Morality of a personal covenant with God?


#1

Dear all,

Does the Church say anything about forming ‘personal covenants’ with God? As in ‘O Lord, if you grant me this, then I shall…’

Are they pointless, since God has a ‘plan’ for us anyway?

And shouldn’t we be doing whatever we are offering as our side of the covenant anyway, since we think it will be pleasing to God?

Looking forward to hearing your answers…

Cal


#2

I believe this comes under the differences between promises and vows. Having said that, yes, it is all right to promise God to do such and such if he answers our prayers in a particular way as long as we keep in mind and have as a part of our petition the request that it be done according to God’s will.

Are they pointless, since God has a ‘plan’ for us anyway?

I hope not because it would mean that anything we prayed for would be pointless. While God has a plan for each of us, we do not know that plan in its fullness at any one point in our lives. We can hardly be expected to not ask simply because God has a plan.

And shouldn’t we be doing whatever we are offering as our side of the covenant anyway, since we think it will be pleasing to God?

Looking forward to hearing your answers…

Cal

Yes, but that doesn’t negate the necessity of asking. After all it was Jesus who told us to persevere in prayer, to ask, to knock, to seek, to find.

Making a “covernant” or “bargain” only pleases God when we leave the ultimate decisions to answer our prayers as we’d like with him. He always reserves the right to say, “Yes,” or “Not now.” or “No.”


#3

Making a covenant with God isn’t for every day. Otherwise it would quickly degenerate into a superstitious sort of accumulation of merit in return for favours.

However once or twice is a different matter. Why? Because an individual can radically alter the course of his life once or twice, but not on a daily basis. If both the request and the promise are worthy, then it isn’t necessarily wrong, may even be praiseworthy.


#4

I think we need to recall a couple of things:

Christ said, we shall not put the Lord to the test. There are elements in these types of promises/vows.

We are to offer God our all. Is it a good thing to say we will only give God that what he deserves if he does what we want? Doesn’t that seem like an attempt to manipulate Him?

We are to only want His will? Does it seem good to say "if your will and my will match God, I will give you/do this?

We are to make promises to change/convert/reform because it is what God wants and He loves us better than we love ourselves.

We are to do His will because it is His will.

I’m not sure that grouping these two together in a bargain is Holy. Do you?


#5

that is not a covenant, because it is one-sided. The initiation should come from God not us. we are not in any position to bargain.


#6

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