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Heartfelt Prayer

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”1

I love how this verse comes right after the list of the Armor of God. We are told in verse 17 to “…take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Then we are told in verse 18 to “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.” God wants us to know him by reading his Word, but he also wants us to talk to him through prayer. This includes all sorts of prayer… mental and vocal, public and private, petitions for good things, prayers of thanksgiving, and prayers for victory against evil to name a few. We should pray as often as we can with a true heart, without hypocrisy, in the Spirit of God. Knowing that when we pray according to His will, he hears us.2

Prayer has always been an important part of my life. I have seen God answer prayer in several ways. He doesn’t always answer the way I wanted, but later I see that His answer was best, and I am able to grow closer to God as I learn to trust Him.

Since we had our first daughter, prayer has been something we have implemented into our daily routine with our children as well. We pray for meals, pray when we get in the car to drive somewhere, or when someone contacts us to share a need. However, one of the most special times of prayer is right before bed. We take time to pray with each of our children individually, which does take a little longer to actually get them to sleep, but each child is able to pray, and we are able to adapt our prayers, as parents, to that specific child. It is so meaningful to hear our children express their heart to our Heavenly Father through prayer. Our 10-year-old daughter has included two sentences in her prayer recently that are so special to hear. The first is “Lord, please bless the homeless and poor people. Please give them a warm place to sleep.” Then she closes her prayer with, “Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross to wash away our sins.”

Our daughter is learning to love others like Jesus loves her. Her prayer reminds me that I, too, have been loved unconditionally by God, so much that he sent Jesus to die for me. When I embrace this truth and accept His love, I can then share it with those around me who need it most.

I encourage you to talk to God. Share what is on your heart… your joys, fears, frustrations; God wants to hear it all. He is the best listener and always available. You don’t have to make an appointment to talk, he is there for you. I also encourage you to take a moment to pray for someone else today. When you are alert, the Holy Spirit will show you who to pray for.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for being ready to listen when I call to you in prayer. Help me be in tune with your Spirit, and that my heart would reflect your heart. I pray not only for what is on my heart today, but also for those around me who need You in their lives. Help me be alert and persistent in prayer, trusting you for the answers. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

  1. Ephesians 6:18 (NLT).

  2. 1 John 5:14.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.