The human heart is a complex organ for both physical and spiritual endeavors. Hence when it comes to a spiritual exercise such as praying, certain factors must be taken into consideration to achieve the very best of our prayer routines and schedules. Since prayer is an interaction with God who is a spirit (John 4:24), it is imperative that the human heart be prepared to be in alignment with His realm.
The preparation of a man’s heart is of paramount importance as could be evidently seen across scriptures (1 Samuel 7:3, 1 Chronicles 29:18, 2 Chronicles 12:14, 2 Chronicles 19:3). These scriptures rightly outline the benefits and results of a prepared heart as well as the peril and outcomes of an unprepared heart.
Although the list of these factors is not exhaustive, nevertheless we will take a critical look at the major observations that have proven to be of great benefit in the preparation of a believer’s heart in prayers unto God.
- A state of silence: A thousand and one thoughts cross a man’s heart throughout the day until rest time at night. These thoughts range from basic needs to future plans for a better living. Although, these are not bad in themselves but are capable of disturbing the decorum in the heart. A man’s heart must be brought to a state of silence in order to focus on God first before interaction takes place. Otherwise, utterances made from a turbulent heart will most likely be an empty religious talk having no effect and result.
- Waiting and listening: This very act is many times difficult for believers to achieve, yet it is a very pivot point for a fresh and beautiful experience in the place of prayer. Rushing into prayers without waiting on the Spirit of God for directions can really lead to frustration and spending very short periods in prayers. Therefore, it’s advisable to wait and listen to the gentle voice of the Spirit. This will go a long way not only in preparing your heart but also in having an amazing time in God’s presence.
- Heart posture: The scripture established the truth that ‘as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 23:7). A man must come unto God in a humble and broken manner, to receive from God. Nevertheless, he should not come as a loser but as one who Christ died for; as more than a conqueror. The heart posture really matters in its preparation to receive from God. Therefore, whispers from the flesh and the devil must be shut out as they enforce unbelief and a posture of defeat which is never true of a believer.
- Fasting: This spiritual exercise without doubt has always been used alongside prayers for powerful results to be achieved. Fasting helps to reduce the disorderliness of the heart to a very large extent. At the same time, the level of focus is increased for a believer to be attuned with God. If you’ve not been trying fasting in combination with your prayer routines, it’s time to begin, for an unprecedented experience with God.
- Confession: Our daily activities from home to work and many other places involve meeting with different people and at many times. We get into some misunderstandings with our colleagues at work, the cab driver, the grocery storekeeper and there’s an exchange of words to vent our displeasure at some point. All these activities have the potential to obstruct the flow of fellowship with God. When we prepare our hearts to pray, a gentle sincere confession made first before launching into requests in the place of prayers will go a long way to clear the heart of any obstacle.
- Worship: One of the most powerful instruments which can be used to prepare the heart is worship. Most times it’s not about the melodious voice but about the sincerity of the lyrics and understanding. The atmosphere created in worship can make the heart ready for communion and interaction with God. Most times during worship, the heart is ready to receive expressly from God.
- Meditation on the Word: The 19th chapter of the book of Psalms showed David in prayers unto God, the 14th verse says “Let the words of mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer”. Meditation upon the word of God cannot be overstated as it forms the foundation for our engagement with God. Our utterances are guided by His word, knowing fully well that God is true to His word and can be held accountable to His word always. Moreover, it will help to snuff out the fire of unbelief, which usually is the common case in face of dangerous or difficult situations, open your Bible at such moments and behold the verses of scriptures as you pray.
- Body posture: As much as many may not readily want to agree with this, it remains the truth that some shy away from stating this fact. There are postures too comfortable for the heart to connect with God. For example, if your bed is too comfy, why not go on your knees and remain there until focus is attained. Our physical being always fights our spiritual component as can be seen in Galatians 5:17, this supports the fact that the body always wants comfort regardless of the damage it does to our spiritual life, if you really want to access God you will have to be honest with yourself and not give in the cravings of the flesh, get on your knees or on your feet and remain there until you find God.
- Prayer: Yes, prayer is also a tool and a major one for that matter, according to the scriptures: the frame of man is weak and this is known to God our maker. For this reason, it won’t be unadvisable to commit your heart unto God and ask Him first to help you seek Him, as long as we have the confidence in Him that He hears us, He does surely hear and sends strength unto those who ask for it.