by Dr. Charles Stanley
Saturday May 28, 2005
Does Prayer Influence God?
Today’s passage assures us that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (v. 16). The Lord graciously chooses to involve the prayers of His children in the outworking of His plan. (2 Kings 20:1-6) But what about a circumstance like a friend’s serious illness, for which God has already predetermined the outcome? Why should you pray about it when God already knows how the situation will turn out?
As you pray, God works in your heart so that when He does what He has chosen to do, you will be in harmony with His will. Through prayer, God lets you in on what He is doing; as your faith is strengthened, and your love and faith increase, He is glorified. In the event that God is going to call your friend home, He will also be preparing you with awareness of His presence—in that way, when you walk through the approaching stormy valley, you will have peace. And in some situations, prayer is necessary because you may be the very instrument God plans to use in bringing about a result He desires.
No farmer can control the yield of his crops. He can till the soil and plant the seed the best way he knows, but it is the Lord who causes growth. Of course God could produce crops without help, but no farmer sits at home doing nothing and still reaps a fantastic harvest. In the same way, our Father chooses to work through us because He’s a God of relationship. He wants to involve us in His work!
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