Change My Heart, O God


By Ramon Martillano

One time somebody asked me, "When should we stop praying to GOD for something?"  I told her that in my opinion we should be persistent in our prayers but at the same time, we should also discern GOD's will if what we are praying for is in accordance with His plans for us. If not, then we should stop praying for that something and re-focus our prayers to something else. But then again, we can never know the wisdom of GOD. I read somewhere, “Where human strength ends, GOD’s strength begins.” As they say, in a situation like it, “Let go and let GOD!”


But persistent prayer is not asking something for oneself alone. It has a much deeper meaning that gives glory to GOD. “Prayer” as defined by the Council of Trent, is “the lifting up of our minds and hearts to GOD.” However, a “prayer that does not end up in complete submission to GOD’s Holy will is superficial, empty and mere lip service. It does not lead to change of heart nor does it obtain for us the graces so necessary in living out a virtuous and holy life.” (Alliance of the Two Hearts, Bible Study and Prayer Meeting Guide.)

Thus as we lift our mind and heart to GOD, we must fervently pray and desire to be more like Him. To think, act and love like Him. So our prayers must change our lives for the better, not only for ourselves but also for the people around us. In one of our prayer meetings, my staff said, “We should live a life today better than yesterday.” After praying, there has got to be some CHANGE happening in our lives!

But praying is not enough.
St James said, “Faith without action is dead.” (James 2:17)

Several days ago, a friend shared with me that for the last few days during her prayer time, the thoughts of some needy relatives kept coming back to her mind. So she prayed for them. But she sensed that the LORD is asking her to do something besides praying for them. She shared this with her husband and immediately the husband told her to send some help. Through the power of modern communication, she immediately sent her sister an SMS and requested her to advance some money for these people who were quite happy for these unexpected blessings. A few days later, the following prayer of the faithful was read in the Church during Mass:

For Christians: that they may not be content merely to pray for the relief of suffering in the world, but do something about it. (Underscore supplied.)

As we pray, GOD throws back our prayers to us in the form of blessings. We are GOD’s hands and feet here on earth. Let us allow Him to use us. This is the least that we can do to reciprocate His blessings.

So again, pray unceasingly. But it should not stop there. In our prayer time, after praising and thanking GOD, we must pray that He will
mold and change our hearts so that we may become more loving, more compassionate children of GOD. Because if our heart is changed, with GOD’s grace, our “faith will be made perfect by our action.” (James 2:22). As the song goes, “Change my heart, O GOD, may I be like You.” Let this be our daily prayer. Amen.

Reflection Question: Aside from praying, have I done something to ease the sufferings of the people around me? Do you sense the Lord asking you to do something for somebody right this very moment?