Give me children, or else I die! Genesis 30:1
Rachel was speaking to Jacob, but in reality she was praying. This prayer was not so much a religious utterance as an overpowering longing of her heart. This is one of the keys to prayer. Prayer is longing directed to God. Sometimes we pray for something that we do not long for. ‘Give us revival Lord!’ ‘Save my neighbours!’ But all the time our hearts are sadly indifferent to the outcome of our prayers. This is not true prayer. True prayer is being mastered by the yearning for the answer. Rachel longed for children. This is a woman’s longing. It went deeper than jealousy and was an expression of her longing to fulfil her womanhood. In the same way, true prayer is the longing of the human soul to fulfil its true calling. But longing is not enough. It must be directed upwards to God. In other words, there must be faith mixed in with the longing heart. What do we do if we do not thirst for God? We must repent and ask God to take away the dullness of soul that robs us of true spiritual progress. We may choose to define our problems as psychological states that we can do nothing about. But the Bible calls these things ‘sin’. Turn to God, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
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