Many people have not understood the logic of prayer. They can not understand why we should pray if God knows everything. Therefore they do not see the relevance of prayer and indeed they cannot pray effectively. In this session we will try to place prayer in the right perspective in the light of God’s Word and learn as to why we should pray.
The God of the Bible is a God of love. He is gracious and compassionate. There is no comparison to His Person any where in the universe. He is goodness in personified form. He is love personified. He is an all-positive person. There is no negative element in Him at all. The Bible says even His anger is righteous anger. Such is the God of the Bible.
Many people ask questions about God’s goodness. They say, if God is indeed good, why all this poverty and war? Why the innocent suffer? Indeed, these are relevant questions and the Bible gives answer to similar questions.
If God was only a God of love, answering such questions would be easy. But, if God also is Almighty, as the Bible claims Him to be, answer becomes difficult. If God was only a God of love, answer is easy. We know several good and loving people who are helpless. Surely, God is not like one of them! On the other hand, if God was Almighty alone, answer again is easy. We know of several mighty ones who are unconcerned about any thing. They are able to do many things. But they will not. They are cruel. They will never lend a helping hand. Is God like one of them? Surely not, is the answer.
The Bible reveals that God is love (I Jn.4:8). If any one has seen any expression of love any where in the universe, it is simply a poor imitation of God’s love. The loving God of the Bible is not a helpless old grand father. He is Almighty. Nothing is impossible to Him (Gen.l8:l4). If He says some thing it will come to pass (Ps.33:9).
Then what is the problem? Why not God in His Almighty Love save the world from the present human predicament?
The problems did not begin with God. There is some one else involved in the picture. That some one wanted to be God himself and wanted to sit on the throne of God (Is.l4:13f). It was Lucifer who had this desire. He was one of the first of God’s creations. He was in charge of the whole created world (Eze.28:13ff).
When Lucifer rebelled God could have chained him as he will be in the future. If God had done that, other angels would have served God with greater fear. They would have appreciated God’s action towards Lucifer. But it is the loving heart of God which prevented Him from destroying Lucifer. God in His magnanimity seems to be telling Lucifer, “if you deserve the throne, you may take it”. And Lucifer is in his attempt to capture the throne of God even to day. The created world is under his custody to day (I Jn.5:19). And he continues his battle by accusing God and His people.
To day Lucifer is the prince of this world (Jn.l4:30). He is also called the god of this world (2 Cor.4:4). God in His magnanimity stays outside and acts from outside(Isa.45:15). God sent His only Son as man to be killed by His enemies. In that process God demonstrated His love for the created world and wants to redeem it from the enemy.
And now God says, “call upon me be ye saved” (Is.45:26). Thus to day God works for man only in response to man’s call. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one opens the door, I will come in…” (Rev.3:20). God will never force His way into the life of any man. Unless man permits, God stays outside man’s life, waiting for his call eagerly.
There may be a good barber in the town. That does not mean there are no hippies in the town. Hippies have to come to the barber. They have to permit him to clean them up. No barber ever chases after hippies to dress them up
God is like this as well. God has solutions to all problems of every man in the world to day. But man has to go to God. Man has to call upon God. He is both willing and able to do any thing and every thing for us. But He will do it only in response to our cries (Mt. 7:7; Js. 4:2: Eze. 36:37).
Around the world we can meet people who claim to be born again children of God. According to Jn l:l2 God has given us authority to call ourselves children of God if we believed in and accepted His Son into our lives. But without prayer no one ever becomes a child of God.
Indeed, without prayer God does not work for us to day. God does not force any one into salvation. If He forces some one into salvation as He did in the case of Lot (Gen l9:29) it was in answer to the prayers of Abraham.
So to day if some one wants to be saved and enjoy fullness of God’ best for their lives, they need to pray. If some one wants others to be saved, they need to intercede until they come to a saving knowledge of Christ.
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.
Suppose some one has a doubt as to why should the sun rise in the East. The simple answer is, that is God’s order of things and it will never change( Jer.33:20,25; Psa.148:6). Like wise God’s spiritual laws which He has reveled to His people (Psa. 147:19) will never change also (Mt.5:18). One of them is: ask and receive; ask not receive not (Mt.7:7; Js.4:2). “If you then being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more your Heavenly Father will give good gifts to those who ask him (Mt. 7:11).
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 many things within the limitations given to him! But God ever remains sovereign. Praise be to His Holy Name. Amen.
God will not do any thing spiritual in the world today except in answer to our prayers. This is because it is God’s order of things. And He will never change His laws.