I talk often about how my pursuit of God has been inspired by the Lord giving David the title “Man after God’s own heart.” This inspiration thrust me into wanting to find out as to why David was considered this. The Good News was that I found a couple verses that talks about believers being called to be men and women after God’s heart, Jeremiah 3:15 and Zechariah 12:8. The bad news was that I didn’t see a list of 10 things on how to become that way!
I was perplexed with the question “How do I become a man after God’s own heart?” How do I fulfill my destiny of experiencing this incredible intimacy that the Father desires to have with me? I wanted a road map that would lead me to deeper intimacy. Eventually, by reading about David’s life, I came up with my own roadmap/how-to list.
I imagine that wanting to be a person after God’s heart and my inspiration by the life of David are familiar to most believers. We are inspired by David’s faith, his victories, his accolades, but probably most of all, his intimacy with the Lord! I am sure that, like myself, you have felt frustrated at the lack of how-to lists found in the Bible!
But really, our problem isn’t the lack of how-to lists, but how complex we have made communicating with Him. We have disqualified ourselves or excused ourselves because of three major obstacles:
- You believe that there is a special way you need to pray for God to hear you.
- We have made prayer a chore, reserved for those super holy (or fanatical) people that seem to just be born to do it. God must have given them a special ability to pray all the time!
I want to address these three excuses before I move on to my how-to list.
- Our prayers only need to be from our heart. Matthew 6:7 states: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
- God commands us to pray. Matthew 2:6, Mark 13:33, Luke 18:1, 1 Timothy 2:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (pray without ceasing), Ephesians 6:18, Romans 12:12, and Philippians 4:6 just to name a few.
- We need to understand that God’s grace is sufficient. See Proverbs 24:16 and Psalms 145:3 (grace is infinite). God’s grace is predicated upon repentance
So how did David pray so much? David made prayer easy. He shared his heart with God. I’ve read through the Book of Psalms completely every year since I was in my late teens. Psalms contains the conversations and intimate details of David’s life with God! Psalms shows how David grew his intimacy with the Lord!
Here is my roadmap as to how David grew in prayer and intimacy with the Lord.
- David grew closer by complaining to the Lord! (Psalms 142:1-2)
- David grew in intimacy by asking for wisdom, direction, and help in desperate times! (Psalms 25)
- David grew in intimacy because he found pleasure in God’s presence.
- David grew in intimacy because he “talked” to God; he was honest, open, and vulnerable. He prayed as if God heard him and the results were a life that, 1,000 years after his mistakes and failures, caused him to be called a man after God’s own heart.
Imagine if you prayed like this? If your prayer life included complaining, asking for help, forgiveness, or restoration? If it included dwelling in God’s presence and seeking His face? Let me ask, could you complain to God at this moment? How can you ask for help, forgiveness, or wisdom? What if you, right now, decided to tell the Father that you desired Him, desired to see Him, to just BE with Him?
Prayer, makes us more familiar with God, and helps us realize that He is familiar with us! Prayer develops intimacy! Prayer can turn the biggest gossip into the most fervent intercessor!
Imagine what our churches would look like! Imagine what our homes or our relationships would look like if we cultivated intimacy with God through prayer! Picture what you would look like to your neighbors and co-workers if you did this! Think what your internal peace would look like or your desires. What would happen to your fears, your anxiety, and your depression?
Would you commit to 15 minutes of talking to the Father every day this year? 15 minutes of being honest, vulnerable, and real with Him. I believe it will shape your life just like it shaped David’s.