I heard Beth Moore say it in an interview, and it stuck.
“Give us hearts to love you, Jesus.”
She said this is the prayer she prays over her daughters, a prayer that encompasses everything else we might have on our prayer list as mothers.
And isn’t that true? In John 14:15, Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”.
We tend to veer legalistic, focusing on the commands part, thinking that is how we are supposed to love Him, that following the rules will prove it to Him and to us.
But we have it wrong.
Not that obedience isn’t important. It is. But it is our “why” that matters, not our “what.”
“If you love me,” He said. Do I love Him? Do I get excited to spend time with Him? Do I seek His presence? Does my thought life reflect a romance with my savior, or just a business relationship?
Is Jesus my why? Because, if He is, then doing what He asks will be the natural outflow of my relationship with Him. If I love Him, I will trust Him. If I trust Him, I’ll do what He says. Not perfectly, of course. I am, and will be, a work in progress until He takes me home. As long as I live in this body I will be at war with the power of sin. But Jesus wins. My behavior will, ultimately, reflect my status as a daughter of God.
You are not your behavior, but your behavior does reflect who you are.
Am I a vessel through which His love flows freely, or a dam that selfishly holds things in check out of fear or distrust that there will be enough to go around…enough of me, enough of Him, enough of whatever it is I hold selfishly against my chest and refuse to let go?Am I wild with distrust, desperately grasping for control and fearful of what tomorrow holds? Or am I at peace in the core of my soul, knowing that tomorrow is in His hands and that, live or die, I will ultimately live?
Give us hearts to love you, Jesus. This really is the core of it all. The key.
I can’t think of a more simple, more profound prayer.