Summary: Effective praying Can change our lives as well as the lives of those that we are praying for.
HOW TO PRAY TO CHANGE LIVES
“Prayer Changes Things.” That is a statement that many of us are familiar with. This series of messages on prayer will help us to learn how to pray prayers that will change lives. Learning to pray can change our lives. However, for that to happen, you will have to apply the information that I share with you to your life. In other words these messages must become part of your daily life.
Today’s message is entitled, “How To Pray To Change Lives.” We live in a time when lives need to be changed for the good of man kind and the glory of God. Sinners need to become Saints and Saints need to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ with each passing day.
In this passage of scripture, we will see a prayer Paul prayed for the Colossian Christians. In this prayer, you and I will find truths, if applied, which can and will change our lives and the lives of people that are very dear to us. As we study this prayer, I am sure you will want someone to pray such a prayer for you. I know that you will think of someone in your life who needs you to pray such a prayer for them.
Listen to Paul’s words. For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The most powerful thing anyone can do for someone else is to pray for them. Because through prayer you and I can touch the heart of God who in turn can touch anyone, anywhere regardless of circumstances. The power is not in the prayer itself, but in the power that God releases in response to the prayer.
Let me ask you. Is there someone in your life you are praying for everyday? Or is there someone you began praying for but lately you have slacked off in your prayers for them? Do you believe God is going to change someone’s life because you are praying for him or her? As we look at Paul’s prayer, I believe it is possible to learn how to pray a prayer that can change the lives of others for their good and God’s glory. ( Let me insert a thought here. Our prayers to see people’s lives changed should not be motivated by selfish reasons. Sometimes when we pray for some ones life to be changed, it is more for our benefit than there’s.) Prayer has nothing to do with your vocabulary. It does not matter if you use good grammar. And it has nothing to do with how well you feel about your ability to pray. To my knowledge nowhere in God’s word are we instructed to pray eloquent prayers. Effective praying has nothing to do how with eloquent we pray. Effective praying involves praying the scriptures mixed with faith that God will honor His word. When we pray the scriptures, we are in fact praying God’s word. That is telling God that we are more interested in His will for our lives than we are our wills.
From Paul’s prayer we can learn to pray the kind of prayers which release God’s power into our lives and the lives of those that we are praying for. Paul’s prayer is the kind of prayer specifically suited for everyone who reads it, understands it and who hears it. It is the kind of prayer I would like to have all of you here praying for me every day.
THE REASON WE DO NOT HAVE OUR PRAYERS ANSWERED
Notice verse 9, For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. One of the reasons we do not see God doing big things as a result of our prayers is because we falter at the very first verse of this passage. The reason is because we cease to pray. Yes, we do get fired up for a few days. We shake the heavens with our prayers, and about a week later, we forget that prayer because we don’t see the results that we want to see, we have the idea that God is not going to act because He does not meet our schedule the way we want Him to. “I want it done now God and if you don’t I will stop praying." At other times we get so caught up in the activities of life. We just get to busy and forget to pray. Paul said, We have not stopped praying for you. As consistent as the waves are coming to the shore, so were Paul’s prayers for the saints at Colosse. Just as you can’t stop the waves from coming to the shore, you could not stop the prayers of Paul. This is how we are to pray! Paul never stopped praying