Inspiration

Positive Prayer Makes Strong Relationships

"And
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 for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of
righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of
God."
(Philippians 1:9-11
NIV)

 

I
want you to think of somebody who irritates you - maybe somebody you've got a
strained relationship with or who just rubs you the wrong way. I have two
questions for you: One, do you pray for that person? Or do you just complain
and grumble and nag and nitpick? If you prayed more, you'd have a lot less to
grumble, complain, nag, and nitpick about. It's your decision.

 

Does
nagging work? No. Does prayer work? Yes. So why do you do more of the thing
that doesn't work than does?

Paul
says in Philippians 1:4, "Whenever I
pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy"
(NLT).

Paul
didn't just pray for people in his life; he prayed with joy!

There
are things in other people's lives that you'd like to change. You don't want to
change yourself; you want them to
change. We always want to change other people. But you can't!

You
can, however, pray, and let God do his work in other people.

Positive
praying is more effective than positive thinking. All the positive thinking in
the world isn't going to change your husband or your wife or your child or your
friend or your situation. Positive thinking can change you, but it won't change
somebody else. But positive prayer can make a difference in someone else.

Do
you want to know the quickest way to change a bad relationship to a good one?
Start praying for the other person! It will change you, and it can change the
other person.

Paul
even told us how to pray for others: "And
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 for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of
righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God"

(Philippians 1:9-11 NIV).

From
these verses, we can learn to pray for the people in our lives in four ways:

Pray that they will
grow in love:
"And
this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and
depth of insight."

Pray that they will
make wise choices:

"... so that you may be able to discern what is best ..."

Pray that they will
live with integrity:

"... and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ ..."

Pray that they will
become like Jesus:

"... filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ -
to the glory and praise of God."

Pray
these for yourself and anyone else in your life, and watch how God turns around
the relationship you thought had no hope or that needed to be revived.

Talk It Over

  • Who
    are the people in your life with whom you have a strained relationship and for
    whom you need to pray these four things?
  • How
    does positive prayer change you and not just the person for whom you are
    praying?
  • What
    is the "fruit of righteousness" that comes through Jesus Christ (see Galatians
    5:22-23)?

 

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