Why Pray?



If everything is predetermined to happen (by the soverignty of God) what good does it do to pray?

http://bible-truths.com/praying.htm -------------------


This Scripture will blow you away if you have never before seen it properly translated. Here it is first in the King James Version:

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:24-26).

Paul makes a connection between "hope" and "prayer." Hope is something we expect, but do not as yet experience. All of Christendom has this subject wrong when they claim that they are already in this life "saved" in the past tense. Paul tells us that we are "saved by hope," but if it is already a reality, then there is no need to still be hoping for it. He then states that, "Likewise…" (in the same way and manner) when it comes to praying, "we know NOT what we should pray for." Just as we do not yet SEE what it is that we "hope for" (we do not yet possess it,) likewise we do not see what we are to "pray for" based on another one of God’s rules, not based on our ignorance (or ‘as we ought’.) This much we can learn from the King James.

But the real problem with the King James is the next phrase "as we ought." That unfortunately does not carry the impact of what this most profound verse is telling us. The Greek word translated we ought is defined by Dr. Strong as follows:




die, deh-on'

“Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν deon which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding): - beho{o}ved, be meet, must (needs), (be) need (-ful), ough[t]".


Fifty-eight times this word dei is translated "must;" and seven times "behooved;" and five times "must needs". When we read this verse in the King James and many versions that copy the King James, we get the feeling that Paul is stating that we just don’t know how to pray as well as we could or should pray. This is not the point of his declaration. Paul is stating that the knowledge necessary to pray according to what MUST BE (what God has already predestined and determined is and must be done in His plan and purpose,) none of us are aware. None of us knows for sure what MUST BE in God’s purpose, and so we cannot possibly always pray for what God desires for us to have. This being so then, God’s Spirit aids our infirmity in this area and helps us pray according to God’s will, which is just another way of saying according to what must be.

Notice how this word is emphatically used throughout the New Testament:

"And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not trouble: for all these things must [Gk; die] come to pass, but the end is not yet" (Matt. 24:6).

Jesus is not saying that these things "ought" come to pass, but rather they MUST come to pass.

-- Likewise: "…the Son of man must [Gk: die] suffer…" (Mark 8:31).

-- Not that He only "ought" to suffer. "…for such things must needs be…" (Mark 13:7).

-- "…the gospel must first be published…" (Mark 13:10).

-- "I must be about My Father’s business" (Luke 2:49).

-- "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7).

-- "…that He must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9).

-- "…we must through much tribulation…" (Acts 14:22), etc., etc., etc.

Prayer must be in accord with what "must be." Here are a couple of versions that bring this out clearly:

"And, in like manner also, the Spirit doth help our weaknesses; for, what we may pray for, as it behoveth us , we have not known, but the Spirit himself doth make intercession for us with groanings unutterable" (Rom. 8:26, Young’s Literal Translation.)

The word "behoove" means "necessary." Not what should or might be, but what is absolutely "necessary." And "necessary" is the first definition of this word in Strong’s Greek Dictionary.

"Now, similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings" (Rom. 8:26, Concordant Literal New Testament.)

This version, along with Young's gets the word order correct according to the Greek manuscripts, and therefore also showing that it is not "as we ought" that is being discussed, but "what must be."

Notice the word order from a few Interlinears:

"In like manner and also the Spirit jointly helps our weaknesses; for that which we should pray for according as it beho{o}ves [is ‘necessary’], we know not, but itself the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings inexpressible" (Rom. 8:26, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by Berry, Zondervan.)

"In like manner and also the spirit helps the weaknesses of us; the for what we should pray as it behoves, not we know, but itself the spirit intercedes on behalf of us with groans unspoken" (Emphatic Diaglott Interlinear.)

"AS-SAMELY YET AND THE spirit is-TOGETHER-supporting to-THE UN-FIRMNESS OF-US THE for ANY WE-SHOULD-BE-PRAYING according-to-WHICH IS-BINDING NOT WE-HAVE-PERCEIVED but SAME THE spirit IS-OVER-pleadING to-groanings UN-TALKED" (Concordant Greek Text, an Ultraliteral English Translation in the Sublinear.) (All underlines are mine.)

The reason that translators and expositors do not teach the truth on this verse is because they don’t believe it is true as written in the manuscripts. It appears from most translations and virtually all teaching on the subject of prayer, that they cannot believe the truth of this verse because it substantiates the Sovereignty of God and contradicts man’s fabled free will. To better understand what is being taught here on prayer, I will now quote Rom. 8:26 and continue through verses 27 and 28 from the Concordant Literal New Testament:

Now similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with what must be, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings. Now He Who is searching the hearts is aware what is the disposition of the spirit, for in accord with God [with God’s will] is it pleading for the saints. Now we are aware that God [KJV leaves out "God"] is working all together for the good [things don’t "work together for good" by themselves—ALL good comes from God—James 1:17] of those who are loving God…"

Let’s now understand this most profound truth. It isn’t just that, "…we know not what we should pray for as we ought…" No, it is much more profound than just that; it is that "….for we know not what we should pray for, to accord with what MUST BE, we are not aware…" Why does the spirit aid our infirmity? What is our infirmity? Our infirmity is that we don’t know what to pray for that will absolutely always be in accord with what must be God’s will, and God’s will is "what must be." And since none of us has perfect foreknowledge of what God’s will must be, God’s spirit aids those who are obedient to Him, in requesting and praying about the right things, so our prayers aren’t in vain.

It is the will and plan and preordained purpose of God Almighty, that’s what "MUST BE." "THY WILL BE done" (Matt. 6:10). Yes, God’s will MUST be done—always! One day we will all come to believe and appreciate the fact that God is Sovereign. God is always right. God always does what is best and perfect. And so it is vain to pray for something that is NOT "in accord with what MUST BE."

And only then does verse 28 make sense. Things don’t "just happen" to people who love and obey God (as most translations suggest in this verse.) No, we should now be willing to accept the truth "…that GOD [The King James leaves out the ‘God’ in this verse as if things just work themselves out without God] is working all together for the good…" And how is it that God works?

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works ALL THINGS AFTER THE COUNSEL OF HIS OWN WILL" (Eph. 1:11).

And so, if we always pray according to God’s Will, with a clean conscience, obeying the commandments of God, and are aided by the Holy Spirit of God to pray only "in accord with what MUST BE," we will begin seeing answered prayer where we may have been frustrated in the past.

http://bible-truths.com/emails.html#whypray ------

I get asked this question quite often. Actually the fact that God is in control of EVERYTHING is a very good reason itself to pray.  We are totally reliant upon God for EVERYTHING!  Think about it. If there were a human being that you had to rely upon for EVERYTHING, would you not stay VERY CLOSE to that person and ALWAYS be in CONSTANT contact with them?  Of course you would.

I KNOW that I have had prayers ANSWERED, ONLY BECAUSE I ASKED!  But you might say, "How can that be if God predetermined to do it ANYWAY?"  But you see, He did not predetermine to do it "ANYWAY."  That is OUR ASSUMPTION that is not true. Listen:  God predetermined to do something for us only AFTER we asked for it!!  And yes, it is true, that God predetermined that we WOULD ASK FOR IT, as well.  We just can't out-think, or out-guess, or out-smart God no matter how hard we try.

Let me give you another piece of wisdom. We are told that we are to "Work out our OWN salvation" in the Scriptures.  How can we work out our own salvation if God has already determined that we will be saved and He is going to SAVE ALL?  Same answer as your question to prayer:  "Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling [WHY? Next verse]...For [or because] it is GOD which works in you BOTH TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13).

It is inspired of God that we pray and that we work. Just because it is God doing it, does not negate the fact that it will be done in us and through us. In time of real and desperate need, we will be brought to our knees before God whether it seems logical in the face of God's total sovereignty or not!

Hope this helps your understanding a little better.

http://www.forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,2661.0.html --------

    Jesus said: "...the WORDS that I speak unto you, THEY ARE SPIRIT...." (John 6:63).
    I realize that if anyone were to actually teach such a verse in any seminary in the world, he would be thrown out on his ear. The Church doesn't believe this verse. Most of the pastors of the world do not believe this verse. Now then, if virtually no Christian alive believes this declaration of our Lord, how is it that they expect to understand a single word that He taught?
    If "heaven" is outer space where the galaxies reside, then how is it that Jesus was both "in heaven" and "on earth" AT THE SAME TIME? (John 3:13). God's will being done on earth "as in heaven" has absolutely nothing to do with the planetary or star systems of outer space.
    So why pray for what MUST BE done?  For the same reasons that Jesus prayed "Thy will be done" before His crucifixion.  God doesn't need to get in line with OUR will, but rather we must get in line with HIS WILL, seeing that that is the only will that WILL be done, and we are to desire and pray for it. "For it is GOD [who? man? NO--GOD] which works in you both TO WILL AND TO DO of His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).  I don't know a member of Christendom anywhere who believes this verse or a hundred like it.  Christians think that because people go against God's stated will, that they are going against His plan, purpose, or intentions. It is God's INTENTION and PURPOSE and PLAN that mankind GO AGAINST HIS STATED WILL.
    "All that God has said, WE WILL DO," answered Israel to Moses.  Yah, right, in their dreams. Yes, God is not willing that any should perish as a final destiny, and so, no one will perish as a final destiny.  Even the RIGHTEOUS "perish" in this lifetime (Isa. 57:1).
    You do not understand the terms "choice" and "free choice or free will" at all. We all make choices. We make our OWN choices, but all choices are caused by SOMETHING. It is called the "Law" of cause and effect. A law is something that always works under all conditions. Man assuredly does not possess "FREE" will or "Free" choice. It would behoove you to read my four-part series: "The MYTH of Free Will Exposed" in Installment 15 of my "Lake of Fire" series. I go through dozens of Scriptures proving that man has no such thing as "free" will. However, this knowledge is not found in too many. Read it.  No, really, read it. You have obviously read much junk in your life, so now read something worth your while. God really is Sovereign.
    We need to be careful in our selection of words when speaking of God. God can be "responsible" for something without being "at FAULT."  Fault suggest a mistake, a sin, and God does not sin, neither did He ever make a mistake, even though most would think that Adam's and Eve's failing in the garden showed that God did not count the cost, and did not know what He was doing, and was utterly supprised when He found out that His creation malfunctioned. It's all blasphemy. God never made a mistake or was surprised by anything, EVER.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,6296.0.html ----

You are not paying close attention to what I have written, and you have not studied such important papers of mine such as "The Myth of Free Will Exposed."  Don't feel bad, however, as hardly anyone can comprehend this teaching. Let me make it as simple as I can. God already knows and has declared the "END FROM THE BEGINNING" (Isa. 46:10). Therefore nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING can ever change from what God ALWAYS KNEW WILL BE.
Now hold that Scriptural thought and don't ever let it go!  Next comes the more difficult part for most to believe and understand.
Things that God knows WILL HAPPEN, don't JUST happen without His sovereign direction.  Therefore, some things would never happen unless you PRAY for them.  Ah, but that is where I lost you and most others as well.  I repeat:  Some things would never happen unless you PRAY for them to happen.  Does that mean that if you had NOT PRAYED for them they would NOT have happened. Exactly. Isn't that what I just said?  Well then, just how can God KNOW what will happen if you DON'T pray for something to happen that He knows MUST HAPPEN?  Whether it happens or doesn't happen in this case all hinges on WHETHER YOU PRAY FOR IT OR NOT.  So how can God know FOR SURE?  If God WANTS something to happen through a prayer of yours, and God KNOWS that something will happen IF YOU PRAY for it, guess what?
GOD WILL SEE TO IT THAT  Y-O-U  D-O  P-R-A-Y  F-O-R  I-T!  And this is exactly what God teaches in the Scriptures. Now can you see and understand it?
Here's another example:

1Co 1:21 "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."

Now then, FOUR things need to happen for this Scripture to come true.

1. People must "believe."

2. Therefore God must give these people "faith."

3. They must hear the needed preaching.

4. God must provide for "the foolishness of preaching" through people like me.

Hope you understand.

http://bible-truths.com/emails.html#whypray -------

I constantly receive emails from people who think there are obvious and blatant contradictions between the way we live and absolute laws of God.

The answer is contained in your own question. I realize that this takes a little thought. I have personally thought about all the possible implications of God's Sovereignty and our lack of free will, for thousands and thousands of hours.

Your question is a logical one. If God is going to do exactly what He has predetermined to do, in every and all situations, then our prayers will CHANGE NOTHING!  Right? WRONG!

But HOW CAN THAT BE? That's a contradiction of logic, isn't it? No, it is not. Here is the answer: God not only brings about the result which He always has in mind for every situation in life, and in every situation in the history of the world, but He ALSO BRINGS ABOUT THE MEANS BY WHICH THAT RESULT IS ACCOMPLISHED!

Therefore, nothing is accomplished AT ALL, unless God brings about the MEANS of accomplishing it.

Example:  When Paul was sailing on a ship to Rome, they ran into a terrible storm. It appeared that all would be lost. An angel appeared in the night to Paul and told him that not one hair of anyone's head would be harmed, but that all had to STAY ON THE SHIP!   Some attempted to depart from the ship. Paul told them that if ever they should not stay on the ship, they would DIE! Now then, how could the possibly "die" when an angel of the Lord told Paul that NO ONE WOULD DIE? A contradiction? Absolutely not.

Since God had already committed Himself to SAVING EVERYONE, He also made sure that the instructions needed to accomplish that WERE FOLLOWED PRECISELY! And so those men CAME BACK ON THE SHIP, and they were ALL SAVED JUST AS THE ANGEL TOLD PAUL!

But isn't prayer effective only if it CHANGES GOD'S MIND to do something for you that He wouldn't have done for you had you NOT prayed? Again, absolutely not. God is not a man that He should "change His mind" about anything, ever!  Now, learn something about prayer that virtually no one in all Christendom believes or understands. First, let's look at Romans 8:26.

From the King James:

"Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities, for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

This marvelous Scripture, however, does not bring out the whole truth contained in the Greek manuscripts regarding this verse, in the King James Version. Here is a better translation.

From the Concordant Literal New Testament:

"Now, similarly, the spirit also is aiding our infirmity, for what we should be praying for, to accord with WHAT MUST BE, we are not aware, but the spirit itself is pleading for us with inarticulate groanings."

"With WHAT MUST BE..."  There is the answer!  And here is the perfect application of this verse in the real world:

"And He went a little further and fell on His face, and prayed saying, O My Father, IF it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: [but that was NOT POSSIBLE! God had already PREDETERMINED that Jesus SHOULD drink this cup, and therefore, IMMEDIATELY recanted to the prodding of the Holy Spirit and said the following...]: nevertheless not as I will, BUT AS THOU WILL ['to accord with WHAT MUST BE']."

Then Jesus prayed again, WITHOUT asking God to take the cup from Him:

"He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if this cup may NOT pass away from Me, except I drink it, THY WILL BE DONE" (Matt. 26:39 & 42).

Clearly Jesus was CAUSED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT to pray "in accord with WHAT MUST BE."

And the same thing that goes for prayer goes for EVERYTHING in our lives. It will always be according to God's preordained intention. That is not to say that things do not got AGAINST HIS WILL, they often do. But... BUT, it is also often God's intention that we DO GO AGAINST HIS STATED WILL. Many times it is God INTENTION that humanity goes AGAINST HIS WILL. In Romans 9:19 were it says, "For who has resisted His WILL?" it should be translated: "For who has resisted His INTENTION." This is a different Greek word from what is normally translated "will."

People also often ask why I do what I do on our web site in teaching people the Truths of God, if God is going to save everyone anyway. Again, the answer is simple: This is HOW God brings about the salvation of many people. By teaching and preaching. He doesn't have to do it this way, but He has CHOSEN to do it this way.  Hence we read:

"For after that in the  wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God BY THE FOOLISHNESS OF PREACHING to save them that believe" (I Cor. 1:21).

And, of course, we know that it is again, God Himself, Who gives us the faith to believe in the first place (Eph. 2:08).

Hope this helps your understanding a little better.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,9177.0.html -------

The Christian Church has so screwed up our minds, that it is almost impossible to think rationally if one is to cling to their absurd and unscriptural doctrines and teachings.
Ask yourself:  "Have I or anyone I know ever fervently prayed for something or some one, that was a good and loving request, and yet God did now answer your request?"
Yes?  Many times?  Probably.  But why?  Why would God answering some benevolent loving requests, but not others, and certainly not all?  Let me first make what I consider a very profound statement that I came to understand when I did a Scriptural study on prayer:
"God has never ever answered a prayer that WASN'T FIRST PRAYED!"
But the question remains:  "Would God have performed that same task for you if you had NOT prayed for it?"  He may have, but then it couldn't be counted as a answered prayer.
When God desires to do good things for His people, he inspired them TO PRAY.  When you understand prayer, no prayer of yours will ever "be in vain" as you suggest.  Yes, God exactly what He will and what He will not do in the next hour, day, or week, and absolutely nothing in heaven or earth will ever "change" that--God does NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, EVER!  But we don't know what a new day will bring, and so we pray.  Many if not most of God's ways seem strange to we humans.  We are not yet on His level of wisdom and spirituality.  God wants to hear from us.  God wants His children to talk to Him about all their needs and desires.  God wants to hear us thank Him for all He has given us.
It is not the least discouraging to me that I cannot change God's mind about anything.  Imagine if God answered all the billions of prayers of all the billions of people around the world?  What utter chaos there would be.  God could never prophesy or foretell the future, as it would be constantly changing by the changing of His Own mind, answering all of those billions of prayers.  Was Jesus perfectly obedience to God His Father?  Did His Father "remove the cup" that Jesus prayed about?  NO, no He didn't.  Was Jesus' prayer, therefore, "in vain?"  I think not.
If God has determined to heal or bless someone because you or someone else prayed for it, then you will HAVE to pray that prayer in order for God to answer it, and therefore, prayer is never in vain unless we are not praying according to God's rules.  Hope this helps you a little, and I will pray that it does!

http://bible-truths.com/email4.htm#things --------------

Since you are asking for spiritual understanding of God's word, are you not gaining spiritual understanding? If you are, then you have your "sign."

James warns against praying for "things" to consume on our lusts. Like, "Please Lord, give me a new car, a new job, and new girlfriend, a new body, a million dollars" etc. Which I know you are not doing. James says not to expect an answer from such prayers.

The real key to prayer is to:

"Seek first the Kingdom of God and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and all these other THINGS will be added unto you."




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