The question in one way or another has been asked many times, “If God is sovereign, why should I pray?” This question is asked because many struggle with the fact that when we say God is sovereign, we are affirming that He in His eternal counsel has determined all things that will come to pass. This means that nothing comes to pass without His Divine purpose. Knowing that what God has determined will transpire, why pray? This is a very practical and common question.
The Christian ought to confidently pray for the following reasons. First, we pray because we are commanded to. Prayer is not an option for a Christian. The question, “to pray or not to pray” ought not to be asked. Repeatedly throughout Scripture the believer is commend to pray (; ; ). In-fact, when we neglect prayer we are committing sin (). We ought to pray because God wants us to pray. That in and of itself is a sufficient reason why we ought to pray. However, there are more reasons.
Second, we pray because prayer deepens our fellowship with the Lord and helps us depend on Him more. When speaking to His disciples, the Lord Jesus Christ said,
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” ().
We need the Lord so as to receive grace and mercy in our time of need. Prayer is important because it is a personal way in which we depend on the Lord by worshiping Him, confessing our sins to Him, and making requests.
Thirdly, we pray because prayer is a means that God has ordained in accomplishing His purposes. Yes, God is sovereign and has determined the end from the beginning (Is. 46:10). But this does not mean the Christian steps back and says, “I have no need to pray”. In God’s sovereign plan, He has determined the means to the end. One of the means used in accomplishing God’s purposes is prayer. This means, in an amazing way prayer accomplish things. We don’t have to worry about how to work all this out. Instead, we must recognise that our Lord is sovereign () and we are responsible to be obedient to what He requires of us.
As the people of God we must pray. When we do neglect prayer it is to our own determinant. Be reminded that our Lord is the Almighty. For this reason, let us come before His throne in faithful, fervent and bold prayer (cf. ). Why? He wants us to!
18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
17 pray without ceasing,
23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
3 Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.