“Father, I thank you that have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here., that they may believe that you sent me.” ( John 11:41b-42 )
I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:
He said to me, “You are my Son, today I have become your Father.”
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. ( Psalm 2:7-8 )
Many Christians struggle with the seeming dichotomy between the eternal decrees of God and their effect upon our individuals lives and the notion of liberty in prayer. In other words, if God has determined the course of history corporate and individual of what effect are our prayers? Many will prefer to allow this question to linger unanswered. Some will allow themselves the conclusion that prayer is fruitless yet continue in a sort of stoic legalism. Still others will see this as an impassable roadblock and give up the discipline altogether.
Were God one person, closed up within himself the latter conclusion would be appropriate. We could never hope to be close to him nor hope to influence him. God is not one, however. He is Three-In-One, and in the Son and Holy Spirit we have the bond of unity and fellowship with the whole of the Trinity. Through this brotherhood we have an opened door to ear of the Father. We have assurance that our prayers are heard and in the Trinity, eternal as it is, we see that Jesus’ commands to pray form an active part of the eternal design.
We pray because we were commanded to.
We pray because we are heard.
We pray because our petitions are a crucial part of the great plan of history.