Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why Pray if God Is Sovereign?

If God Is Sovereign, Why Pray? Matt Waymeyer from Community Bible Church in Vista, California, has a series of posts on prayer. He notes:
God Is Sovereign

Isaiah 46:9-11:

Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, “My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure”; calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

Why Pray?

1. God has commanded us to pray.

2. Jesus modeled a life of prayer.

Child Praying

3. God is able to respond to our prayers.

4. God actually does respond to prayer.

In the words of Richard Pratt, then, “Prayer is a powerful human effort that can significantly affect not only the lives of individuals but the very course of world history” (Pray with Your Eyes Open, 112). This truth, no doubt, should be a powerful motive for the children of God to pray. As Grudem writes,

If we were really convinced that prayer changes the way God acts, and that God does bring about remarkable changes in the world in response to prayer,…then we would pray much more than we do. If we pray little, it is probably because we do not really believe that prayer accomplishes much at all (Systematic Theology, 377).

Praying Hands

5. God has ordained prayer as a means by which He accomplishes His eternal purposes.

At this point, some may wonder how it is that Scripture can teach both that God providentially brings all things to pass in conformity with His eternal purpose and that the prayers of men can have a significant affect in the unfolding of world history. The seeming contradiction between these two truths vanishes, however, when one realizes that “the same God who has decreed the end has also decreed that His end shall be reached through His appointed means, and one of these is prayer” (The Sovereignty of God, 167). In other words, God in His infinite wisdom was pleased to ordain prayer to be a means through which He accomplishes His good pleasure in and through His creation.

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