Teach me your way, O LORD,Obviously, Piper recognizes the "U" as corresponding to the last line, "Unite my heart to fear your name." What does this mean?
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
FIRST, a united heart is opposite to a divided heart. A divided heart happens when the mind knows one thing to be true, but the heart yearns for another. And since Scripture rightly affirms, "As a man thinks in his heart so is he" (Prov. 23:7), we all tend to go in the direction of our hearts! Thus, the need to pray, "Unite my heart." In other words, I am praying that I will not only KNOW the truth in my head (through reading, meditation, & prayer) but that I will SO believe it that it will become my life. This is what James so consistently points out in his letter, it is not in the seeing (mind), but in the doing (heart) that we live truly godly lives. This is born out in James--as it said--repeatedly.
SECOND, please grasp the connection between the first and second parts of this verse. Specifically, notice the words "way," "walk," and "unite." They go together inextricably. "Way" and "walk" refer to lifestyle, a whole mindset, or, if you will, one's worldview. It is NOT just a knowledge of the right path to take, but is the actual pathway, the process, one's pattern of living. Better, it is the "default" position, the place they return to automatically in times of trial or joy.
Perhaps I can best explain the difference with two terms: dwell and visit. There's a great difference between dwelling with someone and merely visiting them. It seems that many professing Christians have developed more of a visiting mentality in terms of Christian growth. They seem to be content to, as it were, "drop in on God" once a week, to pay him a visit. They may do this "religiously," but it is still ONLY a visit. That is NOT the brand of Christianity Jesus died to secure! Paul wrote the Corinthians about our being a place for Christ to dwell, "For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, 'I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they shall be my people'" (2 Cor. 6:16). Wonderful truth! God dwells in us, and we in Him. He is our Owner and Provider. Oh, beautiful love this relationship with Jesus Christ; far, far better is it than visits!
The prayer for God to "Unite my heart to fear your name" infers a bringing together of mind and heart in one direction, with one purpose--to know Christ intimately. Or to love him--REALLY love him! This is a lifestyle, not an article of clothing we can don or discard at our leisure. The true Christian's entire life is bound up in Jesus Christ by desire. All other loves fall well behind this "Union." And he loves to have it so.
Excellent prayer: "Unite my heart (into single mindedness) to fear (love, respect, fear) your name (everything about God by which He is known)." The Christian wants to be absorbed with God!