Prayer: A Posture of the Heart
Guest post by Dimetra Barrios, Lead Pastor of Legacy Brooklyn Church.
There was a time in my life where every person I talked to had a literal prayer closet. Well maybe not everyone, but it sure felt that way. I remember trying to escape from this deep desire to have a prayer closet myself. A place that was holy and designed for prayer that reached the heavens. My home had no spare room for that so I found a reasonable alternative - a prayer pillow! I said to myself, “I’ll pray from this place instead of a prayer closet.”
I felt God ask at that moment, “Why is where you pray from so important?” My answer fell short. I didn’t know. All I had was, “Lord, your word says to go into your room and close the door and pray” (Matthew 6:6). At that moment the words I said felt uncomfortable in my heart. I knew God wasn’t saying that each time I literally had to have this place to go to in order to pray. Yet, the question still remained - where should I pray from? I was stuck on that question for some time until life caused me to dig deeper into that question for truth. The answer changed my prayer life.
God taught me over the years that a physical place to pray is not nearly as important as a posture of the heart to pray in. That was really at the depths of what Jesus was sharing in Matthew 6:6. He was warning believers not to pray like hypocrites, from a posture that is void of genuine devotion instead of an attempt for self-righteousness. Jesus wanted a full experience with those He chose to die for. He wanted them to pray from the depths of who they were, at that specific day and time. As long as the prayers were from the heart, as long as it was real and true, it was enough. Ultimately God was reminding me to pray from my heart in every season I found myself in. The good ones and the bad. From the cold Winters I wish were over, to the Springs I was so grateful for. He wanted me to pray from where I was spiritually, and a physical place was not needed for that at all.
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-14, starts with these words, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” What season are you in right now? Are you experiencing the sun shining down on you like Summer? Or the chill of the Winter keeping you up at night? Have you been reaping from the harvest that Fall brings or have you been hoping that Spring will begin to cause life in crops you can’t yet see? Have you prayed from that place? Wherever it is? Or, like I’ve done time after time, have you pretended to be in a place you’re not and muster up what you think God wants from you and pray from there instead? Sit on those questions for a bit as you read the rest of the scripture.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
After reading this through, what season can you resonate with most right now? Can you receive the good news that God wants you to pray from that place with all of your heart? I can hear some thoughts now - “Dimetra, I have too much (fill in the blank) to pray from there.” I can hear words like - “I have too much hate in my heart to pray from that place.” I hear you friend, BUT I have a response for you - God can handle your season.
In fact, He will deliver you from the toughest seasons into the seasons that bear much fruit. After every Winter comes Spring and after every dark night comes the sunshine from the morning. God can bring you out of the season of war and into a season of peace. He can bring you out of a season of death into a season of birth. God CAN do it. The good news is He WILL do it, IF you let Him.
When we think about prayer as a regular rhythm of life, it’s imperative to pray from every season, not wasting a moment with God. When you pray from where you are, you have a clearer vision of where you want to go and even better, where God plans to take you.
Don’t pray all of your problems away, pray to be the type of person who overcomes those problems with God’s power. Friend, you have what it takes to endure with God in every season. Be true to you. God desires that. God deserves that and so do you. So, back to that question, what season do you resonate with most? Now, pray from that place and watch God move.