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)
Search me, God, and know my heart
While yesterday we began our week of prayer together by praying this Dangerous Prayer in its entirety, today, we want to begin to focus on one small section of it, as we will continue to do each day for the next four days. But before we pray allow me to give you some context.
King David (like most of us) wanted to please God. Yet his motives weren’t always perfect. Nonetheless, David surrendered his heart to God and prayed one of the most vulnerable, incredible and dangerous prayers you’ll ever hear anyone pray – “Search me, God, and know my heart!”
Maybe right now you’re wondering, why should you ask God to search your heart when He already knows all that’s inside you. You know what’s in there. He knows what’s in there. So why ask something so obvious? In his book Dangerous Prayers Craig Groeschel notes that “This is where it’s tricky. On the surface, it seems like we would know our own hearts. Right? I know my motives. I know what’s most important. I know why I do what I do. Besides, you might tell yourself, I’ve got a good heart. I’m not trying to hurt people. I want to do what’s right. My heart is good. I’m praying, aren’t I?” But the Bible says the exact opposite. It is the Prophet Jeremiah who reminds us that “the human heart is the most deceitful of all things” (Jer 17:9), at its core it is all about self – not Christ.
At our core we want our ways and unfortunately our ways are not God’s ways. In fact, if we are being real with God, if we are to be honest with God, we would have to say we do not always do what He wants or act the way He would want us to. While we may try to justify what we do and how we do it and say our heart is good and pure, we need to remember without Christ it is not. This is precisely why we need to pray this prayer. We need to ask God to reveal to us what is really in our heart. We need to ask Him to show us, but before He shows us we must first open ourselves up to Him and ask Him to “search us.”
I remember when my kids were young, and we would play hide and seek. I would hide in the most hard to get to places – places where I knew they would never find me. But they would search and search all through the house, through every room and closet and in every dark space and eventually they would find me. I think day by day we do the very same thing, we hide things away hoping that other people and certainly God never finds them. But today is the day when all that changes –that is why this prayer is so dangerous because today we say to Him, search me God – search every inch of my being and as you do, know my heart.
I don’t know about you but as I think about Him searching me openly and honestly I realise that my thoughts are not always His thoughts, my ways are not always His ways, my motives are not always His motives – this is why I am so in need of Jesus. Craig puts it well when he says “we need Christ. Not just to forgive us, but to transform us. To redirect us. To make us new.”
Pastor Andrew Hill
BUV Mission Catalyst Team
As we pray this prayer today, we are giving Jesus the opportunity to search the entire house – not just one room, not just one closet – the whole house. But this is not something to be fearful of, because this act of surrender demonstrates how much we need Jesus, and also need Him to search us so that what is hidden can come to light. It shows us what He needs to forgive, transform and redirect in order to make us new.
I know that this is not an easy prayer to pray, but after David earnestly prayed this prayer, he became known as a man after God’s own heart. As you pray this prayer today, I pray that as God’s people we would all be known as those after God’s own heart. As He searches each one of us, I pray He would forgive, transform and make us new.
“Search me, God, and know my heart”
- Now pray it again and as you do open your hands in front of you posturing yourself as open as you are able. Breathe in deeply and allow God to move in you.
- As He begins to move in you what do you feel Him putting His finger on? (it might be good to have a journal next to you to write down what you feel Him saying to you).
- If God brings something or someone to mind – allow God to bring it to light and ask Him to forgive you and minister to you. Allow the Holy Spirit to surround you, guard you and hold you close as He searches you.
Close by praying “God know my heart. Heal my heart and make me new”.
Pray also for:
- The members of your group and their concerns
- The three people you have committed to pray for each day who are not followers of Jesus
- The April 14th BUV Calendar prayer – Protection for pregnant women and children”