There is a song I’ve loved since the first time I heard it, called “Renew Me”, by Martha Munizzi. My favorite part of the song says,
Renew a right spirit within me.
For my heart is broken before You.
I bow down before You in worship.
These words are a variation that come from Psalm 51 and were written by David after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. It is a Psalm of repentance in which David is asking the Lord for mercy. He is seeking God that he may be purified. He is acknowledging his sin, but also asking God to make him clean once again. In Psalm 51:10-11 (NKJV) David asks,
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Throughout the song, Martha Munizzi sings the words, “let this be your prayer”. When I first heard those words in the song, I thought of them as just that: words. They were merely a convenient little ad-lib that helped the song flow smoothly. However, eventually this song became one of the one’s I would play during prayer. It was then that, “let this be your prayer” became more than just an ad-lib. It was an urging to really pray to God for renewal. It was a challenge to not just ask God for “blanket mercy” that covered all my sins, but to really acknowledge them. To stop pretending that there weren’t things that in my heart shouldn’t be there.
For me, praying about those things that darkened and hardened my heart was painful. So, I did the only logical thing in my mind there was to do and avoided it. I figured, God already knows, so there’s no need to state the obvious. It was one thing to know the sins in my heart, but another to actually talk to God and pray about them. It was as if not speaking it made them have less of an impact, made them seem smaller than what they really were.
I think at some point we all fell that way about one thing or another. We use the whole, “God knows my heart” as a crutch to sometimes not say what needs to be said. I know I sure did! It took me a long time to realize how bound I was allowing myself to be by the things I wouldn’t say. I was asking God to give me a clean heart and renew my spirit, but holding on to the very things I needed to let go. I was unintentionally keeping myself in bondage.
Part of James 5:16 (NKJV) says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The New Living Translation says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Whatever translation you look at, the point in the same: it’s our earnest prayers, the prayers that come from deep within our hearts that are powerful. Those things we are hesitant to say need to be released. Don’t let the lies of the enemy convince you that you should be too ashamed to pray about certain things. Don’t let those lies keep you in bondage.
Yes, it is absolutely true that God already knows and sees all, but there is freedom in praying earnestly. There’s authority in praying earnestly. There’s an invitation for God to enter in and work when we pray earnestly.
Written by Amber Boggs. If you would like to reach Amber, you can contact her here.