1 John 5:13-15 “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
O.K. … Does prayer change things? We got through the introduction, now let’s get into the text…
I want to give you three short answers to this question about prayer; first, the power of prayer can change circumstances; second, the power of prayer can change perspective; and finally, the power of prayer can change us.
Prayer has the power to change circumstances. I have experienced it myself. I’m sure you all have experienced it as well. The power of prayer can change health circumstances; the sick are healed, the lame walk, miraculous healing takes place – not only physical but spiritual and emotional healing as well. How many times have you heard stories of tragedies that were avoided because someone felt as though they needed to pray! Look at the story of Peter in prison. The circumstance was that Peter had been arrested, put into a prison cell, to face persecution; prosecution; and even death following the Passover. But, Acts chapter 12 tells us that the believers were gathered at the house of Mary – the mother of John Mark – and they were praying! Was the circumstance changed? Yes! Did those who were praying have any idea what was happening? No! God was changing a circumstance in which they were unable to do anything but pray…and pray they did. This is why our prayer journey is so important. Circumstances can be changed when we pray.
Secondly, Prayer changes our perspective.
2 Kings 6:15 – “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.16“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”17And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
It says; “Elisha prayed!” and God changed the perspective of Elisha’s servant. Believe me when I say “When we pray for the people on our list, we will gain a new and different perspective of their life…their families…and their circumstances and their attitudes. And, they may get a different perspective of the church. Take the time to find out more about them and God will help you see from a different perspective.
Finally, prayer changes us. I sometimes think this is the whole purpose of prayer; and it is the greatest reward of prayer. Our faith will grow; our relationship with God will deepen; Our attitudes about other people – and especially those on our list will change; Our understanding of who our real enemy is will change; We will gain compassion and patience. Many things will happen to us, because we have committed ourselves to pray!
We learn to rely on God. We learn to trust in His promises. His desires become our desires and our Christ-like character begins to show through. Listen, It is not our great faith that changes things, it’s our faith in a great God that changes things. We serve a LIVING GOD who has the power to answer our prayers! And He is at work even now… to change and transform. That’s the point! We are not doing this just to get those on our list in the door; ….We are praying for God to bless them and change their lives! “Pray when you feel like it; and when you don’t feel like it, pray until you do!