The is a troubling question that one can wrestle with at times: If God is Sovereign, Why Pray? If God is in control of the universe and providentially guiding history to a certain end, then why should I pray if God is doing his thing anyway? If you have had this wrestle...read on. One of the things we sometimes forget is that although God is Sovereign in all things and all that comes to pass, his Sovereignty is not just over what happens, but also how it happens. In more technical speak – he ordains the ends and the means by which the ends are brought about. So, here is the beautiful kicker about our loving Sovereign God. God, in his good pleasure has ordained to accomplish some of his purposes BY answering our prayers. In doing so he brings about his will and also blesses the socks off of his children by thrilling them and involving them in his plans. Let’s look at one example – the gospel going to the nations. A striking promise in the Bible is Matt 24:14.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.It is a promise that God will bring the gospel throughout the whole world. How will this take place? What means will God use for this? You and me!!! Consider Romans 10:14-17
14 But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.So, here is what is true to this point. 1) God will bring the gospel to the whole world 2) The means he will use are people – his people proclaiming his Word. Now, lets go ahead and drag prayer into it. How will the gospel be propelled through God’s people? Prayer – answered prayers no less. Colossians 4:2-4
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.Ephesians 6:18, 19
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.2 Thess 3:1
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,So, God is Sovereign, he calls us to pray, he ordains to accomplish things by answering our prayers…so I pray 1) to commune with Him 2) To know his will and follow him into his mission 3) Because prayers are powerful much (James 5:16) and 4) God loves his children so much as to answer prayers to do his will… Prayer in this view is a beautiful submission to God, a rejoicing in his Sovereignty, a humble exalting in God’s choice to use me and my prayers for great and marvelous things. If God is not Sovereign, then prayer is reduced to the creature attempting to manipulate God to do “our will” - not a good plan – especially as messed up as “my will” can be. ... --------