In today’s service, we hear a message called “Have a Heart!” from Matthew 5.13-16, in which we learn about how important it is for followers of Jesus to have a heart for evangelism. The message begins at 21:19.
Reuben Morgan, a musician who is part of the Hillsong Church movement that began in Australia, penned these simple words. Meditate on this short prayer to centre your day in the Lord.
This is my desire
To honour You;
Lord, with all my heart
I worship You.
All I have within me,
I give You praise.
All that I adore
Is in You.
Lord, I give You my heart,
I give You my soul,
I live for you alone.
Every breath that I take,
Every moment I’m awake,
Lord, have Your way in me.
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations” (Ezekiel 36.26-27, NLT).
I was doing some research for a message this week, and I encountered a prayer-hymn. It struck me to the point I thought it would be worth sharing with you.
It was written by Richard Baxter, a 17th-century Puritan clergyman who wrote widely and deeply about Christian faith. His seminal work is called The Reformed Pastor, which is worth reading even if you’re neither Reformed nor a pastor! (Truth be told, he wrote it in response to The Country Parson, Anglican cleric George Herbert’s work on pastoral care.)
Background aside, I think you will find this a prayer worthy of your lips. If you’d prefer to sing it, it’s set in Common Meter (126.96.36.199).
Lord, it belongs not to my care
whether I die or live:
to love and serve thee is my share,
and this thy grace must give.
Christ leads me through no darker rooms
than he went through before;
he that into God’s kingdom comes
must enter by this door.
Come, Lord, when grace hath made me meet
thy blessed face to see;
for if thy work on earth be sweet,
what will thy glory be!
Then shall I end my sad complaints
and weary, sinful days,
and join with the triumphant saints
that sing my Saviour’s praise.
My knowledge of that life is small,
the eye of faith is dim;
but ’tis enough that Christ knows all,
and I shall be with him.
“So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart” (Psalm 90.12, NRSV).