Praying With Impact
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Watch Praying With Impact video
Scripture: Colossians 1:9-14
I. Introduction: Do you know how to pray effectively for other people? Would you like others to know how to intercede for you? Impacting others through the power of prayer is one of our greatest privileges. But sometimes we’re not sure exactly what to pray.
A powerful passage found in the book of Colossians (1:9-14) can serve as an example. In this prayer, we find six life-changing petitions that can strengthen the spiritual foundation of any individual on our prayer list.
II. Pray for the person to . . .
- “Be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (v. 9). Praying for someone to discover the Lord’s purpose for his or her life is always a great place to start. If you are a parent, pray that God would reveal to your children His will for their lives. Second, pray that they will marry the right person one day. When your children are older, they will begin to understand the skills, gifts, and callings the Father has given them. This provides children security and confidence based on a relationship with God.
- “Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord” (v. 10).Pray for the person to have a lifestyle that displays the character of Christ. A godly life not only pleases the Lord, it often leads to the salvation and transformation of others who observe our lives. But don’t wait until someone is in trouble before starting to pray for his or her character. Through intercession, a great deal of heartache can be avoided.
- “[Bear] fruit in every good work” (v. 10). Ask God to help the person invest his or her life wisely, making a contribution to the world around them. Today, young people often choose college majors based on what will make them the most money, planning only for their personal pleasures and possessions. People who live this way end up dying with a list of regrets, wondering if they’ve made any impact of lasting value.
- “[Increase] in the knowledge of God” (v. 10). Ask the Lord to develop the individual’s relationship with Him and increase his or her understanding of His nature. If you’re a parent, one practical way to increase your children’s spiritual knowledge is to attend church—one that recognizes the authority of God’s Word. Another habit that teaches our children to desire the knowledge of God is reading the Bible together and talking about it. Parents should ask their children what they have learned from God’s Word and how it applies to everyday life. Mothers and fathers should also tell their kids what they’re learning themselves, demonstrating their own hunger for spiritual growth.
- Be “strengthened with all power” (v. 11). Pray for the person you have in mind to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray for your children to operate in the awesome, supernatural power of God, asking Him to warn them about temptations and help them resist negative peer pressure. You can also pray for a co-worker or friend who is having difficulty. The Holy Spirit can enable others to do what they cannot naturally do in their own wisdom or capacity.
- “[Give] thanks to the Father” (v. 12). Lastly, intercede for the individual to live with joy and gratitude because of his or her salvation (Col. 1:12-13). Of course, if someone is not saved, you should pray that he or she would receive salvation. First John 5:14-15 promises that anything we ask according to His will is heard and will be granted—but we must have a clean heart (Ps. 66:18) and ask in faith.
III. Conclusion: Whom do you value enough to impact with your prayers? With eternity in mind, the opportunities to change the lives of others are too important to overlook. But the influence of prayer also takes effect in this present life, enabling children to make the right choices, students to succeed, and your friends to have a solid understanding of God’s will. There is no problem that can’t be resolved through prayer, and no boundaries to its influence. Therefore, join God in shaping the outcome of history, one life at a time.