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Prayers for Revival: Search Me, O God

by Julia Bruce
CEO & Keynote speaker

Why ask God to “Search Me?”

King Saul accused David of treason and he accused David of not being faithful to God. David, like the rest of us, knew that from time to time his motives were not always right, so in Psalm 139:23, he asks God, ” Search me, and know my heart.” He wanted God to examine his intent – to be sure that there was nothing offensive within him.

God is omniscient – He knows everything, including our thoughts, motivations, and all the things about us that we think we keep a secret. So why pray for God to search our heart? It isn’t for God to discover the offensive things within us. He already knows them. The answer is found in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” The reason I ask God to “search me” is to reveal to me the offensive things that my deceitful heart is keeping me from having a right relationship with God.

A deceitful heart

We can easily fool ourselves into thinking, “I’m not that bad.” We make up excuses for why it is okay for us to do something we shouldn’t. Or we compare ourselves to others who sin more than we do. And we rationalize why it is okay “this time.” At the end of the day, we fall for the lies that our deceitful heart tell us because we think those lies will bring us happiness.

Eve thought eating the forbidden fruit would make her happy. Cain thought killing Abel would make him happy. Joseph’s brother’s thought selling him into slavery would make them happy. Samson thought marrying a Philistine woman would make him happy. David thought sleeping with another man’s wife would make him happy. Solomon had 999 wives and thought each one would make him happy and when they didn’t, he thought #1,000 would be “the one.” The rich young ruler thought his wealth would make him happy. And Judas thought 30 pieces of silver would make him happy. But what all these people had in common was the same lie from their deceitful hearts.

The heart still deceives

Today is no different. The heart has been deceiving us from the Garden of Eden and it still deceives us today. We see it when a woman becomes frustrated after 25 years of marriage because he husband ignores her – so she reconnects with a high school boyfriend, begins an affair, and then divorces her husband.

It is in the college student that grew up in church and was taught how to live for Christ but then leaves those teachings behind to live like the rest of the world.

We see it in dating couples who choose to ignore God’s commands regarding sex before marriage and move in together before the wedding.

It is in the employee who takes company property or is dishonest in the time they claim they worked.

It is in the senior adult who says it is ok to just sit back in the pew because they are “too old” to serve God anymore.

There are countless other ways we can see how the heart deceives us everyday.

Search Me, O God

If we want to see a revival, we need to fall on our knees and with a sincere desire to know the areas where we have been deceived by our wicked hearts, ask God to search our hearts to see if there is any wicked ways within us. But be forewarned! Praying this prayer will bring conviction. God will expect you to make the needed course corrections. It will require you to see yourself in the way God sees you.

You are not likely to like what God reveals to you. But when He does, you will then need the humility to admit your sins and to seek God’s forgiveness and mercy. Then you will need the courage to apply the necessary changes in your life. As the Holy Spirit works within you to transform you into the image of Christ, revival will begin in your heart.

Are you willing to spend time alone with God and ask Him to search your heart and show you the offensive ways that your deceitful heart has been hiding from you?

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