The Mystery of Prayer to a Sovereign God, part 1 [30 Days of Prayer]

Summer of Prayer Ads_BannerThe Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

One pervasive problem of prayer is how our prayers relate to the sovereignty of God. If God is all-knowing and rules over all the cosmos, then why should we pray and what effect do our prayers have upon God and the universe? Over the next few days, we will explore this important challenge of prayer.

The starting point for this reflection is our firm belief that God is both the Creator of all the earth (Genesis 1-2) and the King over all the earth (Psalm 29:10). The cosmos has its origin in God and is sustained by God (Psalm 24:1-2; Colossians 1:17).  There is nothing that is hidden from God because God knows all things (Psalm 147:5; Hebrews 4:13).

If this is true, then why should we pray? The first way to answer this question derives from our relationship with God. We pray to the Sovereign God because He wants us to enter into relationship with Him. The entire Bible testifies to this, especially the great covenants with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Furthermore, the very reason Jesus came as incarnate Messiah was “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10) in order to reconcile us to God (Romans 5:10).

Reconciliation is all about restoration of relationship. Our relationship with God is established through Jesus Christ and infused with vibrant interactivity by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. This is why the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15).

It is in prayer that we communicate with God, both establishing and strengthening our relationship. As John Piper writes, “Prayer is the nerve center of our vital fellowship with Jesus.”[1] Like two friends who grow in relationship by talking over a meal, or two spouses who communicate over great distances through phone calls, our prayer life with the sovereign God breathes life into the relationship we have with God the Father through Christ Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit –
  the Sovereign, Triune God –
thank You for reaching me
  when I was lost in the dark territory of sin.
Before I ever gave a thought to You,
  You thought of me and rescued me.
I thank You and praise You.
  I worship You and offer my life to You.
Grant me the gift of knowing You more
  as I learn how to pray to You, my good God.


[1] John Piper, Desiring God (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986), 145.

[This post is part of the “30 Days of Prayer” devotional. Read other posts here.]

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