Live Life Heart-First
What if prayer could help you view the world through the lens of the heavenly Creator?
What if prayer could inspire you to walk “heart first” into every situation, no matter what it was?
What if prayer could cause love to become your number one priority?
Inspired by 1 Corinthians 13:2: "If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do?" . . .the Heart-Shaped Life series will encourage you to live life “heart first.”
Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life features more than 200 prayers that will inspire you to draw closer to your heavenly Father as you spend time in quiet conversation with the author of Love Himself. Each refreshing prayer and related scripture selection will help you discover the best path to the good life. . .which is LOVE.
About the Author
Karen Moore has an M.A. in Education and is a writing coach, speaker, and author. Karen has held managing editor and publisher positions at David Cook and Thomas Nelson, as well as American Greetings and Gibson Greetings. She teaches an online course in greeting card writing. She is also a popular speaker at writing conferences around the country and is the author of more than seventy-five gift, devotional, and children’s books. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Read an Excerpt
As I Wait for the Lord
O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
PSALM 5:1–3 NLT
Morning after morning, I come before You, seeking Your kindness and favor. No one else can turn my life around, granting me a renewed spirit and a heart filled with hope.
Help me today to wait patiently for Your answers to those things that weigh me down. My hope is in You, and so I lift up my heart to You in every circumstance I face, trusting and believing in Your strength and mercy.
Hear me, Lord, with ears that vibrate with grace; see me with eyes of tenderness.
I am grateful to You this very day.
Shape My Thoughts
At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the people who are wise and smart. But you have shown them to those who are like little children. Yes, Father, this is what you really wanted."
MATTHEW 11:25–26 NCV
Sometimes I'm surprised by the unruly thoughts that come into my head, totally unbidden, totally odd because they are so out of character for me or the things I struggle to understand about the world. I ask You today to shape my thoughts, giving me a clean heart and a genuine love for the people closest and dearest to me.
I pray for a childlike faith, the kind that accepts and trusts and lives in Your protection and Your love. Wrap Your arms around my heart and mind, and help me to think only on those things that are from You.
Fill me with kind thoughts toward all others — thoughts that are worthy of You — so I'll act with a loving heart in all I do.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 CORINTHIANS 1:20 NIV
Father in heaven,
I'm eternally grateful for Your promises that sustain my life and provide for my needs each day. I thank You for my beautiful home and my loving family, and for my work and good health. My heart overflows with joy because You allow me to lean in and listen to Your voice anytime at all. Thank You for Your steadfast love and Your everlasting arms of strength whenever I feel weak. I rejoice that You anticipate my needs even before I realize what I may be missing and that You go before me wherever the day takes me.
Above all, Father, I thank You for being willing to shape my heart to be more like Jesus. I thank You for saying yes to the many prayers I've whispered and shouted and sung to You over the years. I cannot praise You enough for guiding my heart, my mind, and the work of my hands. I pray today that I will honor You in all I do.
At the Heart of Grace
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
COLOSSIANS 4:6 NIV
Sometimes I know I'm too passive about my approach to You or the ways I share Your love with others. Lately, I realize that when I come to You in prayer or I speak of You when I'm in social circles, my efforts lack power; they lack the fervor I had when our relationship began. Forgive me when I stand on the edge of faith, standing near You but not embracing You. I'm ready to open up now and pour out my love for You wherever I am.
Season me with the salt of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to be more robust and certain when I speak of You or share time with You in prayer. Please fill me up so Your light comes through as part of every conversation I may have today. Sprinkle goodness from Your grace on the head and heart of each person I meet.
Let me be seasoned with the salt of Your love and share that salt generously with those around me. You are the salt of the world, and my heart thirsts for You today.
Abide, Wait, Spend a Little Time with Me!
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!
PSALM 27:14 NKJV
Sometimes my heart is at a loss, insecure in what it truly means to wait for You. I wonder if waiting means I should just do nothing and leave everything in Your hands. That could be right.
Or I question whether I should keep doing all I can while I wait, just in case my "help" is needed. Or maybe I could even go on ahead so I'm ready for when You arrive, and then we could get things done.
I look at all those options, though, and I realize none of them are right or all of them are right. My heart awakens to the idea that perhaps all You want from me is to simply be there, right beside You, trusting You. Maybe all You want is for me to wait with a believing heart.
I ask You to strengthen my heart today so I can be of good courage, believing in all You will do when the time is right. Help me to sit peacefully at Your side today, knowing You will work all things together for my good.
The Heart of "Abba"
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
GALATIANS 4:6–7 NIV
Thank You for taking my hand and allowing me to be Your beloved child. You've called me by name, and You've created a new heart within me so that I might come to You in all joy and innocence and get to know You better. You've beckoned me to be in a relationship with You, and You've allowed me to seek Your face whenever I feel lost or afraid or uncertain about the turmoil of life.
Thank You for reminding me today that You are as close to me as any father can be, that You are my "daddy" in heaven, the one who sees me and loves me just as I am. You accept me because of Your Son, Jesus. You draw me close to You and let me listen to Your voice.
As Your child, I thank You for loving me so much and for keeping me close to You each day. Help me to be more like You, more like my Father, every day. I ask You this in the beautiful and powerful name of Jesus.
The Talent Search
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
ROMANS 12:6–8 NIV
It's clear that You did not give each of us the same kinds of abilities or talents. We are each uniquely designed. Some of us create amazing ideas, artwork, books; others dance across a stage and entertain appreciative audiences. The kinds of abilities You've given us are too numerous to even recount, but one thing makes sense to my heart.
In this vast, amazing world of millions of people, You know me. You know who I am and what I can do. You designed me perfectly for the role You wanted me to play when I came to earth.
Today, Lord, I ask You to search my heart, not simply to confirm my belief in You, but to remind me of my purpose, of the very reason You wanted me to develop talents I could use to help others. Bless the work of my hands and each one of us who seek Your direction for our lives. Help us to cheerfully lead, teach, bless, and encourage others according to Your will and Your good pleasure.
Making an About-Turn
The kind of sorrow God wants makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that.
2 CORINTHIANS 7:10 NCV
Father in heaven,
I made an about-turn some years ago when I first received You into my heart. It was a glorious day, and I often give thanks that You called me to be Your child.
Sometimes I still feel a need to make an about-turn for the little things in my life that may bring me sorrow, things I do that may displease You, or things that simply do not serve me well. Help me to become more of what You want me to be in my personal life, my prayer life, and my work life. I want to hand over the reins of my life to You and turn to You in all I do. I want to live a life that is heart-shaped and molded by Your love and grace and mercy.
I seek Your face today, Lord, knowing I will always need Your tender guidance to keep me walking in the right direction. I pray for others, too, who may need to turn again to You for the things that make life worthwhile and the things that keep them close to You. Thank You for giving me a softer, more pliable heart so I'm more open to sharing Your love with others.
The Heart of Acceptance
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
REVELATION 22:17 NKJV
God of my heart,
I know that You offer me living water and the chance to be free in You. You have given me an open invitation, and it is my desire to always come to Your table.
Thank You for loving me so much that You provided living water, this refreshing and thirst-free way to come back to You. Thank You for knowing me even before I left my mother's womb and for believing in me enough to be sure I discovered Your love as I grew.
Today I pray for everyone I know to be drawn to You as the source of living water. I pray that You will draw near to my friends and family and those I love so they find acceptance and love in Your eyes. I pray that they will thirst in new ways to come to know You with their hearts and minds.
Thank You for Your immeasurable love and grace and mercy on us all. Thank You for inviting all of us into Your heart for all eternity.
A Gravelly Heart
"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
EZEKIEL 36:26 NKJV
You have done marvelous things. You have blessed me with Your Spirit and caused me to grow in knowledge, awareness, and love of You and the people around me. You have made me whole.
Today I ask that You would help me with whatever parts of my heart are still resistant to Your touch. Help me to surrender all I am to You so I may have a heart of kindness and compassion and one that beats with love. Forgive those stony parts of my heart that may still have sway within me, the ones I continue to foster even when I know better. Give me a softer heart for those times when life is hard or things don't go my way.
I realize I have a lot to learn about what it means to have a tender heart, but I trust You to show me how to open doors to loving myself and others in ways I have not been able to do before. Give me, Lord, a tender heart and a peaceful soul.
Thank You for Your infinite love.
At the Heart of the Matter
Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
JOHN 3:3 NKJV
Sometimes I think the human side of me is still blind, unable to see very clearly all that You want from me and for me. I'm like a toddler, falling and getting up again, learning to walk behind You and follow You so I can grow strong. I pray for the eyes of my heart to be opened in new ways, ways that have eluded me before, so that I can walk in peace today. I pray to be born anew in ways that help me see what I can do for the good of Your kingdom.
Uncover my eyes, Lord, so I can see that You are still in control of all that happens here on earth and that You have great plans for the people who love and serve You. Open my mind to hear Your voice in my conversations with others and in the words I read in scripture. Make me aware of You in all the things that I do.
I thank You for drawing me to the place where I could be born again and for sharing the light of Your Spirit to live within me. Help me to live each day so that I might be a living example of Your grace and mercy and love.
Love never hurts a neighbor, so loving is obeying all the law. Do this because we live in an important time. It is now time for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
ROMANS 13:10–11 NCV
It is always my prayer to be more loving. Sometimes I think I do it well; but often, I realize that I fall far short of the mark. After all, I'm loving to the people who are in my inner circle, but I don't make much of an effort to be more loving to those I meet in various ways throughout the day.
Help me to be intentional about sharing my love for You so that it simply spills over in my conversations when I'm in the grocery store, or an office, or even walking down the street. Help me to reflect the light of Your love anyplace I happen to go today.
I know that I can be a bit sleepy, not really awake or aware of the needs of others who may be looking to me to get to know You better. Wake me up in every area of my life where I can make a difference and where I can show what it means to have the light of Christ within my soul.
Success and Failure!
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
PROVERBS 15:22 NIV
You know I'm a planner. I love to make lists and set up schedules and figure out exactly when I should do something to achieve a goal. However, I've learned that being a planner is only one part of the formula for success. The rest of it is determined by wise counsel and by keeping my heart aligned to Yours.
Today, I seek Your voice, Your counsel on any plans that I have in front of me. I ask You to guide me to the right people who would be Your choices to help me succeed in my goals. I ask You to bless the work of my hands in the projects I intend to do — the ones that occupy my lists of things to achieve. I ask that I would work within Your will in every way.
I know, Lord, that there is only one true success in this world, and that is to do the work You have called me to do, surrendering everything else to achieve Your will and purpose, for with You alone can my plans succeed. Thank You for Your counsel and the counsel of others You bring into my life today.
Stretch My Faith
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread to feed these people?" He said this to stretch Philip's faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
JOHN 6:5–6 MSG
You are the only one who knows what needs to happen to help us grow in faith. You alone create and mold and stretch us to become more than we were before. You know who we are and what we are. You understand us from the inside out. You make Yourself clear to our hearts, and we are grateful.
Thank You for Your divine intervention, Your willingness to make me more than I would ever be on my own. Thank You for taking me out of my comfort zone so I am stretched further to produce greater work for Your kingdom. Only You know how to stretch me without breaking me. Only You know the work You have designed for me to do. Help me to be flexible, able to bend and move and strive to shine Your light in joy.
Thank You for holding me in the palm of Your hand! Thank You for giving me new opportunities to serve You.
A Heart-Shaped Question
That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth. Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
2 CHRONICLES 1:7–10 NIV
When I think of the question You posed to Solomon, I'm awed. I'm awed by Your question, and I'm awed by Solomon's response. It is no wonder that You honored him for simply asking to be wise so he could make good choices and worthy decisions to lead Your people.
I believe in my heart that You ask each of us that question. You come to us and suggest that we can ask You for whatever we need. If our need is for better health, a better financial position, more love, or greater ability to do our job or to raise our children with integrity, then it occurs to me that our answer should be the same as that of Solomon. Our answer should be to have Spirit-filled wisdom.
In my heart, I know that only with wisdom can I make the kind of choices that creates a difference. Only seeking Your face and Your voice in all I do can truly cause me to be the person You have raised me up to become.
Bless me and all Your children who seek Your guidance, and grant each of us wisdom today.
Excerpted from "Prayers for a Heart-Shaped Life"
Copyright © 2017 Karen Moore.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
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