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This was the cry of the crowd when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In a few short days, the cry of the crowd changed to "crucify Him, crucify Him." Many reasons might be given for the change in the cry of the crowd, but whatever reasons they had, above the whole situation we see the inscription, "People Change."

I think this is one of the greatest reasons that Christians should pray -- the very fact that People Change! In prayer we come to the heavenly Father in the name of his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The return we get in prayer is in our spirit, as the Holy Spirit is sent to bring comfort, and grace at the point of our need. When we pray for someone else, I believe our prayers make a difference in the fact that the Holy Spirit is sent in ministry to the one for whom we pray. Jesus said one time to Peter, "Satan would sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you." I believe that God hears our prayer and sends the Ho1y Spirit to minister to the spirit of the person for whom we are praying.

The person for whom we are praying is still a person with a free will. God protects every person’s right in maintaining the freedom of their will. If a person is going against what is good for him and for others in life, he needs our prayers. If his spirit is built up to the point of acceptance of God's will and way for his life, then peace comes to his soul and it spreads to others about him. A friend of mine once said, "Prayer changes people and people change things." I am thinking about some real values here, for what we finally will to do in life is what makes the real difference. Dr. E. Stanley Jones once said, "The battle of the mind is great, the battle of the emotions is greater, but the battle of the will is decisive."

I think, when we recognize the tremendous value of the person's will, we can each one see our need for prayer. Paul was talking about inner conflict when he said, in Romans 7:15-19, "For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that I do not, but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." He says, "To will is present with me," but if God's Spirit is sent to nurture, to build up, to help, then I may be willing to change my will -- even as a seminary professor said, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink unless you salt him first!" Prayer is the salting process.

God says that He will not answer prayer for the wrong things, or better, that he interprets our prayers and only answers prayer for the right things that are good for his children. In Luke 11:11-13, "If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" The Holy Spirit is given to build up, to help man at the point of his need. I think at this point all of us would recognize some of the needs of our lives.

What is the end result of the positive change for which we pray in every individual? It is the completeness of surrender to the full purpose of God. The ultimate and greatest desire a human can have is the desire that Jesus registered in the Garden of Gethsemane when he cried out in prayer, -"Father, let this cup pass from Me, but nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done." This was the surrender of His personal will unto the will of God. When we can do this, and others about us can do it, we can know more about the kingdom of heaven while we reside on earth. This is the purpose of prayer, to bring about this kind of change in peoples’ lives.

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