Dear God, Give Me Your Heart

Dear God, Give Me Your Heart

April 10, 2017

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes.’” Luke 19:41-42 (NIV)

Devotion Graphic

In a dimly lit hotel room, woman after woman went around the circle sharing prayer requests. The intimacy of a women’s retreat had softened all of our hearts to a tender vulnerability.

One woman shared about the healing her child desperately needed. Another confided her heartbreak over a rift in her family. Several others asked us to pray for them to be able to forgive someone.

Finally, we came to a woman with tears streaming down her face. “I need you to pray for me to stop crying,” she explained. “My heart is so broken for those around me who don’t know Jesus. I’m overcome. I can barely function through the sorrow.”

The room seemed to fade as my mind wandered to an event that happened thousands of years ago — Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before the Passover.

The beginning of the story found in Luke 19 is joyful. Jesus had sent two disciples ahead to get a colt for Him, fulfilling yet one more prophecy of the Messiah found in the Old Testament book of Zechariah. As Jesus rode along, the people lined the roads spreading their cloaks before Him.

On what we now call Palm Sunday, the crowd of disciples cried out:

“‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

“‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” (Luke 19:38, NIV)

Yet in the midst of it all, Jesus wasn’t basking in this extravagant praise. Instead, He was overcome with sorrow:

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace — but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.’” (Luke 19:41-44, NIV)

Jesus was heartbroken, but not over the comparatively minor subjects that can dominate my emotions. His lament was over the fact that He was the long-awaited Savior, and the people had missed Him.

God had extended His hand of mercy and grace through Jesus, and the world turned away.

You and I live in the same kind of world today. It’s a world turning away from what Jesus offers — and what we so desperately need.

While He still extends peace, grace and forgiveness, sometimes I struggle to see my need for it. Or maybe somehow, I think I can earn goodness on my own. So I end up choosing sin over saving, self over a Savior. Jesus didn’t shed just a few tears over this rejection. The strong word “wept” expresses His deep grief for a lost world. I want more of that.

The woman’s soft crying brought me fully back into our prayer circle, and she repeated, “Please pray for me to stop crying.”

“I can’t,” I whispered. “Please pray for me to start crying. Pray for me to have a heart that’s tender and weeps over the lost like yours … and like Jesus’.”

This is the beginning of our Holy Week, just days from Easter, when we rejoice in Jesus’ resurrection and life. But before we rejoice, I want to pause for a moment to weep for this lost world, just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Let’s sob and mourn and wail. Let’s convert our grief into pleas to God for people to wake up and feel their need for an intimate relationship with a living God. He’s still in the business of bringing dead things to life.

Dear Jesus, I plead for You to give me Your grief over the people who have missed You and rejected You. This Easter, remind me just how much I need You. Help me see Your grace. Grant me that divine combination of sorrow and tenderness that points people to the cross and to new Life. Dear God, give me Your heart for my world, to see the desperate need for salvation we all have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you’re looking to make Jesus’ resurrection a reality in your everyday life, you might appreciate The Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs. View this book and more in our Easter collection!

CONNECT:
Are you grieved for our lost world but unsure how to share your faith? Visit Amy Carroll’s blog today for a giveaway of her favorite book on how to be salt and light in your sphere of influence.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who in your life has missed Jesus? Write their name on a card, and carry it with you this week to remind you to pray for them.

Do you know Jesus? He doesn’t want you to miss Him. He longs for you to know Him! Click here for more.

© 2017 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Bright Bwanali says:

    It is my prayer each and every day to God almighty to give me the ayes to see, give me his heart. Give me the wisdom to save him with all my heart.
    Please, when you pray for others, pray for me as well.
    Am so blessed with the topic of the day. May the good Lord, continue to give more knowledge.
    Glory be to God almighty

  2. It’s so disturbing to realize that all along we think of our problems and fail to see the bigger picture i.e. Jesus Christ thought of us not himself. God help us focus more on your selflessness. Thankyou for the devotion.

  3. Dear God help me too to have a selfless heart to weep over lost souls……and more than anything Lord, let what I desire most be to pray for the salvation of those around me and as You give utterance Lord, help me to talk about salvation to them.

  4. Mary Montilla says:

    Thank you very much for this blog. We need to hear this. I pray our Father gives us all a heart for the lost. I pray He prepares and equips us for the work we’re called to do on this earth. Amen. Thank you again.

  5. I pray I will have the heart to weep for others that do not know you, Lord.

  6. Thank you, Amy, for this call to mourn and pray. I cannot carry the grief that Jesus does and survive–but I can carry a piece of it. He knows every rebellious soul by name, I know but a few. He knows exactly where their future leads, and I can only guess. He shows me a corner of the big picture so that I can pray into it. He calls me to care, but he keeps it within boundaries so that I can carry on. He protects me, even as I pray.

    Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail (Lamentations 3:22).

  7. Elizabeth says:

    My pastor had a message on this verse,yesterday in my Church. We pray for our communities, Nations! Thank you for wonderful reminding to pray for the lost! I have a so many Muslims and Hindu friends. I’ll continue to pray for them to know Jesus!

  8. Wonderful message! I will pray that the lost find you and get that good relationship with you that is so important! I too have a Muslim friend that I pray finds their way to know and love Jesus. AMEN!

  9. For close to 20 years I’ve been trying to reach my husband for Jesus. He has yet to receive Him. I have faith that God is at work,but it’s hard to wait…. my husband will be 60 this year and not in the best health. I know God loves my husband more than I do and I will never stop praying for his heart to be opened up to his need for Jesus!!

    • Will be praying with you Karen!

    • Karen, I, too, have been praying for my husband for over 30 years to find Jesus. I have so many prayer warriors praying for him as well. I understand your impatience and concern. I have prayed that God would grab ahold of my husband’s heart soon so we could attend church as a family. I raised my children to know and love God and we attended church faithfully, but since they have grown and are on their own, they too, have been caught up in the world. This is the first time I have ever asked this big of a request. Would you and all readers please pray for my husband and children? The world is so lost and I believe soon, and very soon that Jesus will be coming to take us home and I so desperately want them in heaven. I will pray for your husband … Please pray for mine and our children. Thank you so much.

    • I too prayed for years. I felt led during that time to “be still and know I am God”even though couldn’t understand why not an immediate answer because this was so impotant. I was convicted to look at myself first and through my daily actions, interactions and conversations with my husband – to give it my all to show the kind of love, unconditional love, Christ freely gives. I was reminded that he was God’s child and love him when not loveable….and prayed specifically for his heart to be soften and eyes to be opened and for Godly men and testimony to come around him. By the Grace of God we now are at church together every Sunday and he serves within the church. I thank God for this gift in our lives and salvation, praying too that our adult sons will come back to Father God as when they were young. Praying your heart and desires up today!

  10. Lauretta W. says:

    This gave me chills. I am so saddened thinking of all those who don’t know Jesus and what he means to us all, those who have no idea what they are missing or who refuse to try to understand. I have encountered my share of such souls. I have noticed, some are angered by our sadness for them. They consider it disrespectful and ignorant of us to feel this way. They feel misjudged. They choose to twist our message. Often, I am at a loss. I don’t know how to help them except to pray that their hearts will be changed and their eyes opened. Shirlee Abbott-I appreciate your assurance and wisdom. The Bible is a love story and it tells us that God us looking out for us all, even those who refuse to acknowledge his overtures. Nothing is impossible for Him. He can get through to these people. That knowledge is a gift.

  11. I am often burdened by what I feel is our nation turning away and hardening towards God. It brings me much comfort to know that He is always in control no matter how dire the outlook sometimes.
    Thank you for this life-breathing devotion. Getting to the heart of God.

  12. I am at a place in my life that I thought I would never be. I often think about the scripture about being lead where you do not want to be or go. I am asking for prayer to restore my marriage and my family.

  13. Please pray for my cousins Paula and Jay..Paula is 6 months pregnant with their third child and Jay was diagnosed with stage 4 lung and spine cancer. You see the REAL problem here is they both do NOT believe in Jesus..I have tried to talk to them in the past but nothing. .now I have resorted to post verses on facebook that perhaps will grab their hearts (I know they both read my posts) …praying for their salvation..perhaps in the hard times ahead they will find an interest ..Lord I hope so..

  14. This is a beautiful message! Thanks!

  15. Yes, it is heartbreaking to see a world that doesn’t want the treasure we’ve been given when we receive Him.

    Yet I heard the testimony of a woman recently who has prayed for her father for decades, he is 94 and just prayed to receive Christ last week!

    Keep praying them home!

  16. In bed reading this because I get up, I am in tears. As I read it I was thinking about people I know that don’t know Christ. I am in agreement with you to pray for hearts like Jesus, to cry out for the world, to reach the world for Jesus. It is not about us. I see people all the time that I know I can share the gospel with but I get caught up being so busy. Then later I tell myself I missed the opportunity. Lord lead us to people to share your word and love to EVERYONE! Amen!

  17. carla keeter says:

    I TO SOMETIMES,EVERYDAY FALL SHORT OF THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S LOVE,AND WHAT HE DID FOR EACH OF US,HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON ,SO WE MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE, BUT YET IN THE EYES OF MY OWN, I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS IN ALOT OF THE CHAPTERS, I PRAY EVERY NIGHT FOR GOD TO LET ME PRAY BEFORE I READ THE BIBLE,AND TO UNDERSTAND ALL THAT HE WANTS FROM ME,HIS CHILD,I PRAY THAT I GET INTO A CHURCH REALLY SOON,SO AT LEAST I CAN HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE BIBLE,BY JUST LISTENING TO THE PREACHER.WHERE 2 OR 3 ARE GATHERED WE ARE HAVING CHURCH,BUT IT IS NOT THE SAME AS LISTENING TO THE PREACHER OR GOING TO CHURCH,WHERE THERE IS SO MUCH MORE POWER ANS SO MANY MORE PRAYER WARRIORS THAT CAN HELP ME PRAY THROUGH.I HAVE A HARD TIME JUST GETTING BACK INTO CHURCH.AS I ASK EACH OF YOU TO PLEASE SAY A PRAYER FOR ME, TO HAVE THE FAITH THAT I NEED TO KNOW THAT GOD IS SO REAL. AND HE ANSWERS ALL OF OUR PRAYERS,MAYBE NOT ON OUR TIME BUT ON HIS TIME,GOD NEVER FAILS US, PLEASE GIVE ME THE STRENTH TO KEEP THE FIGHT UP WITH MY LORD, I NEED HIM IN EVERY DAY SITUATIONS,EVERY SINGLE DAY,HOUR AND SECOND OF MY LIFE. HOW CAN I MEET GOD HALF WAY,AND TO KEEP MY FAITH HIGH, HOW CAN I GO OUT UNTO THIS WORLD AND JUST TRY TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE OF GOS’S LOVE, THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME, BECAUSE I HAVE A SICK HUSBAND AND HE DOES NOT WANT ME TO LEAVE HIM AT HOME FOR EVEN A HOUR AT A TIME,AS I TRY TO GET HIM TO GO WITH ME,HE JUST WON’T. I NEED TO GET OUT OF MY HOUSE GO UNTO THE WORLD, TALK TO PEOPLEABOUT THE MANY TIMES GOD HAS PICKED ME UP AND CARRIED ME,WHEN I WAS TO WEAK TO GO IT ALONE. PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD HEARS MY PRAYS,AND GIVES ME A WAY OUT INTO THIS WORLD TO EVEN TALK TO PEOPLE,I KNOW I LOOK AROUND AND I SEE PEOPLE IN A LOT WORSE SHAPE THAN I AM,THIS MAKES ME STRONGER, BUT IT DOES NOT GET ME OUT OF THIS HOUSE TO DO THE THINGS MY GOD WANTS FOR ME TO BE DOING FOR HIM.SEEMS LIKE A END OF THE ROAD DEAL.AND I HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL,I KNOW I CAN SAY THE RITE WORDS TO SOMEONE IN DESPAIR IF ONLY I COULD FIND A WAY OUT OF THIS HOUSE. GOD KNOW EVERY SINGLE HAIR ON MY HEAD, HE KNOWS I AM HIS CHILD WHO HAS WITHSTOOD SOME PTSD IN MY CHILDHOOD. SEEMS LIKE I HAVE NO ONE TO TALK TO ANYMORE AS MY BEST FRIEND GOT SHOT IN THE HEAD 2 YEARS AGO, I CHOOSE TO FIND EVERYONE’S HAPPY SPOT. NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY,IF YOU LOOK HARD ENOUGH YOU TO WILL FIND EVERONE HAS THAT ONE SPECIAL HAPPY SPOT IN THEIR WORLD.THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO FOCUS MY ENERGY ON. TO SAY SOMETHING SIMPLE AND GOOD ABOUT GOD THAT WILL GET TO THESE PEOPLE,FEELING BLESSED BUT ALSO VERY DEPRESSES.I HAVE A ROOF OVER MY HEAD, I HAVE FOOD ON MY TABLE,AND CLOTHES TO WEAR.I HAVE WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T,SO WHY SHOULD I FEEL SO DEPRESSED. SIMPLE I GUESS I AM A WOMAN WHO WANTS THE WHOLE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT GOD AND YET STUCK IN THIS HOUSE 24-7 BECAUSE I HAVE A HUSBAND THAT IS SO DEMANDING AND WANTS ME WITH HIM AT ALL TIME, AND I CANT DO WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME,I WILL FOR EVER BE GREATFUL FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS, THANKS IN ADVANCE,JUST NEED 1 FRIEND WHO I CAN CONFINE IN AND NEVER GOSSIP OVER THINGS .I HAD THAT FRIEND 2 YEARS AGO,EVEN THOUGH I DID NOT AGREE WITH HER WAYS I STILL LOVED HER LIKE SHE WAS MY SISTER,NOW NO ONE TO TALK TO BUT THESE 4 WALLS,AND VERY IMPORTANT GOD.

    • Pray for God to open your husbands eyes and soften his heart….to heal what is broken in your husband and give you direction and strength during this season. My sister in Christ love and prayers to you.

  18. Palm Sunday service had me in tears more than once, as I remembered walking the triumphal entry on my families trip to Israel. When you look out over the Kidron valley at the old city it is hard to not weep for the lost. It is hard to be on the Holy Land and not weep at each new place. April 9th 2003 my dad died so yesterday was the 14th anniversary, but that had no impact compared to Holy Spirit touching me with the impact of what YeShua did for me. And to have Holy Week/Passion Week line up with Passover this year is an added blessing. I pray Father God bless you all this week by observing from others and being unto others the fruit of the Spirit!

  19. Such a beautiful message. Reminds me of the song, “Give me your eyes” by Branson Heath. … This is one of mine and my oldest son’s favorite songs.

  20. Susan G. says:

    Thanks for these words…
    Praying for many whose names come to mind…
    Bless you!

  21. I’m praying for my prodigal sons and those of all my sisters in Christ we brought them up in the ways of the Lord and they turned away As a church and as parents we must allow our children to see Christ in our lives no matter what we’re going through so they can come home to Christ

  22. Mary Galan says:

    Praying for my loved ones to come to Christ. For those we work with, for those in our community, for those who give of their services. Lord for me to see others with your eyes, have your heart to forgive, your mind to have knowledge and wisdom. Lord that this Holy week we live as you have directed our paths and that your Holy Spirit guide us. Grant our bodies and minds Healing. Let us seek you before making any decision. In Jesus name.

  23. I weep also, I so truly want my brother and his whole family to turn to God, repent and recognize Jesus as Lord. It’s been my heart’s desire for sooooo long. I continue to pray for him, for He knows the Lord, yet chooses not to follow Him. I bless him, my sister-in-law and their two young children. Beautiful devotional, brought genuine tears to my eyes. God bless you all.

  24. “I can’t,” I whispered. “Please pray for me to start crying. Pray for me to have a heart that’s tender and weeps over the lost like yours … and like Jesus’.”

    Yes! Beautifully written!

  25. Teresa Dearinger says:

    I long to have a platform for the evangelism of Christ. I was in ministry for many years. Traveled sang and preached Jesus seeing many souls come to him. Things have changed. I got fibromyalgia that slowed me down (but didnt stop me) Then my daughter passed away 5 months ago. Now, I sit wondering, Father What would you have my n I do? It has been a difficult past 10 years to be honest. Family trials after another but God is doing a new thing amoung us. Now I need to know His direction. God bless you and thank u for this ministry

  26. Beautiful reminder…break my heart for what breaks Yours…

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