The world is in great need of God’s children to pray and bring heaven to the earth. Author Richard Foster posits that the key to the heart of God is in prayer. Prayer is our response to the overwhelming love of God and springs from the act of falling in love with God. Love is the syntax of prayer. Foster has subdivided prayer into twenty-one categories and spends a full chapter exploring each type in his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home.
The seventh inward prayer is Covenant Prayer. Covenant Prayer requires absolute allegiance and obedience to God. Covenant is a commitment between the believer and God. The first step is the Covenant of Holy Obedience. Foster explains, “Without reservation, we vow to follow the Father’s faintest whisper. In utter devotion and total simplicity, we promise to obey the voice of the true Shepherd” (p. 70). Foster states that obedience is ultimately God’s business. We are unable to obey in any way unless God gives us both the desire to obey and the power to obey. Obedience is a habit that must be practiced and learned.
Obedience empowers more obedience and allows the next step, which is the Covenant of Time. The Covenant of Time is a commitment to a regular and recurring experience of prayer. Each believer can make time to pray on a regular schedule. The Covenant of Time is not a universal schedule but unique to each individual as they are able. Foster reminds us that, “We will never have time for prayer – we must make time.” (p. 74) Obedience and time lead to the Covenant of Place.
The Covenant of Place gives the believer stability in addition to constancy. Foster urges each believer to find a place where they can focus on prayer when the time is made. The spot becomes a sacred place of meeting between the believer and God. This covenant also includes a commitment to the community. A meeting place includes a commitment to the people we are a part of. Obedience, time, and place lead to the Covenant of Heart Preparation.
The Covenant of Heart Preparation is a commitment to meeting God with all their expectation and without inhibition. These Covenants culminate in a trysting prayer, according to Foster, in which the believer shares special dates with God within the heart’s true home.
Share special times with God your Father with consistent times of prayer in your special place. Make time for prayer, and God will make time for you. God has always instigated unique covenants with his people. Allow him to share The Covenant that he prepared for you.
Foster, Richard J., Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.