I'll offer my usual disclaimer here that I'm not religious and never have been, and am quite happy that way, so this question is asked from that perspective.
I struggle to understand sometimes when talking to those who believe in a God concept how they can reconcile praying for something with following God's Will.
If you follow a religious belief system, then isn't everything you have received in life God's Will since God is the omniscient, omnipresent ruler of the universe?
And if you try to alter what you have received in life, by petitioning God for something different, isn't that going against God's Will?
Isn't prayer actually a rather ego-driven idea (in this context) because it implies that you have decided that what God has already given you is not good enough for you, and now you wish God to give you something different?
Doesn't that imply you think you know better than God, who presumably you are supposed to be subservient towards?
Isn't praying for something defying the will of God?
asked 13 Aug '10, 06:39
I am not exactly religious either...so I doubt I share the same view as others of a more religious bent here, nonetheless...
I think BridgetJones gave a good religious quote. There are a few passages I could quote as well which I think would help.
And another, a bit more 'out of context' just for space sake.
I have emboldened specific areas for the sheer purpose that I think they illustrate the importance of asking from the supposed viewpoint of God...and that without asking he does not actually supply fully (as he may like to). I have also italicized one part which I think shows his eagerness to provide, if someone goes towards him.
I liken it to someone who WANTS to share with you everything they have, that wants you to be happy etc. But who also values a persons freedom ABOVE anything else. I trust you can understand such a being - since I think you may be one ;).
If this presupposition is true (and I hold that it is) then praying for something would not be defying the will of God, but actually fulfilling the will of God, since he now is not imposing when he provides.
These are not the "traditional" interpretations of these passages as far as I'm aware...but as I've said, I'm not religious and these (and many other interpretations I have even within the above) feel right for me.
I hope that made sense. :)
answered 14 Aug '10, 06:48
In words of Jesus Himself:
I suppose if the Son of God said this, it wasn't against His Father's will :)
Here's my disclaimer too: I am a former Roman Catholic, now only a believer in God and Jesus. I have stepped out of religious practices but I am still interested in all religions from the historical point of view.
answered 13 Aug '10, 15:28
(1) Prayer is an act of OBEDIENCE towards GOD.
“Praying for something” does NOT defy the will of GOD. “Praying for something” is actually an act of OBEDIENCE towards GOD. GOD’s will is that you COMMUNICATE with Him in the context of a personal relationship. This communication link is established through the Spirit of Christ which GOD places in a person when they accept the blood atonement of Jesus Christ for SIN. Thus, “prayer” is the spiritual communication link between a BORN-AGAIN person and GOD.
Observe the following basic Biblical verses:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” [Romans 8:14-17]
“Pray without ceasing.” [I Thessalonians 5:17]… What a beauty! Short and sweet!
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” [Colossians 4:2]
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” [Philippians 4:6]
“Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;” [Ephesians 5:17-20]
Therefore, the intimacy of a Bible Believer’s personal relationship with GOD is enriched in direct proportion to the spiritual quality of his prayer-life. The spiritual quality of a person’s prayer-life is based on the FREQUENCY of spiritual communication with GOD and the CONTENT of the spiritual communication.
(2) What is in a person’s HEART?
King Solomon says the following:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” [Proverbs 4:23]
Therefore, a person will pray according to the content of their HEART. If a person’s heart is in the WORLD, then that person’s prayers will reflect the issues of the WORLD. If a person’s heart is in GOD, then that person’s prayers will reflect the issues of GOD. Biblical prayers include elements of worship, a burden for lost souls, thanksgiving, and supplications. All petitions are made known unto GOD with the knowledge that whatever a person requests may OR may not be granted. Most often, GOD and man have opposite opinions on what is GOOD and what is EVIL. Thus, a person with GOD in their heart will desire to cleave unto GOD in order to receive the GOOD from ANY situation. For a Bible Believer, prayer teaches and grows faith, trust, patience, hope, discernment, and spiritual intimacy with GOD.
(3) Biblical Prayers vs. Worldly Prayers
a. Biblical Prayers
Biblical prayers are honest, humble, and address existing needs. All Biblical prayers are addressed to GOD the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Ghost. When Jesus Christ taught His Jewish disciples to pray, He taught them to address the PERSON of GOD the Father. Jesus Christ never prayed to an unnamed, strange, generic entity or force of nature. Also, at the time that Jesus Christ was teaching His Jewish disciples how to pray, He never once suggested that GOD was the “Father” of any Gentile. The term “Our Father” was spoken by Jesus Christ to His Jewish disciples because it was a relationship-specific term meant ONLY for Israel. Why? Because GOD is “Father” only to Israel:
“And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:” [Exodus 4:22]
Today, since Israel rejected their Messiah, a Gentile has the privilege to call GOD his “Father” because of the Spirit of Christ that GOD places in him when he chooses to be BORN-AGAIN through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ for SIN. However, at the time that Jesus taught His Jewish disciples, the plan of salvation for the Gentiles had NOT yet been revealed. Therefore, all belief systems which declare that GOD is the “Father” of all mankind do NOT conform to Biblical doctrine.
b. Worldly Prayers
Any prayer that does NOT seek GOD’s will in accordance to His written Words is of the WORLD and is ego-based. Worldly prayers are vain, repetitious, spiritually unprofitable, and do NOT acknowledge the GODHEAD. Praying that the New York Yankees win the World Series, when lost family members and friends are dying and going to HELL, may not be the best way to show GOD that you are increasing in His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Praying that your co-worker drops DEAD so that you can receive the job promotion is probably not the best way to develop your spiritual testimony. Maybe people who PROFESS to know GOD should start caring more about the issue with which GOD is most concerned: the salvation of LOST SOULS. The closer a man gets to GOD, the more he will be interested in the things of GOD. From this intimacy, his prayer-life will focus on SPIRITUAL things and not focus on winning the Mega-Lottery. The things of the world should be left to the world. If you belong to GOD, then seek His precepts, statutes, testimonies, commandments, and judgments in all aspects of your prayer-life.
(4) Which Prayer will GOD always answer?
Man was created with FREE WILL. Thus, man’s free will is also evident in his prayer-life. Man is free to choose what to pray, when to pray, where to pray, why to pray, how to pray, and to whom to pray. However, the Bible says that GOD hears all things, judges all things, and blesses accordingly. By his own words, a man will either be JUSTIFIED or CONDEMNED.
Presently, there is ONLY one prayer that GOD guarantees that He will hear and answer every single time in the exact same manner: the prayer of a REPENTANT SINNER. When a man confesses to GOD that he is a sinner and asks to be washed of his sins through the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, GOD guarantees that this prayer will ALWAYS be answered according to the promise of His written Words: the Repentant Sinner will be given the Spirit of Christ. From that point of spiritual conversion, the saved sinner will then be responsible for the health of his personal relationship with GOD. If the communication link has spiritual static, then his prayers will be hindered. If the communication link is clear, then the saved sinner will be able to better discern answers to prayer and the needs for which to pray. The amount of spiritual static on a man’s communication link with GOD is directly related to the level of his OBEDIENCE to GOD’s Words.
Thanks for reading.
answered 14 Aug '10, 14:21
if the petition is selfish, it may not be in tune with the divine plan;
but then mankind has been out of tune with the divine plan for many centuries.
the law of cause and effect and your past actions is probably what is bringing most of what is happening
to you now.
why not look inside yourself for where you are and what you are doing?
answered 13 Aug '10, 21:56
your disclaimer says you are not religious, but are you spiritual? Your questions are making assumptions about religious dogma, which has nothing to do with truth. I don't think you quite understand the concepts of omniscience, omnipresent, and don't forget omnipotent and omnibenevolent. Understand and ponder these words and you will answer your own questions.
answered 14 Aug '10, 05:10
Im a bit confused with Concerned Citizens answer. I was under the impression that Christians believed that Christ had removed the law! Didnt paul say that where the law is removed there is no sin? Remember Concerned Citizen you did say that sin was a transgression of the law!! you said that not me. Lets say that the government removed all the speed limits,not i would stress a very sensible thing to do but bare with me. If these laws were removed you could not be held liable even if you were caught doing 200mph. Now if the law still stands then yes we would all be declared guilty,but if you really believe that Christ achieved what he did then how can anyone be declared a sinner,repentant sinner or un saved? Im of the opinion that Jesus removed the law,IF he did remove the mosaic law then how can anyone be classed a sinner.Yes im sure people do wrong things all the time BUT there not classed a sinner. I was very touched by a message from Mike Williams on Gospel Logic/Gospel Revolution.He explains this far better than i can. But having said this i respect these views as i once held them myself.I also respect the people who hold them and moreover their right to hold them. Graham
answered 02 Sep '10, 10:20
u cn read the post by me here....
answered 29 Aug '11, 19:46
well see God as your father and yourself as a child if you ask your father to help you with something and it is right will he not help you? jesus said that we should all talk to the father not just recite prayers that he made. pray with you hearth and mind in accordance with the father.
Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Luke 11:10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
answered 30 Aug '11, 02:37
God has already given us everything. It is up to us to receive it or accept it. Asking or praying is a way of connecting us to our desires. It is a way of launching our desires and allows us to have the faith that we will receive what we want. The Bible tells us to pray and ask for what we want, so it doesn't go against the Bible.
answered 01 Apr '12, 12:13
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