Word for Wednesday-Defusing Anger
Recently I was asked,
“If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has everything planned out, why
pray?” It is a common question and an excellent one. I have found in the
Bible four reasons for prayer, and I am going to lay them out for you to
examine and think through. You may know additional reasons; if so, I would love
to hear them.
The first and most obvious
reason to pray is God’s command that we do so. Prayer is an act of obedience,
on our part, toward God.
Matthew 26:41 (NIV) Watch and
pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the
body is weak.
Matthew 6:6 (NIV) But when
you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is
unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Notice how Jesus did not say
“if you pray” or “when you feel like praying.” He expects
us to pray.
Secondly, God knows
everything, yet His general will allows for flexibility in our involvement in
carrying out His work. For example, while He may have chosen me to play a role
in helping someone. He allows me to make the choice of accepting or turning
down the opportunity. If I choose not to, then I lose the blessing of being a
part of God’s plan, but this person will still be helped. Someone else will be
part of the process, in my place. God wants us to be participants in His plans,
not just observers.
Ephesians 1:3-5 (LB) How we
praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every
blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made
the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us.
He decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault-we who
stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to
adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did
this because he wanted to!
Even before the beginning of
time, God started dealing with us. What an awesome fact to grasp! He has a plan
for His children, and we can be a part of it via our prayers.
Thirdly, prayer is an act of
submission, on our part, to God. We are not submissive by nature. Many men that
I speak with have trouble getting down on their knees and praying to God,
because they don’t feel in control, or somehow believe it is unmanly. But
submission to God is a key to the Christian life and fulfilling His perfect
plans for us.
Luke 22:42 (NIV)
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but
yours be done.”
Jesus’ prayer in Luke is the
greatest prayer of submission ever. When we can truly start praying, “Lord
Your will be done, not mine,” then we can become a part of His plans.
Submission is not weakness; in actuality, it takes great strength and faith.
Finally, prayer is about our
communion and fellowship with God. Through prayer we grow closer to Him and
become more concerned about seeking His will than receiving our answers.
1 John 1:3-4 (NIV) We
proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have
fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son,
Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted
themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of
bread and to prayer.
Father-Help us to pray and to
be submissive to Your will. Forgive us when we throw up our hands and say that
it is no use to pray, because You have everything planned out. Help us to be
participants in Your plan, and not just observers — so that we may have full
fellowship with You through Your Son Jesus. In His name. Amen.