Are you that person who avoids letting a doctor examine you?
- Maybe it’s just that you don’t like getting on that dreaded scale!
- Perhaps you fear that your doctor will diagnose a problem that you’d rather remain in denial about.
- Maybe the pandemic has you feeling a bit skittish about entering a doctor’s office—a potential hotbed for the virus!
But do you take the same tack with your heart and spiritual condition?
Do you resist letting God and His word examine you in times of prayer and Bible study?
6 Reasons Why We Need to Examine Our Hearts in Prayer
1. God is the only One who can truly heal our hearts.
. . . For I am the Lord, your healer.” Exodus 15:26 (ESV)
The Hebrew translation of “the Lord, your healer” is Jehovah-Rapha—meaning, the God who heals. Some call God the Great Physician because of the healing Jesus constantly did while on earth, as well as all the emotional, physical, and spiritual healing God does every day.
And, although, cardiologists do an awesome job of caring for our physical hearts . . .
We’ve got to stop and surrender our spiritual hearts to the Great Physician to examine instead of running out of His examination room! 😉
2. Without God’s examination, we remain in denial and sin.
Remember this prayerful plea of David’s?
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalm 139:23-24
Like the desire of David’s heart above, my HHP method helps you to prayerfully examine your heart using Scripture. It acts as an echocardiogram, if you will, of your heart, showing you what’s going on inside.
Wouldn’t you like to know if there’s some blockage—some area of denial and sin in your heart and life?
I sure do, even if it means painful procedures to correct the problems within!
3. God’s word reveals the lies we’ve embraced.
When I was praying without the use of Scripture, I didn’t always see as clearly or as quickly the lies I had embraced.
In many ways, the lies we embrace keep all of us from repenting and finding God’s healing. We need to know what the lies are in order to put them off. Otherwise, our denial will convince us that we’re just fine.
4. Scripture reveals the truths of God that we need to embrace.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. —Ephesians 4:22-24
It’s not just about “putting off” the lies and sins in our lives. We also must “put on” the “new self”—meaning, embracing our identity in Christ and His truth. God’s word empowers us to move past our denial as the Spirit reveals the real truth of our situation and sin!
5. Allows you to hear from God instead of yourself.
Do you remember the story about the Pharisee who prayed loudly and arrogantly, while the tax collector prayed out of great grief and humility nearby?
Consider this . . .
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. —Luke 18:10-11
Did you know that the more accurate translation of how he “stood by himself and prayed” is actually “he prayed to himself”?
Allowing God to examine your heart as you pray Scripture keeps your prayers God-centered. It removes our tendency to allow our thoughts and desires to get in the way of hearing God speak!
How cool is that?! 🙂
6. Praying Scripture convicts and corrects you.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, —2 Tim. 3:16
Like that echocardiogram I mentioned above, praying this way will allow you to see the problems in your heart. Since God’s word is “God-breathed” by the Great Physician, you can trust Him to motivate you to do something about the lies and sins that He reveals as you pray through Scripture.
Left to your own devices, you’ll want to slap a Band-aid on your problem or ignore it altogether. But invite God and His word into the process and you’ll be so very happy to follow your Great Physician’s orders!