Last Thursday it was about prayer – I called it Prayer is a Waste of Time! I used that title because that’s what a lot of people think about prayer. It’s just a complete waste of time.
They think that because they’ve prayed, sometimes for years, but haven’t seen God DO anything it’s a waste of time. Or because their theology teaches that God is sovereign, they don’t see how their prayers can change anything, so it’s a waste of time. I answered those objections in my vlog.
I’d like to come back to the subject of prayer, especially in the context of God’s sovereignty because there is so much more here than you might think. And I’d like to pursue the question: If God has ordained the results then why pray?
It seems to us, in our limited understanding of the plan of God, that if God has ordained the events of the universe, and therefore the events of our lives, then why should we spend our time praying? Can we change the plan of God?
The results are already in. There is nothing we can do to change what God has determined.
The Apostle Paul clearly stated that God works all things according to the council of His will (Ephesians 1:11). That doesn’t seem to leave any room for our prayers.
But there’s more to consider than this.
One thing that we often fail to take into account is that God has not only ordained the results (of His plan) but that He has ordained the means to reach the results. And part of the means is prayer.
For some inexplicable reason, God has given us a part in His plan. Our part is not to determine the plan or to change the plan, or perhaps even to execute the plan. Our part may simply be to pray for the plan. And in that act, we enter into, we become part of what God is doing. We get to join with God; become partners with God in His actions in this world.
We don’t fully understand it, but God has made it so that prayer is part of His plan and when we fail to pray we fail to be part of what God is doing.
There’s another passage about the sovereignty of God that is illustrative. In his sermon on the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter, speaking of the death of Jesus said that Jesus was delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). That was the sovereign act of God. No one could change it.
But he continues by saying, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified and put to death. Later in that passage he again says this Jesus whom you crucified (verse 36). That’s a human element in His plan.
Here we have both the sovereign plan of God and the actions of men. Both were part of the plan of God. A mystery to be sure.
And that’s how prayer is. Yes, God has a sovereign plan. Yes, we can pray. And Yes, by praying we get to become part of His plan.
What’s Good About Prayer?
In praying we have the great opportunity of partnering with God to accomplish His will.
Stay in the Word