The Power of Prayer and Patience

Michael Beck

“And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

What do we do when faced with the impossible? There are times when we are gripped by an awful feeling of powerlessness, especially when it comes to the actions of others. We know they’re going to do what they’re going to do, and we can’t do anything about it. Should we ask God to get inside them and change their mind? Do we believe He is big enough to do so? Yes, He is. But change of this sort doesn’t necessarily happen in the blink of an eye. All true change is from God; and change comes slowly to the best of us. There is a process that must unfold.

Real change always requires repentance. The first part of repentance involves a realization that the way we’ve been operating is wrong. That’s a huge first step. Without it, there is no possibility of change. Such an acknowledgement can bring hope that change is on the horizon; that the impossible is possible. What happens though when the dawn of a new day doesn’t appear as quickly as we thought it would? We now need patience. We need to realize that it is one thing for a person to see that the old way is wrong; it is another for them to learn the right way. That takes time.

Yes, we can feel powerless to change someone. But is God powerless; or, can He work miracles in the heart of human beings? We must believe He is a miracle working God. But He calls us to both faith and patience. When another has indicated they want to change, don’t put them on a time schedule. Don’t become weary and give up on them. They may be getting discouraged themselves at the pace of change they’re seeing. Encourage them by the patience you have towards them, and continually point them to the One who can and will change them, if they don’t throw in the towel.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.