God’s Sovereignty Vs Prayer? (Updated)

While thinking about tomorrow’s Prayer and Psalm service, I have found a series on prayer by R. C. Sproul. Here’s the first one:

“If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?” by R. C. Sproul

As soon as we set these two ideas—the sovereignty of God and the prayers of His people—side by side, we run into a very sticky theological question. Objections are raised from every quarter. People say: “Wait a minute. If God is sovereign, that is, if He has ordained every detail of what is taking place in our lives, not only in the present but in the future, why should we bother with prayer? Furthermore, since the Bible tells us that ‘all things work together for good to those who love God’ (Rom. 8:28), shouldn’t we content ourselves that what God has ordained is best? Isn’t it really just an exercise in futility, and even arrogance, for us to presume to tell God what we need or what we would like to happen? If He ordains all things, and what He ordains is best, what purpose is served by praying to Him?”

The second one is “If It Be Your Will,” where Sproul says in two places:

When we come before God, we must remember two simple facts — who He is and who we are. We must remember that we’re talking to the King, the Sovereign One, the Creator, but we are only creatures. If we will keep those facts in mind, we will pray politely. We will say, “By Your leave,” “As You wish,” “If You please,” and so on. That’s the way we go before God. To say that it is a manifestation of unbelief or a weakness of faith to say to God “if it be Your will” is to slander the very Lord of the Lord’s Prayer.

This is what it means to pray that the will of God would be done. It is the highest expression of faith to submit to the sovereignty of God. The real prayer of faith is the prayer that trusts God no matter whether the answer is yes or no. It takes no faith to “claim,” like a robber, something that is not ours to claim. We are to come to God and tell Him what we want, but we must trust Him to give the answer that is best for us. That is what Jesus did.

Just yesterday, I saw a Facebook comment by someone after his team won a game in a basketball tournament, “Let’s declare victory!” This is praying to God the Divine Butler at the beck and call of His servants. Name it and claim it, but it is naming and claiming, like a robber, something that is not ours to claim.

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