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The Great Revealer of our Hearts

Kim Melnick

Feb 15, 2024

Growing in Prayer

The Great Revealer of our Hearts -

Growing in Prayer

“We pray for what we desire to see happen.”

Those words stirred my heart when Pastor Arthur said them as he opened a sermon just a few weeks ago. It was a reminder that prayer is a great revealer of our hearts.

Prayer reveals our deepest longings and our trust in God. In the words of H.B. Charles,

“....Prayer is arguably the most objective measurement of our dependence upon God. The things you pray about are the things you trust God to handle.”

If these words convict you, please know that they convict me too. I long to be a prayer warrior, but the truth is that, like many of you, my prayer life is easily hijacked by interruptions, a lack of planning, mental distractions and more!

So, today, I want to take a short look at some habits we can adopt on our journey to grow in prayer…..for God’s glory and for our good!


Let’s start with examining the content of our prayers. Is your prayer life saturated with foxhole prayers for the Lord to rescue you from trouble? Do your prayers for yourself and for others rarely go beyond God’s help to work out circumstances so that you (and those you pray for) can be comfortable?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with praying for our daily needs - in fact, we are commanded to do that and it shows great reliance on our Heavenly Father.  But, if our prayers are only about the temporal comforts, conveniences and cravings of this world, it’s time to examine our hearts as we consider the content of our prayers.

The truth is that our lives are just a mist (James 4:14) and God’s word encourages us to have an eternal kingdom mindset as we live on this earth (Matthew 6:19-20). Knowing and believing these truths changes how we pray.

There was once a popular country song titled, “Live like you were dying” but what if we prayed as people who knew that, while our bodies will die in this world,  we will live forever in the presence of the Lord? Facing imminent death (and eternal life)  tends to bring into focus those things that truly matter. For the Christian, this might be the salvation of our loved ones, our battles with sin, our boldness and fervency for the Gospel, our ability to love others well,our Christian witness as we live before others, the effectiveness and unity of our church, our persecuted brothers and sisters, missionaries, our willingness to forgive, our lack of humility….this list could go on!


God’s Word addresses each of these important prayer needs and so many more! I believe the Lord desires that we meet Him daily in His word - reading, praying, meditating on what He says to us. I have found that I’m never more confident in the content of my prayers than when I pray Scripture back to the Lord.

Of course, this all depends on a right understanding of the Scripture we pray and a humble, Spirit-led heart of prayer that earnestly desires to walk in the Lord’s ways and live out His will. I once heard it said like this, “Make God’s will your want. Then, ask for whatever you want!” (Psalm 37:4)

I have found it helpful to pray God’s word back to Him in two different ways….

Daily Bible Reading…..As I’m reading Scripture, I find it helpful to write out prayers or simply pray as the Spirit leads me in understanding His word. This is a form of meditation and it may be sandwiched in between my attempts to understand the text and what it might mean for my life.

Organized Bible Passages….I keep a list of topics that I want to regularly address in my prayer life and I’ve connected them to Scripture. Over the years, I’ve had topics with corresponding verses in notebooks, in a notepad on my phone or printed on cardstock. There’s even apps that can help you do this.

As we pray Scripture, our relationship with the Lord deepens. We read what He says and we respond in prayer. It’s a rich conversation and it is sweet communion with the Lord. I have found that the Lord has increased my desire for Him, my dependence on Him and my closeness to Him as I practice these habits of praying Scripture.

In the words of Daniel Henderson,

Will you pray “Spirit led, Scripture fed, worship based prayers?”


The apostle Paul and Jesus both encourage us to pray always or continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17, Philippians 4:6, Ephesians 6:18 and Luke 18:1), but we may wonder what that looks like. Essentially, it means that we are to persist in prayer and to maintain a “posture” of prayer throughout our days. We should be willing, ready and eager to pray in any situation.

My desire is that prayer be my first response to the needs and problems that arise in my day but, the truth is, my first response, too often, is to rely on my own strength and wisdom or take the situation to a friend. As I’m growing in this, I’m learning to whisper “popcorn prayers” throughout the day. I also try to take advantage of times when my body is engaged, but my mind is free - like on my morning walk, while folding laundry or washing dishes. And, when the Lord brings someone to mind, I’m trying to discipline myself to, first, pray for that person. Then, reach out with a phone call.


Lastly, I just want to share some tips - miscellaneous habits that can be helpful as we practice the discipline of prayer with an aim to grow in our prayer life - for God’s glory and our good!

Praying with others. Committing to prayer with one or more prayer partners increases our accountability, helps with concentration and grows us in prayer as we hear others pray.

Praying for others - on the spot. How often have we told someone that we would pray for a need they shared and then forgotten to actually pray about it?  It’s far better to simply say, “Let’s pray now!” I don’t always remember to do this but I am always glad when I do!

Scheduled Prayers. Creating a prayer calendar or rhythm is helpful. There are things I want to pray for daily and others that I can spread out over my week. Monday may be for lost family members, Tuesday could be for pastors and leaders in my life. Wednesday might be for marriages, etc…. You get the picture.

Combining prayer with regularly scheduled activities - If we already meet regularly with a group of Christian friends for Bible study, for meals or even activities, it is helpful to consider ways we can tie prayer to those organized activities in which we are already engaged. When praying in groups, it is helpful to keep our focus by praying quietly in agreement with the prayers that we hear.

Utilizing written prayers. Reading and praying recorded prayers of others can help us grow in our own prayer life. As many as 650 prayers have been identified in the Bible! That’s enough to keep us busy in prayer for quite some time. Many are found in the Psalms and in the writings of Paul. But there are also beloved prayers written by saints throughout the ages. The Valley of Vision book contains a compilation of Puritan prayers and is a wonderful resource that will, no doubt, stretch you in prayer.

As I close out this article, it seems fitting to end with a prayer. I hope you will join me now in praying this beautiful prayer to the Lord.

The Valley of Vision

Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine; Let me find thy light in my darkness, thy life in my death,thy joy in my sorrow,thy grace in my sin,thy riches in my poverty,thy glory in my valley.

Women, if you are looking for a way to organize your prayers by Scripture, click HERE.

Men, there's an option for you HERE.

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