In the weeks leading up to our first National Foursquare Family Prayer Meeting on November 5, we have asked guest contributors to share their perspective on the value of prayer. Today, Jeff Hamilton, Assisting Minister at The Cornerstone Foursquare Church in Anaheim, Calif. and member of the International Board, shares with us two keys to prayer.
-Glenn Burris Jr.
In Daniel 10:12, an angel appears to Daniel and says, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words … ” Contained within the angel’s words are two keys to prayer that Daniel engaged in order to see his prayers answered.
The first is that “he set his heart to understand.” There is something about prayer that is about God revealing His heart to us. Our first step to becoming effective in prayer should be learning how to understand the heart of God. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” is the fifth habit presented in Steven Covey’s bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Never is this truer than when it comes to the practice of prayer. Setting our hearts to understand is what prepares us to hear from heaven and consequently focuses our petitions.
Yet, it is Daniel’s humility before God that allowed his words to be heard in heaven. Always calling on God’s nature and not on his own “qualifications,” Daniel knew how to approach the throne of God. This approach allowed his prayers not only to be heard, but to be responded to.
As we gather together, let us prepare our hearts to understand. Let us ask God to give us insight into his heart. Then may we humble ourselves in the presence of the Lord as we make our requests known, that He would respond to our invitation for “His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
By: Jeff Hamilton, Assisting Minister at The Cornerstone Foursquare Church in Anaheim, Calif. and member of the International Board.