Why Pray?

If God is sovereign over all as Ephesians 1:11 say He is, then why pray?

John Piper wrote an article back in 1976 answering two questions:

1. “Why pray for anyone’s conversion if God has chosen before the foundation of the world who will be his sons?”
2. If someone now says, “O.K., granted that a person’s conversion is ultimately determined by God’ I still don’t see the point of your prayer. If God chose before the foundation of the world who would be converted, what function does your prayer have?”

Take some time and go read the article. It is pretty short, and it is eye-opening.


4 Responses

  1. Thanks indeed for the article. Any reflection about http://www.mathewpaul.org-logic-of-prayer ?

  2. empy, I read your post on the logic of prayer (http://mathewpaul.org/2007/10/27/logic-of-prayer/) and I appreciate your writing it. I really like this question and answer: “Why is it like this? The simple reason is that this is the order that God has set. This is the operating method of God.”

    But I don’t think your last one bears examination in light of scripture: “God will not interfere in our lives unless we permit Him to do so. We are people with freedom of choice. We must choose to call Him. We must choose to obey Him. This is man’s day according to the Scripture. To day we are the decision makers. The Day of the Lord is coming when He will be the Decision Maker. But to day man decides.”

    I think it is scriptural that we must choose to call Him and that we must choose to obey Him.

    But I do not think it is correct that “He will not interfere in our lives unless we permit Him to do so”. Nor is it correct to label us as “decision makers.” God is the Decision Maker now and forever to the praise of His glorious grace. Ephesians 1:3-17.

  3. Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, indeed, God is ever the decision maker. No doubt at all. One of His sovereign decisions is that man must choose. Prayer becomes all the more important because unless we pray, He does not work on our behalf. “Ask and you shall receive” (Mt.7:7); “you have not…because you ask not (Js.4:2). The last phrase of Mt.7:11 is noteworthy. One of the things I learnt from the Scriptures is that God never forces His ways upon people. But He gives grace to choose Him as we pray.

    It is great talking to you. Let us intercede for our nations. To Him be all glory. Amen.

  4. […] Why Pray? the power of prayer […]

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