Monday, April 09, 2007

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

    1. Prayer is Effective Because It is a Part of God's Sovereign Plan

      1. Prayer as a Means
        Many people assume that if in fact, God is sovereign, and everything in life has been “scripted” by God in eternity past, there is no reason to pray. But in fact, this should give us even more incentive to pray! God has sovereignly ordained prayer as a means to accomplish his will and he says that “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (Jam. 5:16, John MacArthur, Lord, Teach Me to Pray, p. 29). The only reason prayer is effective in accomplishing the will of God, is because God sovereignly planned it that way.

      2. Prayer as a Means Exemplified in Scripture
        The prayer of King Hezekiah is a wonderful example of how the prayers of men work in the sovereign plan of God (2 Kgs. 20:1-11, 2 Chr. 32:24, Isa. 38:1-8). When Hezekiah became mortally ill (2 Kgs. 20:1, 2 Chr. 32:24, Isa. 38:1-3), he prayed to the Lord for healing (2 Kgs. 20:2-3, 2 Chr. 32:24, Isa. 38:2-3) and God extended his life by fifteen years. God's plan regarding the length of Hezekiah's life had not changed (Ps. 139:16, William D. Barrick, “The Openness of God: Does Prayer Change God?”, The Master's Seminary Journal, 12 (fall 2001), 156) yet, because God sovereignly uses prayer as a means to accomplish his plan, Hezekiah's prayer for healing was granted, not for Hezekiah's sake, but for the sake of the Lord and his promise to David (2 Kgs. 20:6, Isa. 38:6, Barrick, p. 156).

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