To continue my thoughts from yesterday, I think there is more for me to share regarding prayer, or maybe clarify would be more accurate. Everything I shared was from my heart and exactly what I feel the Lord wanted to say on the issue. But even with that being said, I was considering it from a slightly different direction, one that may be a little more precise.
What I am referring to is the whole issue of why we should even bother to pray? I mean, we always discuss how our God is sovereign, and because of that, we presume that things will be as they are going to be anyway. So, why should we bother to pray?
I shared a few thoughts on this yesterday, and there are actually several reasons we could discuss. But I guess what I didn’t really address was something we need to realize. I believe the primary reason we need to pray, is that our God has told us to pray. It is a commandment. Not an option or a good suggestion, but something we are expected to do.
I know that may seem harsh, but Jesus made it clear when He said, ““If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). So, if we are going to profess our love for our Redeemer, then we better be willing to follow His directions. Quite simple, isn’t it?
Another thing to consider: Jesus prayed. Yes, yesterday I did mention that one reason we pray is because it changes us, or matures us. And this is certainly true. But it is not the most important reason we pray. Jesus was not being made more holy by any of His prayers. He was communing with His Father. he was asking for things. He thanked God. In his Gethsemane prayer, he was calling on His Father to prevent what was about to happen. But then, He was laying down His will. He was offering His obedience to His Father.
Thirdly, prayer is a law of the universe. As Yahweh ordained that certain physical laws would govern how the universe would operate, He also ordained the spiritual laws. For instance, books simply will not stay on the table without the law of gravity operating properly. Now the Lord could order them, by divine fiat, to stay put. In the same way, certain things will not happen without the operation of prayer, even though the Lord could cause them to happen by divine fiat. In the broad scheme of things, the Lord could, again by divine fiat, force us to obey Him, but that would violate His law of free will. Hmm, I might discuss that in another message.
Scriptures are full of examples of people doing what they could do and asking the Lord to do what they couldn’t do. In other words, the pattern given to us is to both work and pray. For instance, Nehemiah and the people of Isra’el worked hard to build the wall of Jerusalem but they were continually opposed by Sanballat and Tobiah, who banded together with Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites to attack them. “So we prayed to our God,” Nehemiah wrote, “and stationed a guard to protect against them both day and night” (Nehemiah 4:9). They work and prayed. The old adage that God helps those who help themselves is poppycock. But we do labor with Him to establish His Kingdom in our lives.
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