“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they
will return to me with all their heart.” -Jeremiah 24:7 NIV
Life is a spiritual journey, and prayer seems to be a part of it, even before we come to a saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ. I still remember when the tragedy of 9/11 happened; the whole world
was drawn to pray, even those who previously would have nothing to do with God were openly
praying. It was written about in newspapers, talked about on TV. Everyone was very openly holding
public prayer vigils and prayer meetings without any criticism. I was sure that this was going to be
the beginning of a God awakening for our country. But for many it was short-lived and forgotten.
As God draws people to prayer, his Word tells us that he wants to give us a heart to
understand who he really is and that he is our God and we are his people. This kind of prayer is the
light of God that shines upon us, telling us which way to go in order to obtain peace, solidity, and
freedom. It is the way of the cross. Jesus died so that we could have this peace and freedom in our
lives. It is a free gift from God to us.
As we continue to pray, we will begin to see some of the wholesome seeds that lie within our
consciousness, and God will water them. These are the seeds of compassion, love, understanding,
forgiveness, and joy. If while praying we can recognize these seeds within us, he will draw us to
himself and we will be changed forever by his saving grace. The greatest relief we can obtain is
available when our heart touches his in total, unconditional surrender. The moment we surrender
our entire being to God, all of our fears vanish. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts and
then we feel truly alive, capable of understanding the suffering of others, and motivated by the
desire to help. When you touch deep understanding and love, you are healed. Prayer transforms our
vision of the world, and makes us see it, all men, and all the history of mankind in the light of God.
Truly it is a prayer of the heart.
My question then is this: Is it necessary to use many words in order to experience this kind
of prayer? It is not. The Desert Father St. Macarius said, “Only stretch out your arms and say, ‘Lord,
have pity on me as you desire and as you well know how.’ And if the enemy presses you hard, say,
‘Lord, come to my aid.’¨ Early Christian monks urge us to use short, simple prayer drawn from the
Psalms. The most frequently used one is “O God, come to my aid.¨
Do you need God to come to your aid today? Then just reach out to him with all your heart
and say, “God, come to my aid.¨ He will answer you and fill you with his Holy Spirit. In the
words of St. Macarius, “There is no other perfect meditation than the saving and blessed name of
our Lord Jesus Christ dwelling without interruption in you.¨ Thank him today for his amazing
power in your life through prayer.
– Pastor Barb Ferraro, New Beginnings Church of God, Meadville, Pennsylvania