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Prepare and Strengthen Our Hearts

by J. M. Farro on August 18th, 2019

   “O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear.” Psalm 10:17 AMPC

   When I got the news recently that my husband, Joe, needed yet another medical procedure on his heart, my own heart sank.  He had suffered a massive heart attack years before, and had open-heart surgery some years later.  And we had hoped and prayed that Joe’s heart problems were behind us.  So when I heard this latest news, bitter disappointment swept over me.

   As I poured my heart out to God, He gave me the promise above.  He assured me that He heard my prayers and cries, and He was aware of my pain.  I began praying this promise with all my heart, believing that the Lord would honor His Word to me. 

   I said, “Lord, please ‘prepare’ my heart!”  I felt so unprepared for this latest surgery.  I knew that I would have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning in order to get Joe to the hospital in time for his procedure, and I knew that it meant that I would be sleep deprived.

   I also prayed, “Lord, ‘strengthen’ my heart!”  I would have to endure long hours of sitting in a hospital waiting room while the doctors operated on Joe’s heart.  I knew that there would be moments when I would be tempted to become fearful and fretful.

   When I prayed – “Lord, ‘direct’ my heart!” – I was asking the Lord to provide me with all of the guidance and direction I would need to navigate these troubled waters skillfully and successfully – fully cooperating with God so that He could bring great good out of them. (Romans 8:28)

   Psalm 10:17 reassures us that when we turn to the Lord in times of difficulty and pain, He hears the desires and longings of our hearts.  And He will anoint, equip, empower, and enable us to not just endure our trials – but to emerge triumphant for our good and His glory!

   Lord, when trouble comes, let my first response be to turn to You with all my heart.  Show me which promises apply to my circumstances, and enable me to lay hold of them and receive them as my own.  Prepare me, strengthen me, and direct me to receive Your best in every situation I face.  Thank You that as I look to You for help, and follow Your lead, I will experience Your matchless presence, power, and peace!

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