You Shouldn’t Always Pray from Your Heart

January 14, 2013

Bonhoeffer’s little book on the Psalms is mind-stirring, heart-goading stuff.  Throughout this week I’ll post some quotes that jumped out at me.  Whether you end up agreeing with Bonhoeffer on every point or not, he will most certainly prod you in such a way that your reading of the Psalms will be enriched.  Let’s start with the quote, in its fuller form, that Pastor Aaron tweeted yesterday:

It does not depend, therefore, on whether the Psalms express adequately that which we feel at a given moment in our heart.  If we are to pray aright, perhaps it is quite necessary that we pray contrary to our own heart.  Not what we want to pray is important, but what God wants us to pray.  If we were dependent entirely on ourselves, we would probably pray only the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer.  But God wants it otherwise.  The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart.

Bonhoeffer, Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible, 14-15


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