Sometimes we try to do too much before or instead of praying through a problem.
As you might imagine, that typically makes the problem much worse! 😉
However, most of us don’t really take either of these tacks.
Most of us do too much, while ALSO praying about it.
Then when we grow tired and frustrated, we wonder why our prayers are not being answered or bringing us enough comfort.
But what if you put aside all the “work” of resolving your life or marriage problem(s) for a concentrated time of prayer?
More specifically, using a method—Heart Healing Prayer—that combines both Scripture and prayer journaling.
Why praying Scripture is so effective . . .
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” —1 John 1:1
Ultimately, when we rely on the “alive and active” Word, the Spirit leads us toward Christ’s truth (Jn. 16:13), as well as toward Him.
Not only that but one very powerful way to rely on God’s word is by praying Scripture.
Why using HHP brings healing . . .
It allows you to pray similar to the way King David prayed. Since David was “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), you can trust it to connect your heart with God’s too!
This prayer method also walks you through the steps and Scriptures that help to break down barriers, holding you back from true surrender and healing. I’d say that’s a winning combination!
How to Prepare for Heart Healing Prayer . . .
1. Buy a journal or notebook for prayer journaling.
Practically speaking, the more you invest in this effort—financially and otherwise—the more you’ll want to stick with it.
2. Choose a pressing problem for your prayer journaling effort.
Even if your marriage is running smoothly, most of us can find some pocket of pain or confusion that needs prayer. Agreed?
Just be sure to ask God to guide you on what to pick as your problem. He always wants you to invite Him along, though He is not far from any of us (Acts 17:27).
3. Briefly describe your situation in your journal.
4. Identify your feelings, desires, and thoughts about the situation.
5. Find Bible verses that address your problem.
6. Commit time to your prayer journaling effort.
This method is not a one-and-done kind of process. Typically, processes take time. True change takes time! So give yourself the time to understand, put off, and put on all that God wants you to do and be.
You might want to take a full week to pray through each step (meaning, at least a total of 6+ weeks). The next time you pray, pick up where you left off, never rushing yourself.
The HHP Steps (modeled after King David’s prayers)
P – PRAISE
This is the first step of your prayer journaling effort. Begin by addressing the Lord with praise and thanksgiving.
Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. —Psalm 100:3-4
Praising and thanking God at the start of your prayer will help to stretch you out of the funk and weariness of your situation. It also sets the tone for the steps to come, firmly establishing your eyes on God!
R – RELEASE
Like it says, this step involves releasing to God all that you feel, as well as all that you desire and think about your situation—no holds barred! This is the step that many refer to as David releasing his COMPLAINT to the Lord.
A – ASK
Here you’ll move into asking God for His help with your emotions, desires, thoughts, and situation. You’ll want to continue to be very honest and specific about what you want and are asking the Lord to do for you.
He knows your heart better than you do so censoring or trying to hide how you feel from Him just doesn’t work! 😉
Y – YIELD
This step involves two key focuses: examining your heart and confessing your sins.
First, you’ll look to God’s word to help you examine your desires and thoughts so you can determine which ones you need to “put off” (sinful desires and lies) and which ones you need to “put on” (truths and God-honoring choices).
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. —Ephesians 4:22-24
Second, you’ll confess to God, yielding all the lies and sins you’ve committed and now see based on the Scriptures you’re praying through, asking God to forgive you for each one.
You might also want to tell Him how you feel about the damage your sinful choices have caused as a way of further yielding your way for God’s way.
E – ESTABLISH
This step involves establishing a plan for how you’ll repent and seek healing—a plan that’s based on your selected Scriptures.
If the situation you’re praying through involves sins you’ve committed, then establish a plan that describes the steps you’ll take to repent and change your ways. Always use Scripture as your guide here!
But if your situation involves sins committed against you, then establish a plan that involves more persevering than purging of sins. Although, most painful situations tempt us to sin in response to them. So it’s always a good idea to do a healthy self-examination in whatever situation you find yourself facing.
Either way, think about what God gives you the power to do in response to the losses and wounds you’ve caused and/or experienced.
R – RELY
David’s prayers always included a profession of his reliance and trust in God. This part of David’s prayers also involved rejoicing in the provision David anticipated would come his way through God.
At this step and stage, you’ll also want to refer back to what you’re “putting off” and are now relying on God to do through the truths and choices you are committing to “put on” as you move forward.