Paper Hearts

In a recent worship service, the congregation was encouraged to “pour out their heart” to God.  We used paper hearts as part of our prayer time in response to the message.

It got me thinking, a simple paper heart can say so much- help, bless, heal, forgive, thank you…. How else could paper hearts be used in a worship service? What will the people be saying as they use them? What will God be saying in return?

Below are some “heart” scriptures which came to mind. They are divided into different groups, depending on the type of prayers being said. Names of persons or situations can be written on the hearts. Entire prayers can be written or the hearts can be left blank. Whatever you decide, consider bringing the hearts forward and leaving them on the altar rail as a visual symbol of your prayers.

I would love to hear your ideas on how to use this simple symbol. Leave them below. Your comments are always welcome. – Lisa <><

Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart. Here is the citadel of all my desiring, where my hopes are born and all the deep resolutions of my spirit take wings. In this center, my fears are nourished, and all my hates are nurtured. Here my loves are cherished, and all the deep hungers of my spirit are honored without quivering and without shock. In my heart, above all else, let love and integrity envelop me until my love is perfected and the last vestige of my desiring is no longer in conflict with thy spirit. Lord, I want to be more holy in my Heart. Amen. – Howard Thurman

PRAYERS FOR HEALING, STRENGTH AND PEACE
Psalm 62:5-8 (NRSV)
For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Lamentations 2:19 (NIV)
Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street.

John 14:1 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Philippians 4:7 (NRSV)
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

PRAYERS FOR CLEANSING AND FORGIVENESS
Psalm 51:10 NRS
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

Ephesians 4:17-23 (NRSV)
Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. That is not the way you learned Christ! For surely you have heard about him and were taught in him, as truth is in Jesus. You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Hebrews 10:22 NIV
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

James 4:8 NIV
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

PRAYERS OF THANKSGIVING AND PRAISE
Psalm 86:8-12 (NRSV)
There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours. All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

Psalm 138:1 (NRSV)
I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise

Colossians 3:16 NIV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

For more information on the scripture translations used in this post, please refer to the copyright information page.

2 thoughts on “Paper Hearts

  1. For several years I have been using Love Hearts. On 8 1/2 x 11 paper I drew free hand 6 hearts. I drew 11 different pages of free hand drawn hearts. I typed up 66 Bible verses speaking about love, and cut and paste put one in each heart. I copy them on colored paper. I most often use shades of red/pink/orange/lavender. Occasionally I just go crazy and use all colors. I randomly stuff them into bulletins – as God’s gift of love to them that day. They have been used to decorate tables. I put them in greeting cards. God’s gift of love pops up at all sorts of unexpected places and times in our lives.

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