We believe God is full of plans, cosmic ones and particular ones. Whichever it is, God’s will comes to pass. Our praying about it does not seem to matter. That is what we tell ourselves, not because it is so, but because it makes our prayerlessness easier to justify.
A bug in that ointment are verses like these:
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1Jn 5:14-15 NIV)
There is an intercessory role for believers to play in the realization of God’s purposes. Our petitions don’t usurp or manipulate God’s intentions, rather our discerning prayers call forth into our ‘here and now’ what God desires.
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Mt 7:7 NIV)
The Master is encouraging His apprentices to persist in prayer. The result will be that ‘the door will be open’. And we do not need to fear what lies behind that door, Jesus makes it clear that our Father in Heaven gives only good gifts to His children (Mt 7:9-11 NIV). So our persisting prayers, somehow are ordained to open the door to God’s goodness.
This dynamic is not an indication of God’s reluctance to bless and provide for His children. No, our asking and trusting and waiting, are used by God to equip us to be faith-filled, Kingdom-seeking disciples of Jesus. In our prayers, we are like the interning doctor working alongside the specialist, not that the specialist needs the intern’s help, but because the specialist wants to train-up the student-doctor in his work.
Do you have a need or concern? Look to God, learn His ways and by your prayers open the door to experiencing His goodness here and now.
Photo Credit: By Laura Billings (CC BY-NC 2.0)