PRAYING FOR CHANGE
FATHER, praying for change is one area where I have a choice. I can ask You to change my circumstances or I can ask You to change me. My natural inclination will always be to ask You to change my circumstances. But, before I decide how to pray, let me remind myself of how the early Christians handled one situation.
This happened when the Jewish leaders put Peter and John in jail for healing the lame man at the temple gate. The next day the leaders threatened them, then let them go. As soon as they were freed they met with other believers and lifted up the following prayer: “…Now, Lord, look to their threats and grant to your servants that with all boldness they may speak your word…” (Acts 4:29-30 Phillips).
They could have asked God to make the rulers back down so they could speak freely without fear of being assaulted. (This would be asking GOD to change circumstances.) But instead, they prayed for GOD to change them. The result was answered prayer. “…they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31 NLT).
In the second book of Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks of accepting his weakness: “…I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor 12:10 NLT).
Paul knew his present condition was “all for CHRIST’s good.” It allowed him to honor CHRIST in all conditions.
“…the word ‘effectual’ as it is found in James 5:16. According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament Words, it means ‘The effect produced in the praying person, bringing him into line with the will of God.’ It is the pray-er who changes, rather than the prayer. Praying ‘in the will of God’ means, then, being conformed to the will of God as we pray” Evelyn Christenson (ref#305, p54-55).
“…it is the person praying, and not the prayer request, that changes” Evelyn Christenson (ref#305, p54).
FATHER, aid me in prayer to think of creating my requests with an eye to change my disposition about the circumstance that impinges on me. May I, like the Apostle Paul accept my condition; probably You wouldn’t have put it in my path if You wanted me to avoid it.