by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday September 3, 2005
Changing People Through Prayer
In Paul's letter to the Colossians, we find a prayer pattern designed to initiate change in someone's life. When a believer desires spiritual reform for himself or another person, he can use Paul's request for wisdom and strength by substituting a name for the word 'you.' The prayer works because it is continuous, specific, and within God's will.
Impatience is a believer's enemy. We want the Lord to respond at the speed of modern technology. But His timing considers the need to align circumstances and prepare hearts for an answer to prayer. Unburdened by our quest for efficiency, Paul said he never ceased speaking to the Lord about the Colossians. We do not know how often he mentioned them, but the number of times is unimportant; what counts is that Paul patiently and regularly repeated their names before the Father.
The Apostle did not settle for a simple appeal of "Lord, bless the Colossian church," either. That is a lazy prayer. Paul specifically requested that the people grow in their knowledge. Communication with our Father should always be detailed. How can we perceive His answers if we have not made a specific request?
God desires to answer petitions like the one Paul wrote. His will is that every one of His children enjoy an intimate relationship with Him. We talk to our Father, as we should, of physical or emotional needs, but too frequently overlook requesting consistent spiritual growth. Through Paul, God has given us a perfect pattern for righteous prayer that He will answer.
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