Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sovereignty and Prayer

“Instead of making these great plans as if you have everything under control by your own power, you ought to say what you have been taught:  “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
 – James 4

There are things we pray for already knowing God’s will.   Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Kindness, Self-control, Holiness, Purity, Faith, Hope, Forgiveness, Humility. You don't have to pray, “God, do you want me to have these??!?!”

James warns against "double-minded" prayers, prayers that waver when we doubt that God’s plan for our character is really the best option.
“Purity? Really?  Self-control?  I have to forgive her? I have to love him? That can’t be right. I’ve seen the gods of this world and they are self-indulgent, tough, and certainly not pure.  And look what a good time they are having on Jersey Shore!”
Then there are things we pray for without knowing God’s will: A new job…a spouse….College….. money…. government leaders...vacation plans….business decisions…. amajor purchase…health.

We may not know these with certainty – maybe we’re not supposed to.  We would never have to “step out in faith” if we knew with certainty.  We waver here when we doubt that God is sovereign no matter what we choose.
“How could you have let me do this?  I don't see a why out! Why did you let this happen to me?” 
Do we believe that God is truly in control, or are we confident that our perspective is the one that should win the day?  This prayer of faith is one in which we say, alongside Christ in the Garden, "Not my will, but yours be done."

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