Hello, In reading recent posts regarding free will, specifically that God knows our choice beforehand although we are free to make it, I am becoming more confused as to why we bother with requests in our prayers. For example, we believe that God’s will is done here on Earth, that He has a plan, specific and true for each of us. If this is so, it seems like an exercise in futility to ask for anything, if everything is done in His way, in His time, in His plan. For example, when we ask God for the grace of a blessing, whether it be from recovery of illness, a new job, a spouse, etc, if it will only be according to His plan and time, why bother asking for something that He already has decided upon. The usual “It was their time” respnse to the dead illustrate this point. Surely we cannot change the mind of God. But then I find this thinking condradictory to “Ask and it shall be given;knock and the door will be opened”. Obviously we ask for things that are never given, since it is not in His plan. Again, I ask rather simply…why ask? If we do trust in the Lord completely, shouldn’t we simply thank Him for His blessings which we are given if we cannot influence him or change His ways in the first place?
God does answer prayer. Just a few examples from the Old and New Testaments include:
Everything is not God’s will. It is an expression that is not always accurate. For example, it is not God’s will that someone abort a child. He permits it, but does not will it.
When someone murders another, is it really that person’s time to die? God knows that the murder will take place and allows it, but he did not will it. He willed that we have free will, so he respects the free will he gave us, even when we abuse it.
God wills that all men be saved. That is true. He can make good come from evil, if we cooperate with his grace. So, even a person who murders may come to repentance and be saved, perhaps because his victim forgave him before death, or because his time in prison gave him an opportunity to open himself to God’s grace.
Sometimes our prayers are necessary in order for God to do something for us…not because he can’t do it without our prayers, but because that is the way he wants it. He wants us to come to him for favors, and he wants us to recognize where the blessings come from when he says. “yes” to our request. God will not heal us if, ultimately, it causes us to lose our soul. His will is to save us from eternal death, not necessarily temporal death.
Prayers to God remind us about who he is and who we are. All blessings come from him. Thanking him for our blessings leads to humility, and humility leads to holiness. It is holiness that is necessary to see the face of God.