Last week I discussed that when we pray we should pray according to the will of God. Now, if we believe that God is sovereign and that He will carry out His will no matter what, then why should we pray? We should pray because God has graciously decided that He will only work through the prayers of His people. Think about this: Almighty God, Creator, and Sustainer of the universe has forever imposed upon Himself a restriction that He will wait for His people to pray before He will take action. Here are a few examples:
In Daniel 9 we read a beautiful prayer by Daniel (verses 1-19). When Daniel was done with his prayer, Gabriel came to him and said, “As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.” Did you catch what Gabriel said? As soon as Daniel began to pray, Gabriel was dispatched to go speak with him. Daniel prayed and God responded by sending Gabriel.
In James 4 it says, “You do not have because you do not ask God.” This is not a “name it and claim it” verse, but rather a warning from James stating that we must first pray in accordance with the will of God before God will act in our lives.
In James 5 it says, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James goes on to give an encouraging example by recalling what the prophet Elijah was able to do through prayer. James makes it very clear that Elijah was created just like us. However, what set Elijah apart was his prayer life. Elijah prayed and God responded.
In 2 Chronicles 7 God appears to King Solomon and says, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” If the people pray, God responds.
Genesis 18 records the conversation between God and Abraham. God already had a plan and knew how He wanted to carry out that plan. But God allowed Abraham to participate with Him.
These few examples are written to remind us that God has graciously invited us to communicate and participate in His redemptive work through the act of prayer. We must never grow weary in our prayers, rather, we should boldly approach the throne of grace (Heb 4:12) knowing that “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please motivate us to be a people that prays without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17). We are asking that you provide the wisdom and resources to begin a new work in the city of Edmond, OK. Please hear our request and respond according to your will.
This post was written by Josh Wright, member of Redemption Church. Josh is married to Heidi Wright and has one child, Emilie. He enjoys watching movies/TV shows, playing games, and spending time with his family.
–January 12th is a very big day for Redemption Church! Thank you for praying with us! For more information about the launch of Redemption Church and how you can pray for us, please click here.