December 15, 2017
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Prayer ministry means surrendering my rights to God.Master's Mind Ministry holds the power of prayer as a core value. Through prayer we communicate with God on our own behalf or on behalf of another person. Through prayer we come into relationship with God, and through prayer we come to know the will of God.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. - Colossians 4:2

What is the point of praying to a sovereign God?

If God is sovereign, there are some things He does not need from me: permission, ideas, logic, rationalization, agreement. So what is the point of prayer ministry?

A group of intrepid Christian men get together at 6 every Friday morning to encourage and exhort each other. The other day our topic was “How do you resolve the sovereignty of God and man's free will?” No one really expected to answer the question to the satisfaction of all in an hour and a half. But we did hope that the discussion would help each one understand God just a little better, having wrestled with this facet of His character. It was a good conversation from that point of view. There were two schools of thought that came out of it.

The first line of discussion might be called the “hyper-sovereignty” issue:

  • If God can and will do anything He pleases whether I like it or not, then it does not matter if I pray.
  • If I do pray, the best I can hope for is to guess what He is going to do anyway so I'm not disappointed in the outcome.
The opposition might be called the “super-free-will” side:
  • If I focus on the desires of my heart, then God is honor bound to make it happen.
  • If I believe enough, speak it loudly enough, ask with the right words or tone, then God will be inclined to answer according to my will.

As mature Christians we probably would not make these claims in such bold language. They certainly lead to fatalism on the one hand and idolatry on the other. But do we secretly hold them as true in our heart? Is there a part of these statements that resonates with you, perhaps more than you would like to admit? Yet, it would be hard to find motivation for prayer if these were true.

Jesus demonstrated during His life on earth the importance of prayer. In many instances the gospels record that He spent time in prayer with His heavenly Father.

“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” - Luke 6:12

Why does God want me to pray?

God invites us to engage in prayer with Him.

Just like Jesus, God wants me to pray so that we can be in relationship with each other. An important part of relationship is communication – and that is one of the purposes of prayer. In pouring out my soul to God I know that He hears me. And communication happens in two directions, both speaking and hearing. Our best hearing comes when our prayer is guided by the Holy Spirit as He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). Listening to the Holy Spirit pray through me gives me an idea of what God's good, pleasing and perfect will is.

Oswald Chambers teaches that prayer doesn't change God, it changes me. I become a friend of God. A key factor in making that friendship grow is to know and to be known. That is why Jesus said: “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you” - John 15:15

Engage with God

If my emphasis is too strongly focused on the sovereignty of God, then my participation with Him in prayer is likely to be passive. Consciously or subconsciously I'm subject to wondering: “What's the point?”

If my emphasis is too strongly focused on free will, then my participation with Him in prayer is likely to be too independent. Consciously or subconsciously I'm subject to wondering: “Hey God, do You understand my point?”

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, Hea hears us. And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him." - 1 John 5:14-15

I believe God wants us to engage in prayer with Him. To pray with confidence and ask according to His will. That means seeking out what is His best, and agreeing with Him in my prayer.

Do you remember the account of Jacob when he wrestled with the angel of the Lord all night? To me, that is a sad picture. Sure, it shows tenacity. But Jacob seemed to wrestle against God, not with Him. It was a power struggle. A battle of wills. Jacob was trying to get something he wanted from God.

I would hope to wrestle with God, not struggle against Him. If there is a real tough issue that requires deep prayer, let me be on God's team. I believe that a sovereign God is going to do something marvelous, and I am going to throw in with Him. Even though I’m not bringing much to the table, I want to be on the winning side.

What God truly desires is that we engage with Him. He really cares about what is going on; the thing we find ourselves praying about. He wants us to work on it together. Not because He needs our help, but because of how it affects us when we participate. We become changed by the experience, and our relationship grows because of the history together, sharing a common goal, communication, and joy in the celebration. We come to know God better, and because we are made in His image, we come to know ourselves better.

So, how do we engage?

Ask Him: “Do you have room for me on Your prayer team?”
Act with Him: “Is there anything at all that you can have me do?”

Try this and see if it doesn't make your prayer time more powerful!

 
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Master's Mind Ministry
21811 NE 164th St
Brush Prairie, WA 98606
(360) 891-8114

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