God’s sovereignty and The Purpose of Prayer
There’s a lot of bad information about prayer floating around. And for someone like me, who is not naturally inclined to hitting his knees, the subject can seem daunting. So it is with great delight that I came across this short survey on prayer at In Christ. Authored by Paul D. Adams, the focus study is how our prayers and God’s sovereignty intersect. He does an excellent job of dispelling the concerns many people have regarding that topic.
But what struck me the most was not the doctrinal aspect, but the practical. I have long since resolved the apparent issue between God’s sovereignty and our prayers; but prayer itself, in my day-to-day living, that is another story entirely. Because of this I was most taken with his section titled, Thinking about Prayer, where I found help by reminded as to why I’m praying in the first place:
- Prayer, at its most basic level, is an expression of our dependence upon God.
- Our purpose in prayer is to glorify God by seeing him actively accomplish his will here on earth. God, not us, must be the center focus of all our prayers and it is his will and not our own that we must pursue.
- Submission and solitude are essential ingredients in Jesus’ prayer life and should be in ours.
- Our intention in prayer should be that we recognize how God is working in and through circumstances, rather than merely change them.
- Thankfulness for God’s movement in the lives of our brothers and sisters allows us the opportunity to see God’s work in others and helps us avoid self-absorption.
- Prayer for knowing God better, gaining special insight into our eternal hope, and for power to live for God’s glory should govern all other requests.
- When we pray, we should emphasize a growing love for one another, pure and blameless living, and all that accommodates our maturity in Christ.
- A depth of insight into the limitless dimensions of Christ’s love for us can only be gained by prayer.
- God is more interested in us than in what we want and he occasionally denies our requests so that his glory and our good will be optimal.
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