As a member of the women’s ministries prayer team at our church, I frequently pray for other women.
Sometimes, we intercede for women I don’t know. My prayers flow freely and easily for their needs. Others times we pray for friends and women I know well. Then I pray passionately for God to move powerfully.
Before you think this makes me holier than you, I want to be upfront with you.
In all these moments, I want my prayers to be effective.
Occasionally, this requires me to stop and take notice of the feelings I have for the person I know and for whom I am praying.
Pain over a past hurt, anger over a disagreement or unintended slight, envy over their qualities, which I wish I had may flit into my mind.
I try to dismiss these reactions in an effort to appear devout. Or I decide it is better to put them to one side and pretend I am saint like.
Yet, what I really should do is pay attention to these unhealthy feelings, which often have taken root deep inside of me, because they can affect the effectiveness of my prayers.
I must first of all be honest with myself and then be truthful with God.
If you have anything that stands in the way—And when you stand and pray, forgive anything you may have against anyone says Mark 11:25.
I need to make sure I come with a pure heart and healthy thoughts about the person for whom I’m praying.
So where do we start. What do we do? In the Tough Love Prayer Challenge, I share these ways that you can bring your messy thoughts before God:
• Take yourself off to a place where you can be alone with your heavenly Father.• Do some deep down searching.• Be honest with God.
This sounds difficult to do. I often want to put on my Sunday best when I’m in front of God, especially because I am a member of a prayer team.
However, if God knows everything about my heart, and he knows my thoughts—and the Bible is very clear he does—then I might as well be completely honest with him.
This, I believe, opens the door for God to move right in and change what is bad to be good, what is ugly to become beautiful, and what is dark to become light.
You don’t need the strength or the ability to change your negative feelings for a person. You just need the determination to bare all that in unclean in your heart before God and ask him to help you.
God knows we are not capable of changing ourselves. That’s why His Spirit, through the work of Jesus Christ, can make a stony heart start beating healthily.
God is able to do what we’re not able to do.
God working and moving inside us changes things.
It doesn’t mean we sit back and do nothing. We work hard at prayer.
Then we see the wonders of what God can do in our own lives and
the lives of other people.
Rachel Britton is an author, blogger, and speaker. Raised on the east coast of England, Rachel lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children. Rachel is passionate about helping women become healthier in their relationship with God, with others, and with themselves, and to thrive from the inside out. Visit Rachel at her blog to download her Tough Love Prayer Challenge eBook to pray for peace in the midst of your difficult relationships. http://rachelbritton.com/tough-love-challenge/