Prayer

Knocking on God’s door

We enroll in Jesus’ school through a lifestyle of prayer. But we wonder, why pray to an all-knowing God? Here’s a principle which has been very significant for me: Prayer positions us to receive all that grace intends to give.

We all know the frustration of wanting to help people who won’t let us. If they’d only ask, we’d be happy to do what we can. Their request would not inform us of their need, or persuade us to meet it. Rather, their request would enable them to receive what we already wanted to give. So it is with praying to an all-knowing Father who loves his children but will not force them to accept his grace.

Praying doesn’t earn God’s favor, as though it were works righteousness or legalism. Nor does prayer inform an omniscient God about our problem. Praying opens our hands to his help. It allows our Father to guide and bless his child. If I will not receive his grace, he will honor my refusal, to his pain and my loss. Then I have not because I ask not (James 4:2). But if I will knock, the door will be opened (Matthew 7:7). Not because I deserved God’s favor, but because I was willing to receive it.

Parents know the joy of helping their children solve a problem, and the frustration of watching them struggle with something we can help them resolve. When they tell us about their problem, they don’t inform us so much as they invite us to help. When you need bread at midnight, you are invited to knock at your Father’s door, knowing that he has all you need and more (Luke 11:5-8). He will not make you take his gift, but he will gladly give it if you will receive it.

Andrew Murray said, “Most churches don’t know that God rules the world by the prayers of his saints.” John Wesley was even more specific: “God does nothing but in answer to prayer.” E. M. Bounds claimed, “The church upon its knees would bring heaven upon the earth.” When we pray, we do not inform God of our need or persuade him to meet it. Rather, we position ourselves to receive all that grace intends to give. Then our Father blesses and uses his children, to his glory and our good.

*Taken fromĀ God Issues