Calling on God with a Whole Heart
By David Brandt Berg
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The Lord wants us to be happy, and thanks to Him, we usually are. But there should be times when we really seek the Lord for a needed change and pray desperately, pouring out our hearts to the Lord. He says, “Ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.”1 All our little prayers may be sincere, but there are also times when we need to get desperate in prayer about serious situations that arise. There are times when we really need to get down to business with the Lord.
Some people tend to have sort of a lazy attitude and seem to think that the Lord will just do it all no matter what. But the truth of the matter is that a lot depends on us, our will and our actions and prayers. Although God can do anything, He has committed Himself to work through you, and your prayers can do mighty things. Of course, God’s overall plan has never changed, His overall will has never changed, but in certain details you can bring about change through prayer. Otherwise, if prayer can’t change anything, you might as well forget it! If you’re in His Spirit, in His will, desiring only those things which glorify Him, delighting your heart only in Him, you can ask Him for the desires of your heart, because all you want is what He wants and what is for His glory.
When you cry unto Him with a whole heart, He promises, “I will answer thee.”2 So the next time you really need His help and are on the spot, call on the Lord and His power. Jesus never fails! He always answers when we stir ourselves to call upon Him with a whole heart.
For a good prayer life, one of the main things you need to know is God’s Word. Faith grows by faithful study of His Word. “Faith cometh by hearing the Word of God.”3 Even though God can answer anyway, you’ll find that a reading of God’s Word first will inspire you and give you more faith for your prayers.
God has made promises in His Word, and when you pray, you should bring those promises with you to remind Him. When you remind God of His Word, it shows you have faith in it. And it’s a positive declaration of your faith and your knowledge of the Word which pleases Him. For “without faith it is impossible to please Him.”4
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these (His promises) ye might be partakers of the divine nature.”5 You have to quote the terms of the contract (the Bible) to the contract maker (God), and hold Him to it. So remind Him of it, cling to His promises, memorize and quote them, and never doubt for a moment that God is going to answer—and He will!
It’s helpful to remember that God’s delays are not necessarily denials, and that sometimes we just have to have faith and wait for Him to answer, which usually results in “the trying of our faith, which worketh patience.”6 Learning patience seems to be one of God’s most frequent lessons, yet one of our own rarest virtues, as it tests our faith and drives us to the Lord and His Word.
Another important prayer principle is to be specific with the Lord. We need to ask for and expect specific answers when we pray. Being specific is a sign of your faith. A lot of times people pray generally because they don’t expect to be answered anyhow. Whereas if you are specific when you pray, you’re showing your faith that you expect to get that specific answer. And you don’t expect to be disappointed.
Watch out about some of the things that you insist on the Lord giving you: He sometimes even lets people have things that aren’t good for them to teach them a lesson. He said of the children of Israel that “He gave them their request, but sent leanness to their souls.”7 In our prayers, what we seek should be for His glory and within His will.
God’s precious Holy Spirit can have a powerful effect on your prayer life, as once you are filled with the Spirit, you can pray in the Spirit and your prayers have more effect because you’re praying by the Spirit. “Likewise the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”8
Once you’ve prayed about something and have committed it to the Lord, you just need to have faith. “Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”9 So once you’ve prayed about something and committed it to the Lord, from then on it’s God’s problem. You don’t need to worry about it. Just trust the Lord and praise Him and thank Him for hearing and answering your prayer—even if you don’t see the answer right away.
His Word says that “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.”10 King David said that we should “enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”11 It’s like coming before the King and giving Him due reverence and honor.
Even if you’re tired or discouraged or don’t feel like praising Him, you can praise Him anyway, simply because you know that it pleases Him. When you go ahead by faith, praising the Lord, priming the pump and getting started, He’ll bless you for it.
Even when you feel a little down or discouraged or worried or in despair, look up and count your blessings. Thank God for all your blessings and get your eyes on the Lord and on the good things.12 Praise the Lord! Start your prayers by lifting your heart unto Him in praise! “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.”13
Also remember, “One can chase a thousand, and two can put ten thousand to flight.”14 It helps greatly to have someone else pray with you sometimes, especially during times of trial or personal struggles. “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”15 And, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.”16
There is great power in united prayer together! So never be ashamed to ask for prayer from someone else when you need it.
One last, but certainly not least, final reminder is about praying in the name of Jesus: All through the New Testament the Lord tells us how important it is to pray in the name of Jesus, to ask things in the name of Jesus. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”17 Jesus said, “If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.”18
If you know Jesus and have asked Him into your heart, you can know Him personally, intimately, and learn to fellowship and communicate with Him through prayer.
Compiled from the writings of David Brandt Berg, originally published in 1984. Adapted and republished April 2018. Read by Simon Peterson.
1 Jeremiah 29:13.
2 Jeremiah 29:13, 33:3.
3 Romans 10:17.
4 Hebrews 11:6.
5 2 Peter 1:4.
6 James 1:3.
7 Psalm 106:15.
8 Romans 8:26.
9 Mark 11:24.
10 Philippians 4:6.
11 Psalm 100:4.
12 See Philippians 4:8.
13 Hebrews 13:15.
14 Deuteronomy 32:30.
15 Matthew 18:20.
16 Matthew 18:19.
17 1 Timothy 2:5.
18 John 14:14.