A Pure Heart for Prayer

How to Have a Pure Heart and Healthy Thoughts in Prayer

As a member of the women’s ministries prayer team at our church, I frequently pray for other women.

Sometimes, we intercede for women I don’t know. My prayers flow freely and easily for their needs. Others times we pray for friends and women I know well. Then I pray passionately for God to move powerfully.

Before you think this makes me holier than you, I want to be upfront with you.
In all these moments, I want my prayers to be effective.

Occasionally, this requires me to stop and take notice of the feelings I have for the person I know and for whom I am praying.

Pain over a past hurt, anger over a disagreement or unintended slight, envy over their qualities, which I wish I had may flit into my mind.

I try to dismiss these reactions in an effort to appear devout. Or I decide it is better to put them to one side and pretend I am saint like.

Yet, what I really should do is pay attention to these unhealthy feelings, which often have taken root deep inside of me, because they can affect the effectiveness of my prayers.

I must first of all be honest with myself and then be truthful with God.

If you have anything that stands in the way—And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone says Mark 11:25.

I need to make sure I come with a pure heart and healthy thoughts about the person for whom I’m praying.

So where do we start. What do we do? In the Tough Love Prayer Challenge, I share these ways that you can bring your messy thoughts before God:

Take yourself off to a place where you can be alone with your heavenly Father. Do some deep down searching. Be honest with God. 

This sounds difficult to do. I often want to put on my Sunday best when I’m in front of God, especially because I am a member of a prayer team.

However, if God knows everything about my heart, and he knows my thoughts—and the Bible is very clear he does—then I might as well be completely honest with him.

This, I believe, opens the door for God to move right in and change what is bad to be good, what is ugly to become beautiful, and what is dark to become light.

You don’t need the strength or the ability to change your negative feelings for a person. You just need the determination to bare all that in unclean in your heart before God and ask him to help you.

God knows we are not capable of changing ourselves. That’s why His Spirit, through the work of Jesus Christ, can make a stony heart start beating healthily.

God is able to do what we’re not able to do.

God working and moving inside us changes things.

It doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing. We work hard at prayer.

Then we see the wonders of what God can do in our own lives and
the lives of other people.

Rachel Britton is an author, blogger, and speaker. Raised on the east coast of England, Rachel lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Rachel is passionate about helping women become healthier in their relationship with God, with others, and with themselves, and to thrive from the inside out. Visit Rachel at her blog to download her Tough Love Prayer Challenge eBook to pray for peace in the midst of your difficult relationships. http://rachelbritton.com/tough-love-challenge/

Rachel is always writing such great pieces. You will want to join her on this challenge and follow her at her social media sites. You can find her here!
Rachel at rachelbritton.com
Rachel on Facebook - @PrayerZoneWorkout 
Rachel on Twitter- @racheljbritton
Rachel on Instagram @rachelj.britton


  1. Thank you Jaime so much for giving me the opportunity to share about praying for our difficult relationships. I hope it speaks to your readers' hearts.

    1. I am so glad you are here! I love your work and appreciate you taking the time to share your heart here! I agree with you in that it is sometimes hard to pray for people that we are having ill feelings about. I have always found praying for that person, in a healthy way, changes my own heart. Isn't that what God is after changing us a little bit at a time to make us more like Him. He is so beautiful!

  2. It's so important to examine our attitudes. I liked your point that it's not about our own ability to somehow get our hearts right, but it's in coming honestly to God and inviting His work in our hearts.

    1. You're so right, we must examine our attitudes. So often I'm so busy, I don't want to spent the time doing that but when I do, and I pray about those unhealthy attitudes, God can change them for the better.

    2. Mark 11:25. HARD Verse to swallow.. It takes action on our part. How I needed these words this morning. Thanks for your honesty and open heart to share with the world.

    3. Michelle, yes it is hard but we have a wonderful and merciful God.

  3. Yes, and prayer IS hard work! Unseen, unappreciated by anyone but the God who hears, but life-changing and world changing.

    1. Oswald Chambers said prayer is work, but I like to think of prayer as a workout because as you say, Michele, it is life-changing, and it makes us better and fitter.

  4. Amen Rachel. Thank you for the insight. I am going through a difficult situation that involves people close to me. I pray God changes their hearts to see the Truth. I must ask God for discernment even in my prayers. I find myself judging and comparing. YIKES! I praise God for His mercy and faithfulness.

    1. Sometimes we have to work through some really tough stuff with other people and from within ourselves. But, I believe our prayer "chamber" is the best place to do this because there we are with God and experience His mercy.

  5. I appreciate this post. I found myself a little awkward at those turn to your neighbor, and say whatever things, I have had a lady feel slighted because I missed a handshake. I usually like to pray for people who just ask me, sometimes over Pinterest. I will be careful to clear my mind and heart, I honestly want to see people healed and deliivered. I do have some people I pray for that are just not receptive, but I know God hears and He will find the words for them if I don't have them.

    1. Rebecca, I sense your heart for prayer and for doing the right thing. Keep at it.

  6. I agree with you on the importance of recognizing how feelings can impact prayer. Our feelings never fool God, it is best to acknowledge them and let Him do the work of changing our hearts. What a blessing to tackle tough relationships through prayer.

  7. I agree with you on the importance of recognizing how feelings can impact prayer. Our feelings never fool God, it is best to acknowledge them and let Him do the work of changing our hearts. What a blessing to tackle tough relationships through prayer.


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James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
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