By Lisa Whittle
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. PSALM 51:10
Bold, audacious prayers can scare us, but it is the bold, audacious prayers we need to pray to see our lives change. In prayers like I welcome your major realignment, we bow low, deferring to God’s life-changing authority. To welcome Jesus to do His work in us is not just to say, “I won’t resist you, God.” It is to say, “I will turn the porch light on, be waiting with eager anticipation by the door to swing it wide and invite You in with open arms. And then, once inside, You do whatever You deem best to transform this place. I won’t stand in the way, offer suggestions, or try to stop You in Your process. You, God, know what’s best.” Most of us have to come to crisis points in life before we are willing to utter such strong, humble prayers. Yet were we to pray them regularly, let God clean us up and realign us daily, we would be the better for it. Psalm 51 was written after the prophet Nathan con-fronted David over his sin with Bathsheba and subsequent sins to cover it up (read the story in 2 Samuel 11-12). David was in desperate need of realignment. His crisis point drove him to pen some of the most beautiful words in all the Bible:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
This petition for change has echoed from the lips of believers every day since. But do we truly count the cost of this prayer? If God doesn’t shift things in us, we remain woefully the same. There is nothing as maddening as the constant drumbeat of a compromised life. As tough as it was, David experienced the rich payoff of God’s major realignment. We can experience that payoff too.
A major realignment means God will clean us up.
This is the best news for those of us who have lived in the disarray of our own messes.
When God does a cleaning, it is thorough and sure, and the heart is where it rightfully centers. While so often we clean everywhere else, sweeping around, tidying up the outside to make it look good while hiding things in dark corners of the heart, Jesus gets to the deep cleaning, where it matters the most. When God cleans us up, He cleans us out of the things that are silently destroying us. He loves us too much to let private, festering sins take us down.
A major realignment means God will make us like new.
The rich payoff of a bold, audacious prayer is the renewal it brings. When we welcome God in to realign our lives, we welcome a freshness in our spirit that is tangible and sweet. During his major realignment period with God, David asked for his joy to be restored, and Scripture shows that indeed, it was. (Read his beautiful song of praise in 2 Samuel 22.) The realignment of God won’t always be pleasant in the moment, but it will be well worth it. For in the midst of it all, He will still be faithful, loving, and good, and in the end, He will have shaped our lives.
Not just in crisis, but even in the ordinary day when sin lurks and the heart has gotten dusty and needs cleaning… Lord Jesus, I welcome your major realignment.
Lisa Whittle is a sought after Bible teacher, and the author of six books, including her latest 5 Word Prayers: Where To Start When You Don’t Know What To Say To God. Her love runs deep to see people grow deep roots of faith and walk strong in the midst of a world that so often seems to have gone crazy. Lisa is a wife and mother of three who currently resides in North Carolina.