desires of your heart. Please know that I know only too well how you feel. I know God sometime answers the prayers from the deepest corners of our hearts with “no”. I have lived that reality. I addressed that truth in another blog written a month or two ago, and you can read about it here.