Last Updated on August 20, 2019 by Stacy Averette

In 2011, a local policeman was killed in the line of duty. It was a sad time in our community and continues to be for those who knew and loved him. The loss gave a dying man a second chance at life and the story was a wake-up call for me.

The Heart of the Matter

My husband picked up the paper and mentioned the front page article and photo of the man who had received the slain officer’s heart. I stopped what I was doing to look at the photo. I needed to see the man that had been given a second chance at life. He was smiling as he stood with the slain officer’s family.*

Heart recipient Joe Sorvillo, second from left, meets Justin Sollohub’s family for the first time in February. Pictured also are, from left, Jeniffer Morris, Byron Morris, and Blake Morris. (submitted family photo)

My first thought was, “Wow! I’ll bet he’s living life with a new perspective now. What a life-altering experience—meeting the ones whose loss of a son resulted in his life. He must be overflowing with gratitude and a determination to live life to the fullest.”

The Question of the Day

In that instant, the Spirit spoke to my heart. No, actually, it felt more like he grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me square in the eyes and said, “I gave you a new heart. Is that the way you’re living?”

Blind-sided by the question, I swallowed hard, fought the emotion, and got busy.

  • busy preparing lunch
  • busy cleaning up
  • busy watching t.v.
  • busy preparing for another day
  • busy running from the question

Today is another day and I am busy. At last, busy is done. I sit down ready to rest. The Spirit gently reminds me of the heart issue.

The Gift of Life

I know I must revisit the photo. I find it and take a closer look. This time I read the story and surrender to the Spirit’s words.

 The man recounts the night at the hospital waiting for the heart and how they tell him that until they have the heart they can not be certain it is a match. But it was.

 “It was perfect,” Sorvillo said. “I’m alive because of Justin’s gift.”

 The Spirit said, “My heart was perfect for you. You are alive because of My gift.”

 He also recalled watching the news as he waited at the hospital and making the connection between his life and the one who had died. “How sad was it that this guy had to die, and how his last act was to save my life?” Sorvillo remembered thinking.

The Spirit said, “Jesus died to save your life.”

 The Gratitude of the Recipient

 The man said, “You feel like, well, do you deserve it? And you feel sorrow and great gratitude at the same time.” [He] fell silent. He inhaled. Exhaled deeply and wiped his tears. “It’s pretty hard to put those feelings together,” he said.

I, too, fall silent. I inhale grace and exhale praise as I am reminded of The Gift I’ve received.

I decide (again) to live fully alive—with gratitude—not wasting a minute of the precious life I’ve been given.

Ezekiel 36:26
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

Renewing Your Passion

I’m rereading Priscilla Shirer’s book Fervant: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer along with a group of ladies that meet in my home each week. We’re all desperate for a change, for improvement, for healing, for answers. But what we don’t need is one more thing to add to our already long to-do list.

Does “serious, specific, strategic prayer” feel like one more thing you need to do? If you’re anything like me, it does.

I’m being honest.

But I can also honestly say that I want to be a woman who’s winning the battle against the world, my flesh, and the devil!

Prayer is our strongest weapon!

So what do we do when we’ve lost our passion for prayer, for praying God’s Word, for interceding on behalf of our family and friends? Feel guilty about not praying? Well, that may be our initial reaction but it’s another scheme of the Devil.

So instead of always feeling guilty—personally responsible—whenever your passion in prayer is weak or missing, realize instead that it is God’s work both to give it and then to fan the flame inside you. Which means you cannot manufacture it on your own. Your enemy, however, wants to burden you with blame for not having something that didn’t originate with you in the first place. Don’t fall for that.

Here’s what to do instead! Start showing up in your prayer closet as an act of discipline. Make it an obedient appointment because it’s the appointed time you said you’d be there!

Because praying—reaching outward and upward to Him—is the way His passion comes down. Even prayers that begin with the blunt edge of willpower, dragging your heart along kicking and screaming, can soon begin to shine with the cutting edge of hope, faith, and passionate confidence in Christ.

Passion for our life, for God, for God’s Word and prayer, doesn’t come from us. I forget that often! I’m over here trying to muster up my passion, waiting to “feel like it” before I act in obedience. But I’m still learning that when I act in obedience, I receive what is a gift from God. He wants to be completely dependent on Him, even for the passion and desire it takes to be a committed Christ-follower.

Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

You may want to get your own copy of Priscilla Shirer’s book, Fervant. Click here to get a copy of the book and click here to get the War Room DVD. These resources go hand in hand in my opionion. I know you’ll be blessed by both of them!

One thought on “A New Heart & A Powerful Weapon”

  1. Again, my friend…you cause me pause…it’s a JOY to journey with you!! Even at a distance and on paper!! One day I look forw a real porch conversation with you!! Blessings of grace, joy & praise all over you!!

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