Everything begins with the heart. Whatever we love most will become evident by the way we spend our time, attention, and resources.

Pray for a Focused and Uncluttered Heart

Sunday Scripture

Long ago there lived a great king with great wealth and great power. He had everything anyone could ever desire until, one sad day, his beloved wife died. The king set about the building of a majestic tomb, a memorial in her honor, and every day the king devoted himself to the task of making that building more and more glorious. He could think of nothing, day or night, except enhancing the already lavish design of his wife’s memorial.

Soon, however, it became evident to all his advisors and builders that the king’s focus had shifted. What had once been a tribute to his-much loved wife had become an end in itself. His closest friend spoke gently to him, pointing out the transformation, but the king would hear none of it and flew into a rage. As he turned to sweep out of the room, his foot caught on the corner of a large box in the center of the room and he tripped. Angrier still, he ordered his servants, “Get this box out of here!”

“Your Highness,” said the king’s trusted friend, “that box is your wife’s coffin.”

Isn’t it just that easy to lose your focus?

  • The all important project you started with enthusiasm eventually loses its sparkle.
  • You work hard to advance a cause, and one day realize the process has supplanted the goal.
  • Your career began as a means of supporting your family but becomes the very thing that separates you from your family.

Ever since my children were babies, I’ve prayed specific scriptural prayer requests for my four sons. Now that they are all adults, it’s clear that I will never reach a point in my life when I can stop praying.

Everything begins with the heart. Whatever we love most will become evident by the way we spend our time, attention, and resources.

King David prayed for his son, too, knowing that God had big plans for young Solomon:

Give my son an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command [and] live by your directions and counsel…”

I Chronicles 29:19

Everything begins with the heart. We imagine that distraction is unique to our era, but centuries ago Augustine argued that in order for our hearts to be formed according to the Christ-life, followers would need to adopt practices and establish habits to set us apart from the broad path. We would require a way of life designed to aim our love and desire Godward. Whatever we love most will become evident by the way we spend our time, attention, and resources.

What’s the focus of your heart’s affection and your mind’s attention?
Have you identified the idols that clutter your heart and lead to disobedience?

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Photo by Seb Atkinson on Unsplash

61 thoughts on “Pray for a Focused and Uncluttered Heart”

  1. It’s so easy to lose our focus as so many things clamor for our attention. Such a wonderful verse to pray for all of us!


  2. Adding my voice to these others–thank you, Michele, for this great verse to add to our prayer lists, as we lift up those we love and ourselves. It is so easy to allow work to overtake our time and effort. Many jobs these days require overtime, taking work home, in order to keep that employment. It can be a difficult situation to navigate. But praise God we have His direction and counsel!


  3. Thank you Michele. I end every day praying for my adult kids and young grandchildren. The need to pray in this stage is greater than ever because of my awareness that I am not in control. When my kids were little it was easy to deceive myself into believing I had some control. Now I know how wrong that belief was. This is good news because if I was I control my kids were in much danger. God is faithful and is doing far more than I could ever ask or think.
    Love this reminder!


  4. It’s so easy for “the process to supplant the goal”. May God help us keep our focus on Him, this os one of my daily prayers.


  5. This is such a common problem, Michele. I fall for it time and time again. But I’m always grateful for a reminder to keep my eyes on the real prize and goal in life! Pinning, my friend!


  6. I am in the midst of reading through the Old Testament right now, Michele. I just began 2 Chronicles. I must admit, I breezed right on by the wonderful quote you used in this post. Thank you for showing me its relevance. I pray daily for my sons too.


    1. Isn’t it delightful to find a treasure buried in a pile of dialogue or an endless section of descriptions?
      Our sons need our prayers more than anythingn else we cann offer them. I forget that sometimes.


  7. It’s so easy to lose sight of what really matters. Thank you for this reminder and verse. Visiting today from the Inspire Me Monday link up. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Michele,
    I’ve heard it said that one can ascertain our life’s focus by looking at our checkbook or our daytimer/calendar. Being one that is easily distracted, I continually pray for God’s enabling to keep my eye on the prize.
    Bev xx


  9. Asking about the focus of our hearts or on what or whom we are focused, is so timely. Distraction has been around since Adam and Eve. I know I will never stop praying for my adult sons and now my grandson.


  10. ********************************************************
    Thank you so much for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn


  11. You are so right that you focus strays if you’re not careful. Another lovely post full of wisdom 🙂

    How great to see you at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!! Thanks for linking.


  12. This is my prayer for my grown children as well, that they would be focused on the Lord and always obedient to him. I have lots of ideas and think I know some things about what my kids should be doing with their lives. My kids have ideas and think they know what they want. But only God’s way is right, and only God knows all the plans he has for them, so clearing out the clutter so they can hear his voice and know his leading is the surest way to live in the center of his will. Thanks for the (much needed) encouragement to pray this way!


  13. what a great verse! adding it to pray for myself and my husband and my sons…we desperately need a focused heart these days!! thank you for this post, it is very encouraging and timely for me.
    so glad i found you through crystalstorms.me link up.


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