Three ways to live

Which is your way?

Why pray? – Summary of study

Filed under: Uncategorized — Vitali at 8:00 am on Monday, March 17, 2008

In the my last post (sorry, it was a while back), I promised to address some of the challenging questions on prayer. Even though I wanted to look at all eight questions, the group’s discussion didn’t go much beyond the first two, which can really be further combined into one:

“Why pray if God knows what you will ask him before you actually do? Moreover, God will only grant your request if it is according to his will, but if it is according to his will, he will do it anyway even if you don’t ask him”.

What I learned when preparing for the study is that this question keeps been asked again and again and again. I have heard it been answered by people whose teaching I really respect, e.g. Tim Keller, Don Carson, etc. So what’s the answer?

There is none.

There is no answer. Any explanation you will try to give will not make sense in one way or another. The only way to understand it is that while our prayer has appearance of us asking God for something and trying (in a way) to change his mind, the only thing that changes in prayer is us.

What did this discovery did to me personally? After a few days of struggle, somehow, I feel liberated. I have struggled with prayer for a long time, but now that I know there is no good explanation for why we should pray, I feel free to pray simply out of obedience to God’s Word. And, somehow, I feel humbled by the fact that not everything can be understood by our limited minds. Well, I knew that already, but this time this understanding (that I can’t understand everything and must rely more on God) came really home to me.

4 Comments

112

Comment by pearlie

April 5, 2008 @ 6:55 am

Finding this post of yours can actually be considered a God-sent. I have been struggling to understand prayer for a long while now, and we were just discussing about it over bible study last night. I was the only one there who had this problem, of not understanding prayer (and it took me awhile to explain that it is not that I don’t believe in prayer, I just don’t quite understand it – I still don’t think they understand what I am going through :)

Anyways, I think you kinda hit the nail on the head – there is no answer. any explanation will not make sense in one way or another. Haha … i know i am repeating you, but I do feel liberated.

But do I pray without understanding? hmmm … i suppose i can because I don’t understand everything, there is only obedience where I don’t understand and I am grateful to have a faithful and loving God whom I can trust to obey where I do or don’t understand.

Thanks Vitali :)

115

Comment by pearlie

April 8, 2008 @ 3:40 am

I linked you. Thanks again.

223

Comment by DD

July 19, 2008 @ 9:15 pm

I’m reading a very good book by Philip Yancey on Prayer. I’m about a third way through so I’ll not post my thoughts here yet.

I think you may enjoy this thoughts on Prayer (so far, anyway).

DD

377

Comment by Rex

January 20, 2009 @ 11:44 am

Spot on. Only false people playing God want you to pray, i.e. bend down, kneel and WORSHIP them – a true God wouldn’t want this. Furthermore going to confession was/is a means by which the Priest knew/knows everything in his jurisdiction. Spot on.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.