Think about this: Prayer is God’s idea! That’s a no-brainer, right? Now consider the following:
- God is Sovereign over all that is, was, or will be
- There is nothing God does not know
- He knows our thoughts before we think them
- He knows the motives behind our thoughts
- He knows the end from the beginning
How can prayer possibly accomplish anything?
The short, truthful answer is, prayer is one of the mysteries of God. His ways and His thoughts are as high above ours as the heavens are above the earth (see Isaiah). In His sovereignty He has ordained and commanded this thing we call prayer. In our terms, He is the Manufacturer. As such, He has a great deal to say about His invention.
This post can’t possibly address the whole of prayer. But it can remind you of some general, guiding principles. Those truths should encourage you to pray. And your prayers are urgently needed. Please stay with the series so you know just how BIG our prayers need to be.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him
The second part of Hebrews 11:6 says, We must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. In spite of all the things we think we understand about God’s sovereignty, we come to prayer as a matter of faith. He said we can do it, we should do it, and that we can do it with boldness. By faith we pray.
Did you see the connector in the verse? It’s the word and. We believe He exists and we believe He rewards us for seeking Him. Just so we’re clear, these are Manufacturer’s instructions, not mine.
This is what we learn in 1 John 5:14. John also recorded Jesus’ instructions for prayer in his Gospel. Jesus said He will do whatever we ask in His name. We can equate praying according to His will with praying for anything in His name.
Can we ‘obligate’ God
No. God is subject to no one. He is Sovereign over all. Before you hurry on, realize God has obligated Himself. He has told us in advance how He will respond to the prayers of His children when those prayers are correctly offered.
The Sermon on the Mount
Jesus’ own sermon reminds us our Father knows our needs before we ask. He also makes a stunning comparison. Jesus recognized our desire to do good things for our children. That is true of us in our sinful state. Remember: God’s ways are higher than ours by immense amounts. He then adds,
How much more will your Father Who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him?
The Manufacturer has more to say on this subject. We will add that to tomorrow’s post in order to explain our need for GIANT-sized prayer.
Soli Deo Gloria!