Pastor Jerry Donovan
God created everyone different, and sometimes I find myself irritated by them like fingernails scraping down a chalk board. Maybe you have someone who irritates you, you know they just rub you the wrong way or maybe you have a strained relationship in your life. Do you nit-pick, nag, grumble and complain about someone in your life. You might want to consider praying for that person instead.
Let me ask you this, does nagging work? Not really. Does prayer work? Yes. Why do we keep doing things that don’t work over and over again, and not doing the one that does? Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
In Philippians 1:4 Paul says, “Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy” (NLT).
Paul not only prayed for people in his life, but he prayed with joy! What is more effective, the power of positive thinking or the power of positive prayer? It’s not even close. 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 may change you, but it can’t change anybody else. However, positive prayer can make a difference in someone else because it’s the power of God that is doing the changing.
Here is the quickest way to change a bad relationship into a good one. Start praying for the other person! It will change you, and God can change the other person.
Paul actually told us how to pray for others, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so 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 CEB).
We look to Galatians 5:22-23 to determine what the “fruit of righteousness” is that we will be filled with: “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.”
We can use these verses to pray for the people in our lives like this:
• Pray that they will grow in love: “9 This is my prayer: that your love might become even more and more rich with knowledge and all kinds of insight.”
• Pray that they will make wise choices: “10 I pray this so that you will be able to decide what really matters.”
• Pray that they live with integrity: ”10… and so you will be sincere and blameless on the day of Christ.”
• Pray that they will become like Jesus, “11 I pray that you will then be filled with the fruit of righteousness, which comes from Jesus Christ, in order to give glory and praise to God”
Pray these verses from Philippians for yourself and those people in your life, and just watch how God turns around that relationship you thought was hopeless. Nothing is impossible with God!