Lent • Day 18

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:4,5

The heart is deceitful above all things 
and beyond cure. 
Who can understand it? 
10 “I the LORD search the heart 
and examine the conscience, 
to reward each person according to their conduct, 
according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10

For thousands of years, faithful Jews have prayed the Shema every morning and every evening, pledging to hear and obey, and love the LORD with all their heart.

Ancient Jews had no word for brain and no concept of an organ inside the skull that housed the intellect. In the Hebrew scriptures, it’s the heart, or lev, that not only pumps a person’s blood but also does all their thinking. The lev understands, holds knowledge, and discerns truth from lies. But thinking isn’t all the lev does.

The lev also feels. To have a “broken lev” is to be sorrowful and to be “good of lev” is to experience joy. The lev is where feelings reside.

But the lev also generates desire. King David “had in his lev” to build God a house. The desires of our lev become decisions.

Jeremiah said the human lev is deceitful. Our thoughts, feelings, desires, and decisions betray and trip us.

So, ancient Jews gave their heart to the LORD in daily prayer. And the LORD gave them a promise that their heart would be changed.

The Lord your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!

Deuteronomy 30:6


• Which thought, feeling, desire, or decision in my heart do I most need God to change today?

Our Prayer

Healer, mend my broken heart.

What are your thoughts about my thoughts?

What are your feelings about my feelings?

What are your desires for my desires?

Have your way. Today, I place my heart in your healing hands. Change me.