Prayer and God’s sovereignty

I just picked up the festschrift in honor of John Piper titled, For the Fame of God’s Name. It is edited by Sam Storms and Justin Taylor and published by Crossway Books.  I have only read the first several chapters but I particularly enjoyed the chapter by Bruce Ware, titled “Prayer and the Sovereignty of God.” Ware does a good job defining the sovereignty of God as well as how a sovereign God incorporates our prayers in his plans. He defines divine sovereignty this way:

God exhaustively plans and meticulously carries out his perfect will as he alone knows is best, regarding all that is in heaven and on earth, and he does so without failure or defeat, accomplishing his purposes in all of creation from the smallest details to the grand purposes of his plan for the whole of the created order (128).

Ware does a good job addressing the age old question of why believers should pray to God if he is simply going to carry out his sovereign will in the universe anyway. I found this selection in the chapter very helpful. He writes,

So, because God is sovereign, he can rule the world unilaterally with no participation from anyone at all. His infinite wisdom and power, along with his uncontested authority, give him all he needs to accomplish everything he wants to do without your help or mine. His sovereignty, then, renders prayer unnecessary—in principle. But here is where the wonder and amazement at prayer increases further. Although God is fully capable of “doing it on his own,” nonetheless, he enlists his people to join him in the work that alone is his. And one of the chief means that he employs for our participation with him in this work is prayer (139).

Categories: God, Prayer, Sovereignty

2 replies

  1. Amazing that we, as his children, can be part of the plans and purposes of God that will ultimately result in the display of his glorious being! I suspect that we don’t “participate” as often as we should.

  2. Thanks for the comment Josh. Hope you enjoy the month off from Greek. However, keep reviewing:)

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