Someone has wisely said “We must not expect God to do without prayer what he has promised to do through prayer.”
In many ways prayer is a mystery to us. How can our feeble prayers advance the purposes of our mighty God? And yet it is clear that the prayers of God’s people are powerful instruments by which God has chosen to work. Does God need our prayers? Of course not. But he is pleased to achieve his great plans for the salvation of many and the building of his church by answering the prayers of his children.
Part of the answer to the mystery is that God is at work in our praying. It is the Spirit of God, whom we have received, by whom we cry “Abba, Father.” When we pray to our heavenly Father, the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15-16).
Praying is therefore an experience of enormous privilege. Those whom God enables to pray are his children, his heirs — “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17)! As we pray let us rejoice in our remarkable status that, by God’s grace, brings the privilege of praying.
And remember that our praying actually makes a difference. We have confidence in a God who can do all things and who has demonstrated his astonishing love to us. But “we must not expect God to do without prayer what he has promised to do through prayer.” So let us keep on praying!
Will you make sure that this week you are one of God’s praying people?
John Woodhouse (Acting Senior Minister)