Thursday, April 05, 2007

First Principle Drawn From God's Sovereignty in Relation to Prayer

    1. Prayer is Effective Because God is Sovereign

      1. A World Without a Sovereign God
        While the truth that God is sovereign does present problems to the human mind in regards to its interaction with prayer, before we go to far down the road of belittling God's sovereign control over all things in order to “solve” the problem, as some do (such as Gregory A. Boyd in his book, God of the Possible: A Biblical Introduction to the Open View of God), we must look at the other side of the coin. What if God was not sovereign? What if, although willing to answer prayer and desiring to provide for his children, God was unable to do so? There would be absolutely no reason to pray to God at all! Because he would be just like us, unable to do anything about it. “At its root, prayer grows from the certainty of God's omnipotence and sovereignty. Job says, 'I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted' (42:2). Obviously it would be a waste of time to pray to a wimp” (W. Bingham Hunter, The God Who Hears, p. 47). God rules over all, and therefore has the ability to do whatever He pleases, and that includes answering prayer.

      2. The Sovereignty of God Exemplified in Answered Prayers
        In our own Christian experience, this writer, as well as countless others pray to God for example, for the salvation of lost souls, that they would place their faith in Christ. And sometimes we receive answers to the positive! But if God was not sovereign over all things, these prayers would be total foolishness! Aside from our own personal experience we see in Scripture countless examples of prayers that were offered up to God that were answered – prayers that apart from God's sovereignty could not have been answered. Christ Himself prayed for Peter, that his faith would not fail and that he would be restored after his denials of Christ (Luke 22:32), and Peter was restored (John 21:15-17). Abraham's servant prayed that God would guide him in the selection of a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24:12-14), and God did (Gen. 24:15-27). When God was going to destroy the people of Israel for their disobedience (Ex. 32:10), Moses entreated God to turn from his wrath (Ex. 32:11-13), and God did. Joshua prayed that the sun and the moon would stand still (Josh. 10:12), and they did (Josh. 10:13). Hannah prayed that she would have a son (1 Sam. 1:11), and she did (1 Sam. 1:19-20). Far from being a problem, prayer only works because God is sovereign.


Minister James said...

An Easter Message From the Southaven Study Group and Minister James Muhammad
World Breaking News
Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross

The Gospels contain clear testimony showing that Jesus Christ escaped death on the cross
Here are the facts as they found in the Bible.
(1) Jesus remained on the cross for a few hours only (Mark 15:25; John 19:14) but death
by crucifixion was always tardy. (2) The two men crucified with Jesus were still alive
when taken down from the cross; the presumption is that Jesus too was alive. (3) The
breaking of legs was resorted to in the case of the two criminals, but dispensed with in the
case of Jesus (John 19:32, 33). (4) The side of Jesus being pierced, blood rushed out and
this was a certain sign of life. (5) Even Pilate did not believe that Jesus actually died in so
short a time (Mark 15:44). (6) Jesus was not buried like the two criminals, but was given
into the charge of a wealthy disciple of his, who lavished care on him and put him in a
spacious tomb hewn in the side of a rock (Mark 15:46). (7) When the tomb was seen on
the third day, the stone was found to have been removed from its mouth (Mark 16:4 ) ,
which would not have been the case if there had been a supernatural rising. (8) Mary,
when she saw him, took him for the gardener (John 20:15), which shows that Jesus had
disguised himself as a gardener. (9) Such disguise would not have been needed if Jesus
had risen from the dead. (10) It was in the same body of flesh that the disciples saw Jesus,
and the wounds were still there deep enough for a man to thrust his hand in (John
20:25–28). (11) He still felt hunger and ate as his disciples ate (Luke 24:39– 43).
(12) Jesus Christ undertook a journey to Galilee with two of his disciples walking side by
side with him (Matt. 28:10), which shows that he was fleeing for refuge; a journey to
Galilee was not necessary to rise to heaven. (13) In all post-crucifixion appearances Jesus
is found hiding himself as if he feared being discovered. (14) Jesus Christ prayed the
whole night before his arrest to be saved from the accursed death on the cross, and he
also asked his disciples to pray for him; the prayers of a righteous man in distress and
affliction are always accepted. He seems to have even received a promise from God to be
saved, and it was to this promise that he referred when he cried out on the cross: “My
God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” Heb. 5:7 makes the matter still more clear,
for there it is plainly stated that the prayer of Jesus was accepted: “When he had offered
up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save
him from death, and was heard in that he feared”.

Nathan Wells said...

I will just address one of the things you said, as it relates to prayer: "Jesus Christ prayed the
whole night before his arrest to be saved from the accursed death on the cross, and he
also asked his disciples to pray for him; the prayers of a righteous man in distress and
affliction are always accepted"

You actually missed Jesus' desire in his prayer - yes, he did pray that if there was another way, that he could escape from the suffering and death - but his heart's desire was not to escape the cross, but rather to do the Father's will.

“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

The deepest desire in Jesus' heart was not to escape the cross, but rather that the Father's will would be done. We must read what the text says - he who has ears, let him hear.

And what was the Father's will - why did Jesus come?

"Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. “Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die." (John 12:27-33)

Jesus came to die, predicted his own death, and died. But then, rose again, "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying." (Matthew 28:6)

His prayer was answered - God's will was done. Jesus died. And he now lives. May he receive the honor and glory due his name - the one and only true God.