February 11, 2008
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
--1 John 5:14-15
There’s no doubt that prayer changes things. It’s a clear promise from the Scripture. But prayer also changes you and me. It changes our priorities…and it gets our lives in sync with God’s plan.
There’s a great formula for prayer I learned from my fellow pastor and friend, Dr. Ed Young from Houston. It’s the acronym SELF:
S stands for surrender. Each day, you and I must surrender our lives to the Lord. We must say, “Lord, I report for duty, I give You my life today. I am Your child and I want to be in Your will today.”
E stands for empty. Once you surrender your life to Christ each day, you must empty yourself of self and sin and anything else that would keep you from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for your life. You must say, “Lord, I empty all my unresolved conflicts and issues. I want to get rid of everything that would keep me from connecting with You today.”
L stands for lift. Once you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus and empty yourself of everything that would hinder your relationship with Him, you must lift your heart in praise, petition, and thanksgiving.
F stands for fill. This is when you ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit so that you will live in the fullness of His power and His blessing.
So SELF is surrendering, it is emptying, it is lifting, and it is filling. And if you do these things in prayer every day, not only is your relationship with Christ going to be that much sweeter, you’ll make an eternal impact on the world for Jesus Christ!
prayer is a vital part of getting our lives in sync with God’s plan.