Before I Utter One Word

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.” 2 Kings 2: 9-10

The Lord was coming for Elijah and the answer to Elisha’s final request was something only He could answer.

For Elisha to “inherit a double portion” of Elijah’s spirit God would have to examine the motives of his heart.  Were they pure? Set out for God’s glory and not his own? Only God could know for sure.

I struggle with one aspect of prayer for this very reason.

Let me pray for you… no problem. Whatever it is I will faithfully pray it. Whether your motives are pure or not is for you to ponder and for God to decide.

But when it comes to prayers for me and the things that I want or need it is not the same. I go to my knees and before I utter one word I come face-to-face with the motives of my own heart. Are they pure? Set out for God’s glory and not my own?

It’s tough. Can we honestly say in every case of personal prayer that our requests aren’t for selfish gain? When I pray for my husband to excel and succeed in his endeavors are my motives purely for God’s glory?

Looking at the evidence I don’t like what I see. In my humanness I desire his success to provide financial stability. Security. College funds. Future weddings. Comfort and blessings for who? For me.

Where is God in these needs of mine? Is it enough to say I will praise Him and glorify Him in these blessings? I don’t know. I can’t help but notice that it is my needs first and His glory as a result.

Not pure.

It’s this word “pure” that trips me up and keeps me tight lipped in my personal prayer requests.

Webster defines pure as: Unmixed with any other matter. Being thus and no other.

The problem? We ARE “mixed.” Not just “thus” and no other. We are undeniably human and decidedly Spiritual. Can our motives ever truly be “pure” for God?

I don’t know what God saw in Elisha’s heart that day. Were his motives pure for God or mixed too? That was a powerful position he was asking for. Either way, he granted Elisha’s request…

“As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more.” 2 Kings 2: 11-12

And with all of this I come to one imperfect conclusion.

Before I utter one word: God, I beg you for a heart like Elisha’s. Please see the deep desire and striving of my soul to have pure motives set for you. Forgive me for my mixed motives. Transform me. Dissipate the desires of my human heart and replace them with what brings glory only to you.

Linking up with Shanda for On Your Heart Tuesday and Jen for Soli Deo Gloria

 

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12 Responses

11.29.11

WOW, Heidi! This is striking!
“God, I beg you for a heart like Elisha’s. Please see the deep desire and striving of my soul to have pure motives set for you. Forgive me for my mixed motives. Transform me. Dissipate the desires of my human heart and replace them with what brings glory only to you.”
I don’t usually borrow others prayers, but THIS is speaks my heart so clearly in words I could have never put together!
Thank you!
Lindsay recently posted..The Trash Truck Comes At NaptimeMy Profile

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11.29.11

Heidi, this topic is one I love talking about! EVERYTHING comes down to our hearts. I think sometimes instead of asking for the desires of our hearts it’s best for us to ask HIM to make HIS desires our desires too. To pray that HE changes our hearts and gives us His perspective. THAT perspective is always accurate and pure. Great post, Heidi

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11.29.11

I also have a hard time praying for my ‘desires’. It is hard to ask for things for me that are not directly related to ministry. Yet, I too, will ask for others. Maybe I will start asking but first ask God for purity of heart.

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11.29.11

Heidi, this post is so convicting! Is my heart pure or do I do things for my benefit, for my glory? Oh God, give me a totally undivided heart, that I may seek only your glory. I want, I need a heart like Elisha’s.
Thank you for sharing from your heart, Heidi. Many blessings!
Lisa recently posted..An Inconvenient Truth – Part 2My Profile

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11.29.11

This is a struggle I think many of us have. I love Eileen’s comment, “To pray that HE changes our hearts and gives us His perspective. THAT perspective is always accurate and pure.” Amen to that!

Many times my motives are purely selfish- when I ask that He sees me safely to my destination while driving the freeway, when I seek His help to find those things I have misplaced (It seemed like a perfect spot at the time, but…) I am reminded daily that He wants us to pray without ceasing, that He tells us that we do not have because we do not ask. And so I pray, about everything, the big and the small, and trust that my wonderful Father in heaven will only give me those things that will continue to work to purify my heart and make me a better servant.
Deb recently posted..A Different Focus This AdventMy Profile

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Wow! You struck a nerve of conviction with me here, Heidi. I have to remember my motives behind my prayers. Wonderful and powerful post ~ well said. Love and hugs to you, my friend 🙂
Debbie Dillon recently posted..Christmas TownMy Profile

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This is something I think we all struggle with as humans, there are many prayers that I know I pray that are not pure. I like your prayer, and I need to make it my own too!
Glad I stumbled upon your blog! Also, you have the most beautiful name. Just sayin’ 🙂

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11.29.11

Heidi,

At times I struggle with unanswered prayer, it is those times I have to do a heart checkup, take a good long look in the mirror and ask what my motives were, were to glorify Him or were my prayers purely selfish, usually it is the latter. Awesome post Heidi. Hope you are feelign better.

Blessings to you.
Kandi recently posted..Guest PostingMy Profile

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11.29.11

I love this biblical lesson of Elisha. When I think of this verse, I think of the pure in heart as being someone who denies his or herself to the point the only will that drives them is to please God. Once again, we must draw a line in between wants and needs. It is so hard. Great post!:)

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We all I believe ask are our motives right, and that is a good thing because when a person does that they are checking themselves first before they speak to God…and I believe God honors that just like He tells us when we take communion that a man must examine his own heart first before taking the meal…GOod thought for today sis
Desiray Lewis recently posted..Are you HEARING, HIM?My Profile

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11.29.11

this totally blessed my heart

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11.29.11

we are so human, aren’t we? But how blessed are we that He loves us anyway?

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