by Dr. Charles Stanley
Changing People Through Prayer
Look around any day, and you’ll see people who need to make changes in their lives.
Maybe you have a sister who does not know Christ or a believing neighbor who struggles to tame a gossiping tongue. The most powerful way to effect change in another person’s life — or your own — is by praying. God, through the apostle Paul, has given us a prayer pattern that is Christ-centered and specific.
Too often, believers are lazy in prayer. We say, “Lord bless so-and-so” without giving a single thought to what form the blessing should take. God does not work in generalities; He makes deliberate movements in every person’s life. And He is pleased when we use His Word in communicating with Him. The prayer from
Colossians 1 includes God’s greatest desires for His children. When we go before the Lord and continuously read our own name or the name of a friend or family member into this passage, we are praying His specific will for that person.
God answers the Colossians prayer with a transformation of the one whose name is being called. He delights in responding positively to requests that someone be filled with knowledge of His will and a desire to please Him!
Results may not be instantaneous. We could wait weeks or even years before we see a loved one turn to Christ or finally witness that gossipy neighbor bear loving fruit instead of rotten. But behind the scenes, the Lord is working to build that person’s spiritual understanding and impress on him or her a desire to choose a faithful lifestyle. Our responsibility is to keep praying in a Christ-centered and specific manner.
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