Some people think prayer is a matter of our trying to convince God to do something He does not want to do.
Where did we ever get that idea? Not from the Bible. Jesus taught us to get in line with God’s purposes and to pray: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10
God is not unjust. Confusion has arisen because of the parable in Luke 18:1-8, where a widow pesters an unjust judge until he finally relents and gives her justice. The divinely inspired lesson of the parable is provided at the beginning of the story: Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
Jesus said God would ultimately avenge injustices against His people. So, this is not a matter of our trying to convince God against His will. God will avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them.
So, why pray? First, we should pray because God tells us to pray. Second, it honors God for us to humbly bring our petitions to Him. Third, it pleases God when we seek His will and get in line with His plans and purposes. Fourth, God is glorified when He answers our prayers. Fifth, the fellowship we have with God is greatly enhanced and we come to love Him more – whether He answers our prayer or not.
Unfortunately, many of us grow up pestering our parents until they give in and give us what we want. But, when God is not cooperative, we want to find another god, who will go along with our requests. But remember – Our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases. Psalm 115:3
One man prayed for the salvation of his uncle for over thirty years. The uncle was especially antagonistic against women preachers. When the hard-hearted man was on his deathbed, he relented and agreed to listen to a woman preacher tell him the Gospel. He was saved two weeks before he passed on. It is sad the uncle’s pride kept him from enjoying God’s forgiveness and peace all those years.
The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Psalm 103:19-21
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15
Jesus, the Son of Man, willingly submitted Himself to His Father’s will as foretold by the Prophet: Then I said, “Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7; Psalm 40:7-8
Therefore, when Jesus, was faced with having to drink the cup of our iniquity on the cross and be alienated from God because of our sins, He prayed saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42
Article submitted by Walter D. Willet, author of Before Time Began: The Eternal Purpose of God