Change Relationships through Prayer
“[God] hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him” 1 John 5:15 (GNT).
Do you ever wonder if prayer really works? You’re praying about something and Satan whispers to you, “Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? God is not listening. Don’t waste your time. Forget it!”
Prayer works because God is in control. The basis of all miracles is God’s sovereignty. Why does he do one and not another? Because God is in control. We have to trust his wisdom and his goodness.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “God . . . is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (TLB).
Prayer can do whatever God can do. His resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, “Ask.” It’s encouraging to know that things out of my control are not out of God’s control. I may not be able to change a situation, but I can pray and God can change it.
That includes changing a relationship from bad to good, and the quickest way to see that change is to start thanking God for people you are having difficulty getting along with.
Praying for them will change your attitude—and it will change them. Positive praying is much more powerful than positive thinking. People may resist our help, spurn our appeals, and reject our suggestions, but they are powerless against our prayers.
What do you pray? The more specific you are in prayer, the more specific the answer will be.
In Philippians 1:9-11, Paul spells out exactly what he’s praying for people. “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God” (NIV).
Talk It Over –
Philippians 1 offers four specific ways you can pray for people today. As you practice this habit, see how it changes your attitude toward others—and how it changes them.
Abound in love: Pray that they will grow in love.
Discern what is best: Pray that they make wise choices.
Be pure and blameless: Pray that they will do the right thing.
Filled with the fruit of righteousness: Pray that they will live for God’s glory.
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.