Blog Archive

Monday, February 8, 2010

Question of the Week: Why Pray?

"Why Pray? If it changes God's mind then he is not sovereign. If it does not change God's mind then it is superfluous."

sovereign >adjective 1 possessing supreme or ultimate power

superfluous >adjective exceeding what is sufficient or necessary

The fact that God is sovereign means He sets limits on what He allows. It does not mean that He will not share control with us over what He allows. He is a macro-manager who both cares about the details and helps us manage them.

Because He really, really loves us, God genuinely wants the companionship of our cooperation as He accomplishes His will.

Like a mother baking cookies with a four-year old, God doesn’t need us to accomplish His will, He wants us. The beloved child is the whole point of baking cookies in the first place, and we are the whole point of His will. While the mother wisely sets limits on what she allows the child to do, the child is also allowed to make choices like chocolate chip or oatmeal, add or omit nuts.

Prayer can be for things like praise, thanksgiving, or confession of sin to ask forgiveness. Today’s question is about asking God to act in a situation. In this case, prayer is an amazing privilege of being allowed to participate with God as He shapes and applies His will.

"I pray because ...
God always intended to bring humans in on the act without letting them get proud in the process."
— Tom Wright
Here are three things that can happen through the kind of prayer that asks God's intervention:

• By our fellowship with God in prayer, He may be moved to change our circumstances.

• Through fellowship with God in prayer, we better understand His will and accept it.

• The very act of prayer is a humble acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty and our dependence on Him. This opens the doors for us to receive His spiritual gifts, which enable us to both to change ourselves and be able to face our circumstances.

The most profound example of human participation in God’s sovereignty is the creation of life. Our Creator’s will is for humans to reproduce. He put in man and woman the strong desire for each other that leads them to act according to His will. It is the will and physical union of a man and woman which opens the door for new life. But it remains within God’s power to actually create life.

Prayer is the spiritual union between God and humans which opens the door to the creation of spiritual life in our souls. It is anything but superfluous.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." ~ Jesus (John 15:7 NKJV)

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy

This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies on February 6. To see the comments, click here.