Since God knows and sees all, He understands what we need before we ask, right? And if God planned our lives before the world began, isn’t it too late to ask Him to change anything now?
After reading Scripture and quotes from great Christian thinkers and wrestling with these questions, the answer I came up with is “Yes . . .
. . . and No.”
S. D. Gordon, a wise theologian said it this way, “Prayer does not influence God’s purpose, but it does influence God’s action.”
In other words, every good and right thing, God has already purposed to do. But sometimes He waits for us to ask.
That’s why Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Thy will be done as it is in heaven.” They were asking to bring God’s will to earth.
Why would God ever wait for us to ask?
Here’s the illustration I came up with . . . Let’s think as caretakers or parents . . .
When a baby is first born, communication is limited to wordless cries.
Most moms or aunties (me), try to anticipate the baby’s every need. Not only do we wish to avoid those crying jags that build to mind-boggling intensity, we also want to keep that baby we adore happy.
As the child ages, he/she figures out how to ask for things. So there comes a day, when even though mom or dad knows the child is thirsty or hungry.
They wait for their child to ask. This helps the child to develop communication and builds relationship.
At first, the child tapping the frig might be enough to show he/she wants a drink. But eventually we teach the child to say, “May I have a drink, please?” And even better, when they’re able to say, “Thank you, Mommy.”
The child learns that all good things—juice boxes and chocolate milk—come from Mommy and Daddy.
To take this illustration even further, there also comes a day when Mom stocks the frig and leaves it to little Johnny or Susie to make their own lunch. She anticipates their needs and buys all their favorite things. Then they’re free to dive into the goodies themselves.
But when special circumstances come up—they want some new food or they’re too sick to make lunch for themselves—they have to make their request known to Mom anew.
Here’s what Matthew 7:9-11 says in The Message:
“If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? You wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children.
So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?”
No illustration or metaphor fits biblical truth perfectly.
But this one helps me remember that prayer is communication with a Heavenly Father who wishes to give me all good gifts and helps me imagine how He views my supplications—all my supplications.
Rich & eloquent. Simply stated. Wordless cries.
No matter what form they take, the Bible assures us that our prayers touch God’s heart.
May that truth sustain us through our doubts and dry spells and any hard days of waiting for answers to our requests. Blessings, friends!
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***Photo Backstory: I used another iPhone pic of my niece’s garden as background. Of course, PicMonkey is my tool of choice for tweaking the pic & adding the quote!