I received a piece of communication this week that told the story of a friend’s urgent prayer request to God. Interestingly the very thing that my friend asked God to stop from happening…ended up happening. As a result the last thing my friend said to me was, “What is the point?”
Good question. I appreciate the honesty. I have wondered this many times myself, and I have read numerous books on the subject, in addition to what God says in the Bible. There are many sub-questions to consider when attempting to answer this quandary of whether or not prayer matters.
To what degree do people have free will?
Does God plan out all the details of the future?
Is it possible that he would hear our prayer and change his mind?
We say God knows all things, so wouldn’t he already know what we’re going to pray and what the outcome will be?
In what sense are we in a relationship with God that involves the kind of give and take that prayer seems to assume?
Or is prayer just an exercise in dutiful obedience?
What other factors are involved?
There was a man in the Old Testament, Nehemiah, who seems to have a confident grasp of these matters. At Faith Church tomorrow we’re going to look at his story, trying to answer some of these questions. As you read those questions above, how do you answer them? Let’s discuss!