The Humble Heart
"Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens" (Lam. 3:41).
Men of Jeremiah's day often prayed while standing, with hands raised heavenward. Sensing possible hypocrisy in the mere outward gesture, the prophet pleads for lifting of the heart to God, as well. So prayed Elijah (James 5:17 – "earnestly," or literally – "praying in his prayer."
With all of our natural inclination toward unbelief and all our natural disinclination toward ruthless self-denial, who among us does not need to "rend our heart and not our garments and turn unto the Lord?" (Joel 2:13).
We piously sing "O Lord, send a revival, and let it begin in me" – as if we were quite ready in ourselves for anything God might choose to do! But our Sovereign Lord waits instead for our compliance with His clearly stated terms of "humbling…praying…seeking…turning" (2 Chr. 7:14). How quickly we forget or ignore His own declaration in Isaiah 57:15:
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."