Thursday, August 11, 2016
Does God need us to accomplish answers to prayer?
We have all heard stories, and many of us have experienced it ourselves: you get an overwhelming urge to pray for a person, and later find out they were in danger, having some kind of crisis, or were making a life altering decision at that very moment. God lays an unsaved person on your heart and you pray hard and often see that person come to Christ. And there are other situations and examples that could be given where God nudges or urges us to pray for someone.
But why? The missionary that was in danger at the very moment you felt you should pray for him, and God spared him....God could have spared him without your prayer, so why urge you to pray for him? The person you prayed faithfully for to become a Christian could have found God without your prayers, so why did God lay them on your heart?
If we don't heed these urges to pray, would God still spare a life or work in the same way if we had?
And if we believe that God loves us and we are His, why does it comfort us to know people are praying for us?
God isn't some powerless puppet that has to be moved by the strings that would be our prayers. He doesn't need us to accomplish anything, including praying for someone. So why nudge us and urge us to pray like this?
I am not sure there is an answer, but as I have thought on this I have come up with a couple of ideas:
1) He wants us involved. Of course He could and does work without us, but He loves us and evidently wants us involved in asking Him for things, and prayers for safety, salvation, etc for others is one way to do that.
2) To increase our faith. When God does give us these nudges to pray for someone and we see it answered, it is an amazing boost to our faith.
3) To help us be unselfish. It is one thing to ask God for things for ourselves, but another thing to ask God for things for other people.
4) To keep us praying. If God operated completely independent of us and was never moved by our prayers, what use would there be in praying? We'd figure He was going to do what He wanted anyway..... but the Bible indicates that He is moved to action by our prayers.
It is awe inspiring and humbling to think that God uses us in this way and that He is moved by our prayers. I don't know the answers to the questions I asked, and maybe I am off base with my ideas, but the fact remains that He does urge us to pray for people, and uses those prayers to save lives and souls.