Lesson 4: Head-Prayer? Or Heart-Prayer?

Lesson 4 

Head-Prayer? Or Heart-Prayer?

Class Purpose:  To understand the Difference between Head-Praying and Heart-Praying,

At the start of the lesson, I encourage you to look up the article at the following link: 


This article is a good discussion leading into our lesson.  We may not realize it, but we often pray with our minds making our prayer lists, and checking them off, one by one.  In fact, we may be so accustomed to praying this way that it honestly may be time now to stop and ask yourself, how often do we sincerely pray from the heart?  Let’s go a step further and raise the question:  have you ever taken to time to recognize the difference between mind or head-words and heart-words?  Heart words or phrase are like as follows: ‘I received..’, or ‘bless’, or ‘love’, or ‘I am troubled’, or ‘compassion’.  These are only a few heart words.  They may be many others.

I had a situation that came up in the past for me which may help illustrate the use of how the use heart words helped.   To help explain what I mean, I would like to share a personal experience with you: 

A number of years ago, I had a difficult problem in my office which actually arose out of an issue of perception.  When issues are perceived wrongly, the results can be devastating.   That wrong perception did occur.  Being troubled and devastated, I sought counsel.  The advice that I was given, advised me to go to the person and let them know how I received what happened.   That approach is biblical. I also sought God’s help.   Finally I made myself go to that person. When I went to our meeting, God helped me to use heart-words as I sought to come to an understanding with the other party.  It was difficult for me, but I shared how I received what had been said by the other party using heart-words.  That is difficult for a man to do, but again, I could not have done it without God’s help.  Those heart-words were received by the other party and they began a major turn around in my office toward my work.  God used that trial to teach me to let my heart speak, and God was there with me, helping me.  The issue that occurred had arisen when only minds spoke and the heart did not speak.  The resolution came when the heart had a chance to speak.

When it comes to prayer, a study of scripture shows  that God listens to the heart.  That is what the article that was mentioned at the beginning of the lesson is about.  Further, to help us with heart language and speaking from the heart, God has given us help through His Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit works in our hearts to help us love the Lord Jesus.  Love is a heart action.  The Holy Spirit also helps us to relate and connect with others, which are heart-actions.  The Holy Spirit directs our hearts when there are issues of brokenness, fear, rejection, and shame.  God’s very nature of redeeming love comes from His heart.   God’s help is available to us if we ask for it.  Take time and read Proverbs chapter 2, the whole chapter all the way through to chapter 3 verse 6.  This passage is very helpful.

Now lets talk about head-praying and heart praying:  Head-praying applies logical understanding.  It is important that it be based on God’s Word.  When the heart and mind are “in sync” and work together, the mind may use scriptures that have been learned, and help discern what God wants.  The heart brings compassion and love based on God’s Word, into our prayers.

What then is needed when we pray?  Mind-Prayer or Heart-Prayer?   I Corinthians 14 vs 15 says: “What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also”.  This scripture could mean letting the Holy Spirit of God work in our minds and our heart as we pray.  We need to pray both with understanding and with compassion as the Holy Spirit of God guides our hearts.  

If you have not learned to let your heart help you pray, take time to reflect on this lesson, examining God’s word, and ask God’s help.  One thing that the Lord used, to help me, was to identify words that are heart words and use them.  When I did that, it was a start of really learning what praying from the heart meant.  Take time to review the Reflection Questions and exercises at the end of this lesson.  They can help challenge us to understand heart words and mind words.  As you do, share your thoughts here in the lesson comment section on Pray!Network. Also as you learn to identify heart words, God will, help you to use them and make a wonderful difference in how you pray.

Reflection questionsTake time to reflect on one of the questions below, and share your thoughts with the class.

Why is it we can do something intellectually, but when it comes to prayer, it does not seem as if prayer is intellectual or contributing? 

Is our personal time alone with the Lord important before we pray with others?

Is there a conflict between the heart and intellect?  Why might this be?

Where is our heart in prayer?

Exercise—look at how we pray.  Then write down key words that we use:

           What do these words reflect?  Are they words of issues, principles, convictions, judgments, problems or strategies?  Or are they truly heart words of feeling, love empathy, compassion, desire, connection, relating?

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  • I could not find the article mentioned. Let me share a testimony- Matt. 7:7 mentions- knock, seek....ask.....I take these words as mind helpers(intellect zones). One time a voice said to me " Ask, knock and seek unceasingly because there are unexaustable blessings in God's heart..." Jer. 29:11. These words are no longer in my head/mind but established in heart/emotions to guide me as in the son in proverbs mentioned in the lesson with the conlusion in Prov.3:6. With only God's word we could be religious ( Pharsees) Spiiritual prayers without God's word could be naturally emotional. Will, intellect and emotions need both Word and Spirit in our acceptable prayers.I am with you.

    • Berete Jerome

      The Author of the article referenced in Lesson 4, has given me another link which has worked for me.

      This link is: 


      Try it.  That article has been very helpful to me.


      Lewis turner

      Course Facilitator

    • Thank you, Berete Jerome,

      Good observations--

      I will also check with our Facilitator about  how the transition that Nav Press is going through affect our ability to pull these articles up.  Change is always a challenge.

      Thanks and blessings.

      Lewis Turner

    • Sorry guys, I have not been informed of a the-launch date. Soon I think ...
    • Phil--

      I hope the links work--or perhaps they can work with us to provide new links.



  • Without my heart being totally committed to me, I am unhealthy and not functioning at 100%.

    Without my heart, my total being involved (heart, mind, and soul) in praying (privately or publicly), my prayers are unhealthy, incomplete and not going before my Heavenly Father with the force that is needed and required of me.

    When I am not totally involved in my prayers, I cheat myself.

    Do I do it all the time? NO! But I am working on it with God's help each and every time I pray.

    • Grover,


      Your answer reflects much the same heart the same heart that the Apostle Paul shared with us.  You are certainly being transparent.  


      I know God will be there helping whenever you need it.




      Lew Turner

  • I have been reflecting. I thoroughly enjoy the texts and the lessons. NOW! Please bear with me. I am 77-years old. Suffered a complete right-side stoke 10 plus years ago. Have never blamed God in anyway for what happened, His will be done. Since stroke, I have considerable difficulty being around a group of people. Thus, I attend services over various webcasts each Sunday.

    Prayer has always been and will always be a main part of my life (as long as I have my mind). I, for years, have personal difficulties asking for specifics. Sick people I pray for, die. Those with problems continue to have those problems. Thus, I have resorted to bringing people and their problems before God, asking Him to continue comforting and helping them as He Wills. Coward's way out?

    Because of my disabilities, my contacts with the world is limited. Thought for you brains to think on. I would like to join over the internet a prayer group - to read their prayers, have them read mine, and make comments. Perhaps actual contact could be made through iChat or group Sckye? TY for your time and consideration.

    Again, thoroughly enjoy course.

    • Grover,


      I appreciate your sharing this need here, I will be keeping you in prayer, and I know others will be praying likewise. 


      Would you be willing to share your need with others on this prayer network?  Yours is a unique need, but perhaps someone or perhaps several people may be willing to find a way for regular pray via the internet or skype with you. 


      Please let us know if you want us to ask for you--no guarantees of the response, but we can at least ask.


      Thanks Grover,


      May the Lord provide you the blessing of someone who can pray with you periodiclly.



    • Grover,


      Francis also sent you a reply.  It is from her heart, and is well stated.  We look on the surface when we seen people, but God knows how your prayers are helping others. Her mom never gave up on her husband. That was a beautiful act of love--and your praying for others I am sure has helped many.  Don't give up.


      There is a prayer group in the Prayer Net!Work called 'Need Prayer'.  There are about 50+ members of the group, so if you have a prayer need, or want to share a need, someone most likely will pray for it.  That may be one source of encouragement for you.  Just to know someone is taking your request to the Lord helps one to know they are not alone.


      If I learn of other ways of joining together, I will be sure and let you know.


      Blessings--God is hearing you as you pray.

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