Thursday, July 03, 2008

Why Pray?

A common question -- especially for Calvinists. If God knows the future then why bother -- what difference does it make? Dan Phillips over at the Pyromaniacs' Blog has an interesting post on that.

Here's a taste:
If God knows what He is going to do, and has known since before the first tick of the cosmic clock, and if His will is settled and absolute and unalterable, then what possible impact can our prayers have? And even more to the point, what possible purpose could they serve?

I've made sufficient peace with that issue on two fronts:
  1. God says to do it (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, etc. ad inf). If I believe Him, that's sufficient in itself. If I don't believe Him, nothing will suffice.
  2. God carries out His sovereign will through means. My prayers are parts of those means (cf. Ezekiel 36:37-38). It isn't mine to divine His sovereign will, but to pursue His revealed will (Deuteronomy 29:29, and see #1 above).

  1. And his conclusion:

    Here, in one final enumeration, is what I take from this:

    1. God gives believers' prayers a significant place in His plans.
    2. We should never downplay the importance of approaching God in prayer, Biblically understood.
    3. It is the height of folly to let circumstance or human reasoning discourage us from bringing our petitions to God. In other words...
    4. Let God say "No, I have a better plan," rather than, "Since you did not ask (James 4:2b)...."

Much more in this post plus, there's always a lot of good stuff over there.

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