A Prayer for the Overflow of Our Hearts
By Ashley Moore
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” – John 7:38, ESV
Have you ever met someone who claimed to be a Christian, but their walk didn’t match their talk? Does your boss use an overly critical tone with his employees? Is there a friend who loves to share the current gossip? Or perhaps you have found yourself complaining or grumbling about something in a less than God-honoring way. I think Christians openly admit that just because we love Jesus doesn’t mean we don’t still make sinful choices or say hurtful things. But we also can’t use God’s forgiveness as a means of cheap grace, giving us a free ticket to heaven while we still live controlled by our flesh on earth.
The tension lies somewhere between the two. Yes, we still experience the effect of sin on this side of Heaven, but we are a new creation in Christ. Jesus painted a beautiful word picture when He said whoever believes in Him would overflow with life-giving water (John 7:38). When Jesus confronted the Pharisees, He said whatever their hearts were full of is what would come out of their mouths (Matthew 12:34-35). The Bible tells us to guard our hearts because out of the heart flow the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).
So, this begs the question, if what we say and do isn’t life-giving, then what is in our hearts? Maybe we are too full of entertainment. Does our diet consist of hours of social media, streaming binges, or overindulgence in food or drink? Perhaps we are overly ambitious. Do money, power, or status drive us? Or maybe our lives are too full of noise and distraction. Is it a struggle to find a moment to be with God over our kids, coworkers, spouses, or friends?
These are challenges Christ-followers face. However, steadfast belief in Jesus is followed by tangible transformation despite life’s challenges. Our desires will change as we find ourselves longing to know Him more. Our “diets” change as we meet with Him to listen and learn about Him from His Word. We begin to take in less of what the world offers and more of what God says is good. And as we do this, we get our fill of life-giving goodness and start overflowing it onto others.
It’s simply not enough to say we believe in Jesus. Changes follow this proclamation! We will desire to know Him more, and as we feast on His Word and obey His statutes our lives will be as He described. Out of our hearts will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38).
Thank you for saving us from sin. Thank you for your forgiveness and for making us new creations. Thank you for the gift of Your Spirit and the power to change! Lord, forgive us when our words and actions misrepresent you to those around us. And Jesus, forgive us for filling ourselves with the wrong things more than we desire to fill ourselves with your truth. Help us to forgive those who offend us, Lord. We know how hard it is to deny our fleshly, human desires and obey you instead.
God, we pray for strength to desire the things that you call good. Lord, help us hunger for your Word, and godly community, and fight for time to pray and commune with you. Help us desire these things more than anything else. Jesus, I pray that as we take our fill of your goodness that you would cause us to overflow onto those around us. Lord, let our presence be like your presence to them. Let us refresh others and encourage them! Let us be like a life-giving river that points them back to you. In Jesus’s name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Brian Lasenby
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn’t writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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