Prayer

Providence in Prayer

praying

Providence in Prayer

By

Jose de Carvalho

So much is written about prayer.

Much of it begins with the premise that if believers pray their prayers will be answered.

Firstly let me clarify that God is not a cosmic Santa Claus, therefore if believers are good and exercise all of the prayer formulas documented in all the popular literature like persistence, positive confession and remain in faith without wavering, it does not mean that God is expected to respond positively to their prayer requests.

Given the premise that God should grant prayer requests, if prayer is not answered it is then classified as unanswered prayer. Therefore it stands to reason that if prayers are not answered it is due to incorrect application of the prayer formulas, lack of faith, or sin in the lives of the petitioners. More sinister, salvation is questioned, or God has just plainly rejected them at a personal level.

However, this is an incorrect understanding of prayer. God answers every prayer that is lifted to Him. Sometimes God answers “yes”, “no” or “wait.”

I cannot do justice to the complexity of the topic of God being ultimately sovereign and the effectiveness of prayer in a brief post, nor do I believe it to be necessary, so I will end will the words of Packer (1997:29)

‘Ask and you will receive’ is always true, and what they receive when they ask is always God’s best for them long-term, even when it is a short-term disappointment.

Some things are certain, and that is one of them.