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10 Gentle Prayers to Check Your Heart

couple holding a little black cutout heart, gentle prayers to check your heart

Lately I’ve battled more than a few urges to spout off a harsh response. Scrolling through social media, I can feel the anger pulsing deep inside. I know “a gentle word turns away wrath” and all that (Proverbs 15:1). But I wonder. Maybe if I could just pound out a few pointed words on the keyboard, the anger would subside. I could release all that frustration.

In our Christian walk, there will be times when we’re surrounded by negativity; times when we see others posting opinions online, and we sense bitterness and frustration building in our hearts like a volcano. Thankfully, in every situation God gives us the opportunity to take our concerns to Him instead of taking it out on others.

Proverbs 21:2 says, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” When we pray and ask God to check our hearts, He will bring to light those things we need to release to Him. God promises to restore our joy, even in the midst of all the negativity.

Here are 10 gentle prayers to check your heart. Let these prayers be a guide as you seek more of Him today.

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Kelly Sikkema

  • frustrated woman, prayers to check heart

    1. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Frustration


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    Sometimes I get so frustrated with people, I’m tempted to respond with harsh words. Even when I don’t say anything, I show my frustration with my actions and attitude. Forgive me for the times I’ve become so frustrated that I spread irritation rather than the peace of Jesus.

    Lord, I know I can’t share what I don’t have in my heart. I need your peace to replace the frustration I feel inside. Colossians 3:15 encourages me with this truth, “And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” 

    Check my heart. Help me fight off frustrated feelings by remembering to be thankful, seek your peace, and give you praise.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: 5 Reasons You're Frustrated and How to Have Peace

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/MangoStar_Studio

  • two women sitting on couch with crossed arms looking upset and angry, prayers to check your heart

    2. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Bitterness


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    When I let negative thoughts toward someone linger for too long, bitterness in my heart results. I want to let go of what they did that offended me, but I struggle to give it to You. Forgive me for holding on to bitterness instead of pursuing kindness.

    Ephesians 4:31-32 admonishes me with this valuable truth. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Thank you Lord, for forgiving my sins. I know my bitterness turns people away, but showing kindness turns them toward Jesus.

    Cleanse my heart, Lord. Help me to throw away bitterness and all other evil behavior as I resolve to be a kinder, gentler person.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: How Can I Break Free from Bitterness?

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Antonio Guillem

  • woman upset reading bible, prayer to check your heart

    3. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Things Not of God


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    The more time I spend with You, the more I become aware of sin in my heart. Those things not of You may begin with a simple thought. A distraction. Then that one thought can work its way into my heart and cause destruction if left untreated.

    Forgive me for those times when I’ve recognized those thoughts that aren’t from You, and let them take me down a dangerous path. I’ve learned to “think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth” (Colossians 3:2). Remind me to refocus my thoughts on you throughout the day. Doing so will keep my heart filled with Your goodness.

    Purify my heart again and again, Lord. Help me focus my thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: 10 Powerful Ways to Hear from God

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/digitalskillet3
  • hand holding apple, prayer to check your heart

    4. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Sin


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    When I allow the voices of this world to drown out Your voice, I leave my heart open to temptation. I know I need to guard my heart against unhealthy things. Yet sometimes I welcome things in my life that seem innocent at first but “give the enemy a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27).

    Lord, thank you for reminding me in Your Word not to stray from You. “Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path” (Psalm 44:18). Staying close to You is the best way for me to resist temptation that leads to sin.

    Renew my heart today, Father. Help me stay in step with You and tune out other voices that try and lure me away. With You there is hope, truth, and abundant life.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: A Prayer to Pray against Sin You Can't Shake

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Cas Photography

  • grumpy little girl, prayers to check your heart

    5. A Prayer to Check My Heart for a Bad Attitude


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    I am guilty of having a bad attitude lately. I complain about everything wrong instead of seeing the blessings right in front of me. Forgive me for giving in to grumbling. I commit today to replace my bad attitude with a hopeful heart.

    Lord, there are certain people in my life who display hope through a positive attitude. There are others who like to complain. I’ve noticed how I can become like those I surround myself with. Proverbs 4:23 reminds me, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” In those times when I am around negative people, help me to guard my heart. As I choose hope, my faith in Jesus will pour out to those around me.

    Revive my heart. Help me replace a bad attitude with the hope we have in Jesus.

    In his name,

    Amen.

    You might like: Gratitude: The Attitude That Transforms

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images

  • worried woman looking in wallet with face mask on coronavirus, prayers to check heart

    6. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Worry


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    Worry seems to invade every part of my life. I worry about my kids, struggle with indecision, and wonder how our circumstances could possibly work out. I know worry is not from you, but I still battle it all the time.

    When worry persists in my heart, I turn to Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Reading about Your everlasting love brings a sigh of sweet relief and a sense of peace. It reminds me that You hold me in the palm of Your hand, and that You are in control—not me.

    Lord, transform my heart into an instrument of Your peace. Help me release control and give you my worries. I trust You completely.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: 30 Bible Verses on Worry for a Weary Mind

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Carlos David
  • proud man pointing at himself, prayers to check your heart

    7. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Pride


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    Pride seems to be at the root of every problem I bring on myself. I try to do things in my own strength, and I let my will take the lead. I long to follow You but end up relying on my own efforts instead.

    Lord, as much as it hurts, I know my heart needs refining. Let Your Holy Spirit clear away my self-reliance and fill me with humility and total dependence on You. “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver” (Psalm 66:10).

    Restore a pure heart to me, Lord. Help me as I deny myself each day and replace pride with the greatness of Your love.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: The Sin of Pride and Why It's So Deadly

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Khosrork

  • three women friends looking at cell phone together serious, prayers to check your heart

    8. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Being Judgmental


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    I’m guilty of treating others differently because they don’t look like me or think like me. I claim to be an advocate of unity and embrace the uniqueness of God’s precious children but catch myself stereotyping others. Forgive me for falling into the trap of judging others when I know every person is precious in Your sight.

    Your Word teaches us the importance of looking at the heart. Even Samuel unknowingly judged one of David’s brothers based on his looks. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7).

    Let this truth settle deep in my spirit, Lord. You see the beauty inside. Help me to see it, too. Free my heart from judgmentalism and give me Jesus’ eyes to see others with unconditional love.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: 

    Did Jesus Teach Us Not to Judge Others?

    When You Should Judge, and When You Should Not Judge

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Prostock-Studio

  • frustrated woman looking at phone, prayers to check your heart

    9. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Hate


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    There are mean people in this world. People who cause conflict, stir up strife, and even hurt others. It would be easy to hate them. But I hold Your Word close that says I am “not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world” (Ephesians 6:12). This verse reminds me not to hate people who do bad things because they are still Your children. You love them, just as You love me.

    I struggle against hate for those who hurt me in the past. But I am reminded Your promise for eternal life is true for all people who choose to believe. Even someone steeped in meanness can accept Your son Jesus and receive the gift of life. “God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us” (Acts 15:8).

    Lord, probe my heart and reveal any hate festering there. Remove it and fill my heart with love for all people. You are love, and I want to be a reflection of You.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    You might like: 

    9 Times Love Overpowers Hate in the Bible

    36 Inspiring Christian Love Quotes: Scriptures and Sayings about Love

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/fizkes

  • man in blue t shirt holding up cut out red heart in front of his chest, prayers to check heart

    10. A Prayer to Check My Heart for Negativity


    Dear Heavenly Father,

    You are the essence of all things good. You are God of the heavens above and the earth below, and You also live inside of me. Sometimes I forget all the good things You’ve brought to my life. The many blessings You’ve so freely poured out. I dwell on the negative instead. But even when I fail, You “hold me up with your righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

    Lord, I want to be led by the Holy Spirit. “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). This Christian walk can be challenging at times, but I desire to be more like Jesus. In order to do this, I need You to check my heart for negativity and teach me Your ways each day.

    In my quest to be right, I forget the wisdom of Proverbs 21:2, “People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.” Examine my heart every day, Mighty God. Let the gentleness of Your Spirit be present in my life, today and always.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    More resources for going deeper:

    Handling Haters: How to Graciously Respond to Online Negativity

    How Can We Embrace a Contrite Heart and Spirit?

    10 Obvious Signs You Are Not a Mature Christian

    Photo Credit: © Getty Images/Prostock Studio


    Kristine Brown is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and the companion devotional for teen girls. For more resources from author Kristine, including prayers and mini-studies to help you “become more than yourself” through God’s Word, visit her website, kristinebrown.net. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

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    This article is part of our prayer resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.

    Prayers from the Bible to Guide Your Prayer Time
    Types of Prayers We See in the Bible
    What Is the Prayer of Jabez in the Bible?
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    Related: Listen to our podcast, Teach Us to Pray with Christina Patterson. You can find all the episodes at LifeAudio.com. Here's Episode 1: