why pray?

A recurring theme in our men’s Bible study and on this blog is the question “why should we pray if God is sovereign over all?” another variant is “why should we pray if God is going to to what God is going to do anyway?”

Here are two previous posts that I have put up about this question.

Why Pray?
the power of prayer

Pulpit Magazine has now posted three parts of an answer to the question as well.

Part 1 sets up the issue.

Part 2 begins the answer with 1. God commanded us to pray and 2. Jesus modeled a life of prayer.

Part 3 continues the answer with 3. God is able to respond to our prayers and 4. God actually does respond to our prayers.

Here is a bit from number 4:

Scripture is filled with examples of God granting to His people what they have requested in their prayers of petition and intercession. First Chronicles 4:10a records the prayer of Jabez in which he said, “Oh that Thou wouldst bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that Thy hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldst keep me from harm, that it may not pain me!” In response to Jabez’s prayer, “God granted him what he requested” (v. 10b). In Exodus 32:10, God told Moses of His intentions to destroy the people of Israel because of their idolatry. But Moses interceded on behalf of Israel (vv. 11-13), and in response to his prayer God relented and did not destroy them (v. 14). And as James records, God responded to the earnest prayers of Elijah in both initiating and ending a three-and-a-half-year drought (James 5:17-18; cf. Genesis 18:22-33; 32:26; Daniel 10:12; Amos 7:1-6; Acts 4:29-31; 10:31; and 12:5-11).

At the same time that it is acknowledged that God is sovereign, then, it must also be acknowledged that “[t]he effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16b; cf. 4:2). In fact, immediately after answering the question of how to pray in Luke 11:2-4, Jesus goes on to answer the question of why to pray by giving two reasons—because God rewards diligence in prayer by granting requests (Luke 11:5-10), and because God delights in giving good gifts to His children (Luke 11:11-13).

How great is it that God delights in giving good gifts to His children?

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One Response

  1. […] January 28, 2009 Why pray? Posted by bkingr under teaching | Tags: intercessory prayer, job, prayer, sovereignty, sovereignty of god |   Pulpit Magazine concludes its series on why we should pray if God is sovereign with part 4 here. The first three parts are linked here. […]

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