Q/A Friday: If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?

God is sovereign. God knows everything. God has planned and ordained all things to occur. And He does whatever He wants (Ps 139:4; Isa 46:9-11; Matt 6:8; I John 3:20). He is infinite in His knowledge. He knows all things perfectly that have occurred or will occur. He knows every possible outcome. He knows the future. He never learns or forgets. He is perfectly omniscient. There is nothing that will ever happen that He doesn’t already know about or planned in history.

Here are some reasons why we pray to a sovereign God.

#1 – God commands us to pray (Mat 6:9-13; Luke 5; Col 4:2; I Thess 4:6; 5:17). If prayer were so meaningless or pointless, why would God command us to do it? God doesn’t give us frivolous or worthless commands with no point. He commands us to do things because they are vital to our Christian growth and glorify Himself. God doesn’t command us to do things that don’t benefit us and glorify Himself.

#2 – Jesus, the Son of God, prayed (Mark 1:34-35; Luke 5:16). Consider this. This is Jesus who is equal to the Father. Jesus has divine power to create the world, heal diseases, walk on water, multiply bread and fish, turn water into wine, and read the hearts and minds of people around Him, and yet He knew He had to pray. He knew that prayer was not just an escape for Him but a special time of communion with the Father and a necessity for His life and following the Father’s will. He needed prayer to rejuvenate. He knew He was powerless without it (Luke 3:21; 6:12; 9:28; 11:1; 22:41).

#3 – God will respond to prayer (Exod 32:9-14; Ps 62:2; Dan 10:12; Luke 11:9-10; Jas 4:2; 5:16). God attends to prayer and He answers every prayer. You want a reason to pray? He is sovereign and able to respond.

#4 – Prayer helps accomplish God’s will (John 16:23; I John 5:14). God is all-powerful and can do whatever He pleases, whenever He pleases to whomever He pleases. And yet, He allows men and women to co-operate in the execution of His will. He uses us to accomplish His will in the preaching of the Gospel and in prayer.

#5 – God expects us to pray (Matt 6:5-8). God assumes a genuine child of God will pray. He says “when” you pray … do it in this manner. Despite the fact that He know what we are going to pray even before we do, He still expect it from us.

#6 – Prayer will change the one who is praying (II Kings 20; II Cor 12:7-9). Prayer does change God; it changes us. If you have never seen yourself change in this way, than it is quite possible you don’t pray nearly enough.

#7 – Knowing the eventual outcome didn’t stop some from praying in the Bible (Dan 9:1-19; John 17:11). There is never a good reason to not bring something before the Lord, even if the outcome is certain.

#8 – Prayer glorifies God (John 14:13). Prayer is an act of worship, because we are acknowledging our dependence upon God. We confirm His providence and sovereignty and this brings Him glory. If there is one thing God longs for with His children, it is intimate communion. Do you know how that communion begins? Through prayer.

God’s sovereignty and our responsibility to pray are not enemies or points of tension. There is no point to trying to reconcile these friends. They work together and are not uneasy neighbors.

Questions

If you have a question you would like to submit to our blog to be answered in the future, please it to charlesheck@cox.net or pose your question in the comments section of this post.

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