If God is Sovereign and has a plan for my life, why do I need to pray?
Most theologians will respond to this question by saying that we need to pray so we can know the will of God. Others will say that God wants to communicate with us through prayer. And yet others assert that God wants to us to align our desires to His will through prayer.
While I agree all with of the above reasons for prayer, I still ask myself this question: Why bother bringing my requests to God if He is going to just do His will in my life? This is how God answered that question for me…
Yes, God is sovereign and has a will and a plan for my life. Yes, His will is going to prevail over my will in my life if I cooperate with Him. HOWEVER, I believe that in His vast sovereign will and His absolute foreknowledge, He somehow – someway opens Himself to step in time and space to interact with me.
God in His sovereign foreknowledge opened Himself to Moses to change His mind. The Lord was going to destroy the people of Israel and Moses begged God to spare them and God relented (Exod.32:1-14). If Moses didn’t believe God was going to hear his plea, He would have said, “Oh well, God is sovereign and He has spoken. Not much I can do about that.” God also opened Himself to Abraham to plea for Sodom (Gen. 18:16-33). God opened Himself to Hezekiah to give him a longer life (2 Kings 20:1-7). God opened Himself to Hannah, a woman who desperately wanted to have a son (1 Sam. 1:1-19). If these men and women didn’t believe God would answer their prayers, they would not have prayed.
God ALWAYS answers our prayer! He sometimes answers “yes”, sometimes “no”, and sometimes “wait”. I don’t know when God is going to answer no, or when He will answer yes. I don’t know how my plea and His sovereign play out together. But I do know this: If I have a request, I’m going to pray! He may say yes! Or He may say no, and when that happens, He will change my prayers. If I’m going to err on any side, I’d rather err on the side of believing for the following:
1. He will reward my prayers: And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
2. He will open the door when I pray: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7)
3. He will allow me to participate to intercede for a city:“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (Ezek 22:30-31)
4. He will allow me to participate in interceding for His harvest: He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.(Luke 10:2)
5. He opens Himself up to respond and interact with me through my prayers: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.(Luke 18:1) Read the parable of the widow in verses 2-7. She changed the king’s mind to grant her justice!!
If you want healing: Pray! If you want God to bring salvation to your family. Pray! If you want God to bless you with a child, spouse, or family. Pray! And PRAY is what we will do!