Praying from our heart reaches God's heart

Capt. Ben Marler
Northwest Florida Daily News

Most folks pray spontaneously and ineffectively in most cases. They cry out to God "Help me" or "Lord, I need help now."

Of course, he heard the prayer, but did it move him to respond? In most cases we'd have to admit he didn't. We need to understand effective prayer is "conversation." Jesus used to go out and pray all night or hold conversations with Almighty God His Father.

Shouldn't we be doing the same? Of course, and realize our prayers are most effective when we come with praise and thanksgiving before him. Really, we don't have to tell God our needs for he tells us he already knows, but we should be thanking him for what hasn't "yet" appeared.

In Hebrews 11:1 it says, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen." Further on in the chapter he reminds us in verse 6, "For without faith man can not please God for we must believe he is and he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him."

Here lies the "key" for our prayers to be extremely effective. Seeking him means to spend time "reading" the word of God. It's not necessary to study it for if we ask the Holy Spirit for help, he reveals how God's word changes us as live in obedience.

No one breaking God's simple laws should expect their prayers to be answered "favorably." If we've truly surrendered our lives to Almighty God in a sincere brokenness, then he will forgive us when we ask. Forgiven and washed in the blood of Jesus by the Father allows us to ask Jesus to enter our hearts by our simple faith. A faith that came as we came to know Jesus and he is coming to know us.

Capt. Ben Marler is a longtime Destin resident and author of “Old Destin Through the Eyes of a Child.” He can be reached at