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God's Sovereignty and Prayer
Brett Anderson ©2004

Continuing the series/journey on your walk with God, after looking at the Bible last week I really wanted to move onto looking at prayer - recently someone sent me this quote from a book which I will use and then next week probably deal a bit more with Prayer - written in ye olde language a bit, but has some very strong and challenging stuff to say so I encourage a little bit of wading:

God's Sovereignty and Prayer

"…prayer is coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as seemeth Him best. This makes my will subject to His, instead of… seeking to bring His will into subjection to mine. No prayer is pleasing to God unless the spirit actuating it is, `not my will, but Thine be done'…

Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him. Here then is the meeting-place between God's sovereignty and Christian prayer: If we ask anything according to His will He heareth us, (1 John. 5:14), and if we do not ask, He does not hear us… `Ye ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, and that ye might consume it upon your own lusts' (James 4:3). But did not the Lord Jesus tell His disciples, "verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, He will give it you" (John 16:23)? He did; but this promise does not give praying souls carte blanche. These words of our Lord are in perfect accord with those of the apostle John – `If we ask anything according to His will He heareth us.' What is it to ask "in the name of Christ"? Surely it is very much more that a prayer formula, the mere concluding of our supplications with the words, "in the name of Christ". To apply to God for anything in the name of Christ, it must needs be in keeping with what Christ is! To ask God in the name of Christ is as though Christ Himself were the suppliant. We can only ask God for what Christ would ask. To ask in the name of Christ, is therefore, to set aside our own wills, accepting God's!

Let us now amplify our definition of prayer. What is prayer? Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude – an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Prayer is a confession of creature weakness… prayer is the acknowledgement of our need and the spreading of it before God. We do not say this is all there is in prayer; it is not. But it is the essential, the primary element in prayer… therefore, prayer is the very opposite of dictating to God. Because prayer is an attitude of dependency, the one who really prays is submissive, submissive to the Divine Will; and submission to the Divine Will means, that we are content for the Lord to supply our need according to the dictates of His own sovereign pleasure. And hence it is that we say, every prayer that is offered to God in this spirit is sure of meeting with an answer or response from Him…

Our main purpose in this chapter has been to emphasize the need for submitting, in prayer, our wills to God's. But it must also be added, that prayer is much more than pious exercise, and far otherwise than a mechanical performance. Prayer is, indeed, a Divinely-appointed means whereby we may obtain from God the things we ask, provided that we ask for those things which are in accord with His will…

"Lord, teach us to pray: (Luke 11:1)."

The Sovereignty of God (pg. 118-122) AW Pink First published 1928, Sixth edition 1959.