From a Prayer Partner:

I noticed that you sometimes mention: ” I too have been there and often tried to “fix” it, only to discover that I could not do the work of the Holy Spirit.”

I wish you could expound on that – or teach on that – or talk more about it. I’m not sure if I also do that.  Sometimes I feel prompted to write a person and though I feel led by the Holy Spirit, I don’t always like the obligation I feel to write that person even though it is often someone I care for and have kept in my prayers. But even then, I ask myself “Am I trying to ‘fix’ things?”

My Response:

Prayer is never to be used as manipulation or as a tool to “fix” others. My prayer journey is an adventure, and often I learn by trial and error. Mistakes can be stepping stones to victory if you determine to be ever learning, ever growing and ever achieving to the glory of the Father. Today I continue to ask the Holy Spirit to “teach me to pray.”

Several years ago, I attended a support group for co-dependents hoping to learn how to help others! Well, I was in for a few surprises! The Holy Spirit used these sessions to teach me something that I needed to know about prayer! He taught me that prayer assignments have boundaries…that I’m not responsible FOR others, but I am responsible TO them according to His will…not mine!

My natural personality and character is to rush in and try to “fix” those for whom I am praying. The Holy Spirit taught me that intercessory prayer is never to be used to lord it over anyone’s faith, but to work with them for their joy, and to help them stand firm in their faith. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

Jesus knew that Peter would yield to temptation. He prayed that his faith would not fail! In my prayer study I noted that Paul’s prayers were not motivated by the problems that he clearly saw. He gave us his reason for interceding: “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…”Ephesians 1:15-16).

The Holy Spirit teaches me that I am not called to “fix” those for whom I pray:

  • This first experience is an extreme prayer “caseload.” At one time I prayed for a lady who appeared to have a personality disorder, and I desperately wanted to “help” her. Her parents pleaded with me to “help.” Years of praying and hours upon hours of talking did not avail much! She remained adamant, “If God wants me to change, He will have to tell me!” Finally, having praying everything and saying everything that I thought might help, I was ready to listen to the Holy Spirit! “You can’t fix her. She belongs to me and I see her holy, blameless, even above reproach!” My self-imposed prayer burden was lifted at Calvary!! Today, I am free to listen and accept her as a valuable and precious prayer partner. I’m no longer trying to work in a Scripture to bring “correction.”

  • A family that I pray for is involved in a long-drawn-out divorce. I can’t fix the painful circumstances! I submit to God, asking the Holy Spirit to show me how to pray. I resist the temptation to “call down fire from heaven upon the offender!” (I’ve had many conversations in my head and even written letters that were never mailed.) I pray with my spirit and with my understanding to keep my emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is written: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. His grace is sufficient for every need, for every moment of every day and in every scheduled or cancelled appointment. I can’t “fix” this, but I know that God is at work according to Romans 8:28!

Our God is a many-faceted-God! The God who works in the heart of a wounded, insecure perfectionist is the same God working in the hearts of people with Personality Disorders…the same God working in the hearts of those involved in Divorce cases…the same God working in the hearts of homosexuals, the same God working in the hearts of addicts sitting in a prison cell…He is the same God who heals relationships. We are not called to “fix” anyone! We are called to pray for one another that we may all be healed and restored to a spiritual tone of mind and heart!

Above Him there is no other. It is my prayer that we who pray for others will stay in agreement with the intercession of Jesus who is an Intercessor that cannot fail! He doesn’t just “fix” people; He transforms people, makes brand new creations! God gives us eyes to see people from His perspective.

Lord, not my will but Yours be done for Your glory and honor. LORD, teach us to pray!

Your Prayer Partner,