Eric has been doing a study on Sunday night from Doug Kelley’s book If God Already Knows, Why Pray? The characteristics of God that I love so much are His sovereignty and His wisdom. I can easily fall into this dilemma. If He is Sovereign and Wise, why would I pray for anything? He knows better than I what I need and He already knows the plans He has for me- as He says in Jeremiah 29:11:For I know the plans I have for you,”declares the Lord, ”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Yet I know the Lord has called us to pray. He has given us an example how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13:
This, then is how you should pray:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
And we see Jesus praying- especially in Luke 22 in the Garden of Gethsemane before he is taken to the cross.
This past Sunday, we studied a section of the book that really helped me embrace why we pray. The idea of Divine Initiative- Prayer is initiated by God in my heart- I often think of my salvation being initiated by God and my sanctification (or growing to look more like him) being initiated by God, but even prayer starts with God’s initiative. I respond to that desire to pray/ need to pray for something that He has given me. He uses those God-intiated prayers in His plan. We get to be part of that and see His work first hand. We get to participate in His work and He uses that prayer to change me, to help me see His work and to teach me about what He is like.
Over the past few weeks, I have been asking on facebook if anyone needs someone to pray for them or with them about something in their lives. I have never been more encouraged in my prayer as I am right now. He is answering my prayer to help me love prayer and to want to pray.
Vague “I’ll pray for you” has always bugged me. It felt like a good substitute for “I’ll be thinking about you” and it bothered me so much I would not say it, even if I really did want to pray for someone. I couldn’t bring myself to say,”I’ll pray for you.” because it seems so trivial. This has been such a sweet time at home (something I was dreading to be doing- be at home all day with nothing to do!) because I know that the Lord is answering my prayer to let me love to pray. It has honestly been a privilege to take people’s requests to the Lord and to pray that His will would be done in those circumstances and that His promises would carry them while they are in that situation. So thankful for His help in my life.