Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In Prayer, We Get Changed (PrayerLife)

Kites, in Munson Park across from our house
Stanley Grenz writes: "Petitioning God on our own behalf can bring about psychological change. Fear can be changed to boldness." (Grenz, Prayer: The Cry for the Kingdom, Kindle Locations 467-468)

(Note: The Best book on psychology and prayer is: The Psychology of Prayer: A Scientific Approach, by Bernard Spilka and Kevin Ladd.)

For example, when the first church was praying in the upper room in Jerusalem "the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly." (Acts 4:31) The result of their prayer is that God changed them.

In prayer, we get changed. We see this in Ps. 118:5:

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;

    he brought me into a spacious place.

We see in the next verse that the praying psalmist experienced a new boldness that came in response to his prayer:

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.

    What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
    I look in triumph on my enemies.

In prayer, God changes fear into boldness.

In prayer, God changes anxiety into peace. We see this in Philippians 4:6-7:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As I pray God's power falls on me, and I get changed. My fearful heart gains strength; my anxious heart gets calmed.