It is always a great day when you learn something new. Today is kind of like that. In my ever growing, humble knowledge of a sovereign God I have often struggled with understanding the command for believers to lift up intercessory prayers for all the saints. Since God is sovereign, in control of all things, why would we need to pray on behalf of others? This has especially been at the forefront of my mind because my mother and Robin’s mother are both undergoing cancer treatments. We have been praying quite a bit for each of them lately. So why pray if God is sovereign?
The answer seems to lie (as it always seems to) in the way we view God. Do we view God as a wish genie, who is sitting on His throne granting wishes whenever a whim hits Him. Or do we view Him as the Almighty God who is indeed concerned with our lives and has everything sovereignly aligned for each of us. Things to benefit us and not harm us. Do we trust Him to know what is best for us? Back to the question at hand.
One of my favorite theologians and radio personalities, Dr. Albert Mohler, had recently been in the hospital for stomach surgery and subsequent blood clot complications and upon his return to the airwaves commented on this often asked question. The answer he provided made so much sense I had to blog about it. He said “In the bible, intercessory prayer is not presented as a means to change the mind of God. This is a huge mis-perception. When we intercede for others we are involving ourselves in a conversation with God that opens us up to a change that God would do within us.” In other words it is all about God and His Spirit (who at times intercedes for us) changing us through His sanctifying power and allowing us to participate in the process. This is so awesome. Praise be to God the Father for caring for us in all things for His glory. I am pumped to start thinking this way whenever I am in prayer. God is in the process of changing me as I live my life to be conformed in the image of His son Jesus. If you think about it, we read God’s word to know more about Him. We meditate on the things we read there and then as we open ourselves up in a spirit of prayer He is changing our minds.
It might be a good idea, if you do not already, to journal after your prayer time with God. Ask yourself these questions. What has God revealed to you about His word today? What has God revealed to you about yourself today? How is God changing you today?