Psalm 27:8

 The lack of desire is the ill of all ills. Holy desire is a holy power that energizes prayer. It is a dynamic of the Holy Spirit. All prayer is a response to God, as Psalm 27:8 (NASB) says,

“When You said, ‘Seek My face,’ my heart said to You, ‘Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.’”

Heaven wants sincerity, not beautiful polite words. Sadly, we have said the same words so often that we can almost say them without thinking. There is nothing new in our prayers because nothing is really desired. Even repetition, however, is sweet in the ears of God when it is the heart cry of our soul’s desire. (Remember, Jesus repeated in His soul’s agony in Gethsemane three times.)

   Desire makes prayer specific. It focuses prayer and asserts priority. Desire makes prayer both vital and personal. Indeed, desire is the soul of prayer, as Psalm 10:17a says,

“O Lord, You have heard the desire of the afflicted; You will strengthen their heart.”

   The question for us now is, “How does one deepen one’s desire?” Consider the following:

1. Welcome God given desires: From one point of view, desire is a gift from God. From another viewpoint, one must deepen one’s desire with God’s help. If, for example, you find a desire for the good of other people strongly impressed upon you, there is a good possibility the Holy Spirit is giving and deepening this desire so as to stir you up to pray. In such a case, no amount of importunity in prayer is improper. Like with Jacob in Genesis 32:26,

“I will not let You go unless You bless me!”

Did his attitude insult God? No way! In fact, it made Jacob a prince with God with a new name––Israel!

2. Do not quench or lose these holy desires: They are a fire of the Holy Spirit not to be quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Don’t let other things divert you or distract you. Allow the Holy Spirit to deepen your prayer more and more and to take you into greater understanding. These Spirit born and Spirit deepened desires are an indication of what God wants to do; He gives desires for what He longs to bring to pass (1 Corinthians 2:10-13).

3. Surrender your own desires: In our humanity we often wish for things with more self-motivation than God-motivation. Our prayers are often more colored with self-interests than a love for God and His glory. Due to our limitations, what we think must be bread is, in reality, a stone (Matthew 7:9), and sometimes God lets us break a few teeth as we “bite into” what we insist is bread. Israel cried out to God until God gave them what they demanded; but they lived to regret it (Psalm 106:14, 15). Yet such wayward praying is not likely to happen when we surrender our own will to the Father and pray as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:10,

“Your Kingdom come; Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

4. Trust God for what you desire and praise Him: Make Him the Lord of the way you feel, as Jeremiah 11:20 (NASB) says of God,

“. . . who tries the feelings and the heart . . .”

As you press on with deep, holy desires for God’s will and His answer, the Holy Spirit will eventually bring you to the place of faith and faith will seize upon one of many promises given in regard to answered prayer. Perhaps at this point your prayer has been granted or the Holy Spirit is leading you toward praise and thanksgiving for what is yet to be granted. Either way, such an assurance comes only by way of desire. In fact, as long as it makes little difference to us whether our prayer is answered or not, we will not persevere in prayer.