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Author Topic: Prayer  (Read 4099 times)

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rrammfcitktturjsp

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Prayer
« on: January 24, 2007, 12:37:40 PM »

To All,

  I was reading the new e-mail and that sent me thinking.  I am trying to answer the following questioins in my life.  Here are some basics.

  1.  There is no free-will.
  2.  God has pre-ordained everything
  3.  God is the same today, as yesterday, and tomorrow
  4.  Prayer is communication with God to request something or to express thanksgiving
  5.  The Will of God is unchangeable
 
  So here's my question.  If God is unchangine and everything is willed, what is the use of praying?  To me that would not be an efficient way to spend my time.  I am not trying to question this out of spite.  I just read Ray's Free Will paper, and got really really discouraged.  I thought prayer was to bring blessings and health and stuff in my and other people's life, but if God does not will that, well then, I can pray until I am blue in the face and still not see results.

  I need some Scriptures and need to get this resolved.  Thanks for taking your time in helping me to come to answers.  If there are e-mails or another thread on this topic that deals with this, then please by all means post it in the thread.

  Thanks a lot.

  Sincerely,



  Anne C. McGuire
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Craig

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2007, 01:20:07 PM »

I'd probably start with Ray's prayer article.

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

Craig
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Kat

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2007, 02:25:30 PM »


Hi Anne,

I found these mails on this subect, why pray  :)

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

Since God is in control then why pray?  Can we reason with him? Is it to ask only for strength to endure?

Thanks,
Kathy

[Ray Replies]

Dear Kathy:

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, Kathy, 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.

Sincerely,
Ray

[another "Why Pray" email]

Mr. Smith,

I thank you for taking the time to share these truths with others. I have a question in regards to free will. 

Since God is in TOTAL control of everything, why should we pray and ask God for anything?  Since it is not our faith that causes God to answer our prayers, and since God does as He wills in our lives, then why bother asking God for anything we may need, desire or hope for?  Or even pray about someone else to understand these truths, because whomever He wants to understand it, will.  So why pray, or how do we then pray?

[Ray Replies]

Dear Shawan

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. 2:8).

Hope this helps your understanding a little better.

God be with you,
Ray
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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Phazel

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2007, 04:21:27 PM »


Here is how I have come to think of prayer.

We have been "told" for most of our lives through various sources that God is there for us to petition him and "hope" that he gives us what we want.

As long as we think that, we will constantly be disappointed.


The truth is that we have to accept the will of the father.   God will inspire us to pray and inspire us to be aware of his teaching to us in how he works.

In short,  everyday is a lesson from God.   Everyday is constant learning from God.   It has nothing to do with whether we get what we want through prayer.  It him showing us his will.    Your discouragement is willed by God to teach you something.
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YellowStone

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 04:45:46 PM »

Kat, your post provided a wonderful answer and I am sure all who read it will come away better than before.

Anne, I know prayer works for I have witnessed it myself on several occasions. I also know that through prayer and faith God can and does perform miracles even today.

Both my wife and myself are a living testamnet to this fact.

However, we must never forget that an answer to a prayer is an answer if we like it or not. My wife was hospital ridden for about 7 years, each year she became weaker and weaker and closer to death; however, the prayers never ceased and God never forgot her. About 18 months ago when just about all hope was lost; God granted her life. She no longer has congestive heart failure, her lungs once 95% solid are now perfect and she now leads an active life.

All in God's time. How can we say we have faith in God yet not plead for our loved ones? How also can we thank God for our life, but yet not ask him to help us be all that we can be.

Anne, you bring such joy to all here. God is never far from you.

Love,
Darren
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gmik

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2007, 09:04:31 PM »

Darren that is awesome about your wife.  Praise God!!


On the other hand, we prayed like crazy, had prayer groups around the world praying for my sister in law.  She was beautiful inside and out, loved the Lord w/ all her heart, and was not shy about witnessing to anyone-even the top medical oncologists at Duke Univ.  When she died we were stunned!!!! The pastor didn't ever think he would have to conduct her funeral. he was at a loss.  We all believed she was healed.

my point?  It was God's will.  I don't see how praying or not would have changed anything. 

The Christians for the Chicago Bears are praying and the Christians for the Colts are praying.  Is the prayer going to change anything?  No, the winner has been already chosen and it has nothing to do w/ who prayed better, or longer, or fasted.

Yet, yet.....God tells us to pray.  I am getting more and more convinced it is to help US accept His will no matter which way a thing turns out.

I am open to correction.

Love,
gena
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rk12201960

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2007, 09:54:29 PM »

Its like when Jesus prayed aloud, He said" its not for my sake but for the ones listing that I pray" I don;t remember where the scrpture is but if Jesus is in us its not for his sake but for ours. I think it builds up faith and a love of God that binds us to him.
Its all about learning and direction for us. like others have said God has directed you to ask for what you ask in this way its already known and directed by God. I could be a little off on this one but I hope you understand we have to kinda think like God.
If someone has something to add to this to cap it off that would be great.
Blessing to all.
Randy


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pylady

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2007, 09:58:04 PM »

Darren,   I am so glad God restored your wife to good health!   Praise be to Him.

Gina,  I'm so sorry about your sister-in-law.  I've know how hard that is having lost many loved ones.
What a great comfort we have in the resurrection.

Anne,  these scriptures come to mind:
    James 4:8  " Draw close to God and He will draw close to you"
                 and
    Phil 4:6,7  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, BY PRAYER and petition, with
                   thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends
                   all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Guess I think that prayer is how we draw close to God.   To me it sounds like He wants us to talk to Him about everything that we are concerned about.   He does already know everything that will happen to us, but He still wants to hear from us how we feel about things.  It does draw us closer to Him when we pour our heart out to Him.    Prayer is like a channel through which He pours His Holy Spririt.
  With Christian love,

                 Cindy
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rrammfcitktturjsp

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2007, 12:01:51 AM »

To All,

  Thanks for the responses.  I am still in Ray's article of prayer.  I have not had a time to sit down today and read through the posts.  I will have more time tomorrow or Friday.  Thanks. 

  Sincerely,



  Anne C. McGuire
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sonofone

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 03:08:47 PM »


Hi Anne,

I found these mails on this subject, why pray  :)

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

Since God is in control then why pray?  Can we reason with him? Is it to ask only for strength to endure?

Thanks,
Kathy

[Ray Replies]

Dear Kathy:

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.

l]SONOFONE:

I was hit with this epiphany of sorts this morning concerning prayer.Nothing profound,deep,and undiscovered.Just something that registered in my spirit. I have been musing over the sovereignty of God and how his will is not thwarted and always accomplished,and at times I rejoice in this truth still other times this truth leaves me despondent. I fail to see the role I play as being an active one.

Then today it hit me,Prayer is the way we line up or align ourselves with God's will. Prayer is the huddle that announces the next play that is to be carried out. In this sense we are active participants,as we are seeking instruction from the play caller,as to how we are to align ourselves to his next play.

Prayer is also the all important connector to the one who loves us.In communing with him we share our thoughts,hopes,and fears etc.. and allow him to speak back to us giving us what we need to continue on.

When I look at it this way I see prayer as being so vital now.No player can participate successfully in a game if they don't know and understand the plays. No one can properly respond to Gods intentions if they are not in communication with him.

Thanks for letting me share Steve
« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 03:29:42 PM by sonofone »
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2007, 04:04:13 PM »

I returned to studying PRAYING BY GOD’S RULES http://bible-truths.com/praying.htm a few days ago.

I was stalled at this teaching from Ray, quote:


SEVEN SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES GOVERNING PRAYER

[1] "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, [everything in heaven and earth must be in accord with God’s will {His purpose and plan, Eph. 1:11} or it won’t happen] He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him" (I John 5:14-15).

[2] "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [I cannot stress enough the importance of a clean and clear conscience] then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we…

[3] keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight…

[4] And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the Name [and everything that that Name stands for and represents] of His Son Jesus Christ…

[5] And love one another, as He gave us commandment" (I John 3:21-23).

[6] "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts [so don’t think that it’s okay to pray for your Mother to hit the Lotto Jackpot either, as I believe that God can see through such feigned benevolence]" (James 4:3).

[7] "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing [Having faith and trust, not just hoping and wishing. True faith can be based only on God’s Word—see James 1:6-7] ye shall receive" (Matt. 21:22).


Ray has revealed that God puts OBSCURITY not ETERNITY, in our hearts. I believe that until God removes that OBSCURITY no one can pray in line with  how only Jesus Christ could and did pray. We might be moved towards the way Jesus prayed yet most prayers  in any other mode or fashion are merely ask lists, recommendations, advise to God and attempts to manipulate the all Sovereign God and to side step Gods Plans in attempts to obtain better circumstances.

Jesus said what the Father said,  and Jesus did what He saw the Father do. They were ONE.

As the teaching PRAYING BY GOD’S RULES http://bible-truths.com/praying.htm shows, praying for God's Will to be done will always get an answer. There is much light in that revelation.

Peace be to you

Arcturus :)
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sansmile

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2007, 07:48:12 PM »

Anne xxxxxxx
So good to see you again .........


God Bless You xxxxxxxx
Sandie
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sansmile

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2007, 07:49:42 PM »

Oh   no,
Just say that was started by anne a while ago :'(
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sonofone

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2007, 08:23:10 PM »

Oh   no,
Just say that was started by anne a while ago :'(
I'm sorry I pulled this post from the grave not wanting to start a new topic. Sorry for the confusion.
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sansmile

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2007, 08:32:09 PM »

s'ok   interesting one xx
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Phil3:10

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2007, 12:01:47 PM »

To All,
James 5:16, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much". Also verse 17.
Phil3:10
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2007, 03:12:33 PM »


Yes Phil3:10

The effectual Thy Will be done not My Will, prayer of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane was righteous and availed His death and victory over Death and for the prize set before Him He succeeded!

What I find so interesting is that God sent Him and Angel to strengthen Him and the result was that Jesus prayed MORE EARNESTLY. He KNOWS what we go through when we face the Plan of God and it goes against the desires of our flesh!

Peace be to you

Arcturus :)
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sonofone

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2007, 04:32:09 PM »


Yes Phil3:10

The effectual Thy Will be done not My Will, prayer of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane was righteous and availed His death and victory over Death and for the prize set before Him He succeeded!

What I find so interesting is that God sent Him and Angel to strengthen Him and the result was that Jesus prayed MORE EARNESTLY. He KNOWS what we go through when we face the Plan of God and it goes against the desires of our flesh!

Peace be to you

Arcturus :)
There it is right there Arcturus,Thy will or his will be done. We pray to our align ourselves to his will.Not this selfish christmas list we were used to and mental deception trying to manipulate God to do our will with much agony and tears. Thank God for his revelation as to the true nature of prayer concerning the believer. His will be done.
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Deborah-Leigh

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2007, 04:43:53 PM »



Yes sonofone

knowing that it is easier said than done! Jesus Himself sweated as great tears of blood and in today's medical terms this shows such intense stress and suffering that for me began in Gethsemane not at Calvery!

With great respect and regard for Gods Sovereignty we/I pray to have the strength to endure our/my trials and tribulations that are sent to grow me/us up into His image!

Quite sobering when I think of this....no margin for lip service to God anymore!

Thanks for your comments.

Peace be to you

Arcturus :)
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Grateful

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Re: Prayer
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2007, 04:59:01 PM »

I have discovered that prayer is actually BEGGING......  begging God to remove a character flaw in myself....to take charge of any physical pain ( I say to Him,  " This, too SHALL pass....one way or t'other.", and leave the rest to Him....and He DOES help me, by golly!!)..... to take care of a flaw in a relationship with someone else (by giving me the Wisdom I need to either handle it, or let HIM take care of ALL the details)....    To me, these things are what I have discovered that Prayer IS.   God IS indeed "RIGHT HERE" to help us when we pray what He considers righteous prayers (NO, I am NOT bragging..... these just are things I've discovered in the 6-decades-plus years of living I've done....and He HAS answered EVERY prayer that I have begged, or asked in these attitudes I have enumerated above. )   We all are given the opportunity (over and over and over again) to approach God as little children and beg for the things we know it will make HIM happy to give us (to fashion us into  Spiritual   Children.  I've found, step-by-step, with each prayer being answered, either swiftly or eventually, that my Faith in God has grown and grown over the years.   O,  Hallelujah!!!    :D

To GOD be the GLORY !!!

Linda
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