I’ve been learning a lot lately, specifically about praying to a sovereign God, who has already ordained and orchestrated all of humanity for all time, because He may just decide to change His mind. Think I’m crazy? You wouldn’t be the first. But let me attempt to show you what I mean.
I have been reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians everyday, primarily focusing on chapter 1:3-10.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you hear the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
“In Him” appears six times. “Predestined” appears twice, “He chose” appears twice, and “His purpose” appears twice. And the phrase that stands the most to me,”To the praise of His glory” appears four times. So if we break that down into Mere-Bear language it means this: The God of the universe who is outside of time, planned and purposed everything that would ever happen, within time, and it has all been and will continue to be, to show His grandeur, majesty, power, love and grace.
End of story. Period.
If I may, I would like to interject a little “but.” (I may be smirking at that terribly cheesy pun… whatever)
But what happens when you pray for a change of circumstances and God “relents” and says OK. I only ask because it worked for Moses. I swear. Look for yourself in Exodus 32:
9 “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand…? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
Is it just me for, or did the Great I Am just say “No, I won’t… since you asked”?
Remarkable. Why? Because all the sudden prayer takes on a whole new meaning. Prayer suddenly has a weight, not against, but in addition to God’s will. Prayer now beacons us into a closer and more intimate relationship with Christ because He. Is. Listening. And He cares what you think. He cares about what you want and desire. He wants to hear from you, His beloved, about the inner workings of your heart. He wants to know how and what you are discovering about His spirit making itself manifest in yours.
So if He wants to know these things, it is only logical to assume then that He considers our prayers.
I am fully aware that while He will hear everything I ask for, He may not grant it. And I am also fully aware that I may never know why He didn’t answer this prayer or that prayer this side of heaven. But He has given every reason on earth and in heaven to trust Him, rest in Him, hope in Him, and wait on His perfection provision and plan.
So while I wait on a clear yes or no, I will pray earnestly and fervently for a yes response because according to James “you do not because you do not ask.” I refuse to miss out because I wasn’t brave enough to have asked.