O Lord, unite my heart

All the nations you have made shall come
   and worship before you, O Lord,
   and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
   you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
   that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
   and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Psalm 86 is a prayer of David which we may pray as well. David prays so that God may unite his heart (v.11). David is so honest, as he admits in his prayers, that his heart is divided. David was able to describe the state of his heart because he allowed the Lord to search him. As a result, the spirit pointed to the weak points in his life that he needed to bring to the Lord in prayer. It is important for us to follow this example of prayer every day. To ask God to search our lives, and when He points to our weakness, we need to confess them and ask for God’s help to deal with each weak area in our lives. 

In this busy and noisy world, there is continuing tension between our desires to serve the Lord and our desires to fulfill our ambitions. In this psalm, David started verse 11 by the word “teach me”, which means two things: first, that we need the Lord’s help and grace to unite our hearts. We can’t do this with our wisdom or power but by His power. Second, we need to learn God’s way and discipline ourselves to focus on Him as we carry our crosses and follow Him. 

Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy, describe those who serve the Lord as soldiers who must have a united heart. He said: “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”. 2 Timothy 2:4

In His parable of the sower of the seed, Jesus also warned us, not to be distracted by the worries of this world. He described these issues that distract our hearts as thorns that surround the plant and prevent it from growing and becoming fruitful. “As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22. The cares of the world that divide our hearts could be our needs, hopes, work, ministries, positions, titles, incomes, health and our families. Some of these are not wrong in themselves, but when they distract our minds and hearts away from the reason for our existence, they inhibit our growth, maturity and fruitfulness.

Jesus also teaches us to focus on our priority which is “the Kingdom of God”. This guards our hearts against any distraction. He said: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.

Brothers & sisters let us make the Kingdom of God our priority because this will help us to have an undivided heart. 

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop Emeritus  
Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria

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