Harmonizing Prayer and Providence…

Because we’re so smart, modern human beings have God pretty-much figured out. We know how he works. How he ticks. How he thinks. How he exists….  NOT!

One perplexing issue is that of how a God who has foreordained every day in our lives (Psalm 139) could hear our prayers and respond to them. C. S. Lewis addresses this by calling God The Eternal Now. Andrew Murray, who died almost a century ago said it this way.

…let us not forget that there is not with God as with man, a past by which He is irrevocably bound. God does not live in time with its past and future; the distinctions of time have no reference to Him who inhabits Eternity. And Eternity is an ever-present Now, in which the past is never past, and the future always present. To meet our human weakness, Scripture must speak of past decrees, and a coming future. In reality, the immutability of God’s counsel is ever still in perfect harmony with His liberty to do whatsoever He will. ….the Father-heart holds itself open and free to listen to every prayer that rises through the Son, and that God does indeed allow Himself to be decided by prayer to do what He otherwise would not have done. (Andrew Murray in With Christ in the School of Prayer, Lesson 17).

It seems when you face this seeming conflict you have a couple different ways you might respond. You can stop praying all-together and just let God do what God wants to do. Or you can pray in faith that while you don’t understand how God resolves this seeming conflict, you trust that he does.