// incline my heart;
open my eyes;
unite my thoughts;
satisfy my soul;
sanctify my spirit.
It’s Sunday afternoon—a lazy, sunny Sunday—the kind of Sunday where my laundry can wait in the washer a few more hours…
This morning, in church, the orchestra played “I’d Rather Have Jesus,” and it was beautiful. But, it got me thinking. Would I rather have Jesus than anything? Maybe you’re like me sometimes. Maybe you find yourself holding onto something tightly and, consequently, unconsciously idolize it.
So, what’s the cure? How do I learn to let worries and possessions go and only crave Jesus? Personally, I think it begins with prayer.
At the beginning of my sophomore year of college, one of my professors told the class he wrote the following in the front of every Bible he receives: “Incline my heart; open my eyes; unite my thoughts; satisfy my soul.” Later I added, “Sanctify my spirit.”
Each part of this prayer is based on a verse or passage of Scripture. I didn’t write down the verses the professor had paired with the stanzas, but I researched ones of my own.
Here they are for you:
~Incline my Heart:
“let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, o lord, my strength and my redeemer” || psalm 19.14
~Open my Eyes:
“open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” || psalm 119.18
~Unite my Thoughts:
“do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of god, what is good and acceptable and perfect” || romans 12.2
~Satisfy my Soul:
“delight yourself in the lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” || psalm 37.4
~Sanctify my Spirit:
“now may the god of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our lord jesus christ” || i thessalonians 5.23
It’s hard to set aside a designated time to truly commune with God. I know from experience, and it doesn’t get easier once you get to college or once the summertime comes around. It just gets more difficult and more tedious the longer you put off training and cultivating your body, spirit, and mind to focus and to want to pray.
Usually, I manage to shoot little prayers at God throughout the day like, “Thanks for the meal” or “Pray for so and so and please keep them safe.” Rarely do I actually quiet my surroundings, create a prayer list or journal, and earnestly seek the Father with praises and supplications like He commands.
I think the Devil delights when my only “prayers” for a given day are the ones I bounce up to God out of habit —because is “Dear Jesus, thank you for this food, Amen” really going grow my relationship with my Lord and cause me to humble my heart and open my eyes to other’s needs? I highly doubt it.
The prayer at the beginning of this post has helped me with a way to start each day by setting my priorities in order and challenging me to listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. In a way, it serves as my pre-game pep talk—a way to intentionally condition myself to dedicate the day to the Lord’s work. (Or else I become a flustered, stressed-out mess, trying to get all of my assignments completed and all of my engagements met.)
My soul wanders and is restless each new morning, but meditating on this prayer for a few moments helps tie me to the only One Who can set my soul free.
I hope you find these thoughts encouraging or, at least, of some benefit as you start up a new week.
[ au revoir, hannah ]