Prayer Is A Must

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Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-09, 10:49

Have you ever wondered why is there so much emphasis on prayer in the Bible?

I see two unavoidable reasons for such instructions. The first reason is that man is basically a dependent being. Physically we depend heavily on the air that we breathe and the food we eat. No one could imagine living physical life without depending on them. Likewise we depend a lot on people around us. Imagine an individual in total isolation. What kind of dress is he going to wear? What kind of food is he going to eat? What kind of house is he going to live in if he was all alone in this world? People around us make our lives so easy and we all depend on the society that we live in.

This is not only true for our physical existence, but also for our mental well being. We need the moral support of people around us to make our lives happy. If there is no moral support from any one around, our lives will become all the more difficult.

Then we all know that man is not merely body and soul. Man has a spirit (1Thes.5:23). And that spirit in man craves for the Infinite Spirit who is God. Man can ultimately be satisfied only by totally depending on God for His spiritual survival. Without this dependence on God, man would be left alone and he would be a ‘cave-dweller’ spiritually. So for his spiritual well being, man ought to depend on God in prayer regularly.

Another clear and simple reason as to why men should pray is clearly spelt out in Scripture when it says, “Ask and you shall receive” (Mt.7:7); “…you have not, because you ask not…” (Jas.4:2). From these and other verses it is clear that God does not interfere in our lives without our asking for it as God has given us the right to choose Him or not.

Based on the Scripture we can categorically say that God does not, God will not, yes indeed, God cannot work in our lives without our prayer. That sentence may sound a little harsh; but I strongly believe that it is true. Can God save a person who does not want to repent and call upon His name in faith? No; it is not possible according to the Bible.

So prayer is a must if God must work in our lives.

Read more articles on prayer and experiences in prayer at www.mathewpaul.org
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by KrisChan on 2008-06-09, 19:41

I think that "prayer" has been a very common religious practice not only in Christianity. Some even have their own "rituals" to perform. And I can practically agree how essential a prayer in the life of a believer. But if I may just ask you about what you are generally trying to convey here stating that
empy wrote:...it is clear that God does not interfere in our lives without our asking for it...
which gives the appearance that ...
"God does not have anything to do with your life, unless you ask for it in your prayers"
"He will not provide you things you don't ask in prayers"

is that what you're also trying to tell us here?

This topic really interests me, and I hope you can expound more about this and other teachings of Matthew Paul.


Last edited by KrisChan on 2008-06-12, 12:18; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-09, 21:07

Thank you very much for your response.

I am glad that my post was of interest to some one out there.

I agree that my statement which you quoted is a little ambigious. God as the Sovereign creator of the ends of the universe has a personal interest in all His creation (psa.145:9). We are told in very clear terms that God is not merely the creator but truly He is the sustainer of His creation (Heb.1:3). We are also told that God sends His rain and sun upon the righteous and the unrighteous alike(Mt.5;45). These are abundantly clear from the Bible. We are told that the wicked of the world have been given riches by God (Ps.17:14) not because they asked Him for it. But because it is His sovereign will (Dan.4:17). And who could question it?

The Bible also tells us that God is a prayer-answering God (Ps.65:2). By what ever name you approach the Almighty, He is a generous giver and He lavishes His gifts upon peole who pray to Him through any means. Irrespeective of religious beliefs man every where has stories of God answering prayer and these could never be doubted as divine interferance in the lives of men who call upon Him.

Having said that I wish to take you to my post where I said God has given man the abitlity to choose Him or to reject Him. Here we are talking about entering into a personal relationship with God. Unless invited God keeps Himself away from people in this respect. Sure, He calls men every where to come to Him. Mt.11:28 for example asks men to come to Him for rest. Unless man responds in obedience and permits Him to do so, God will remain outside of such lives. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens... I will come in...". God never ever forces His way into the life of any man. It is for each individual to invite Him into his/her life, with out which God will not interfere in that life spiritually. Tragically, if some one does not want God, in the life to come such a person will be sent to the place from where God has withdrawn His presence (2Thes.1:10).

Tragically the world over people need the gifts and not the giver. The good news is that God offers Himself for a filial relationship with man through Chriist (Jn.14:6). " No one comes to the FATHER but by me" and it is only possible as man invites Him into one's own personal life (Jn.1:12) and decides to live in fellowship with Him (1Cor.1:9; 1Jn.1:1-3). This means that we can live with Him for ever in His house when Hw comes (Jn.14:3).

I hope I have made myself clear now.
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by KrisChan on 2008-06-10, 05:03

In my first response, I was referring to "teachings of Matthew Paul" other than you. Only now I noticed that your username "empy (m.p)" can also mean that it's you! Sorry, that I misread it earlier as "empty". Very Happy

Moving on, are you still saying that —
"GOD WILL NOT ANSWER OR PROVIDE BLESSINGS TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT PRAY"
while also proving that
"GOD PROVIDES AND SUSTAINS ALL THE NEEDS OF ALL HIS CREATIONS (regardless if their righteous or not)"

then, aren't you contradicting your own statements?

and if asking prayer is really a must before GOD can do anything from His end, or like you said "before He can work in us", will it not negate the other biblical principle that "GOD already knows what you need even before you ask him", so why bother praying at all?

and also,
Does GOD always answer all kinds of prayers to Him? (ex. Does He answers all who fervently prays to win lottery jackpot? Or how about the "world peace", "end of hunger", "make poverty history", etc. that everyone seem to unanimously been praying until now?)
How can someone be so sure that his prayers will actually reach God's ears and will be answered?

Please know that I highly respect God and the Bible, but what my particular concern is that how many people like you, can use those same scriptures explaining and asserting conflicting ideas of God, religion, and spirituality even though there are still many questions that you still can't seem to justify reasonably?

Like this very topic about "PRAYER IS A MUST", how can you prove your statements are true and they're not just your mere opinions and self-interpretations?

I'm really looking forward to know if you can really make yourself clear this time. I hope you don't mind being ask.

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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-10, 11:29

Krish Khan,

You are not the first one to read my username as 'empty' Very Happy . Added to that I do have an M.Th. from a reputed university in Old Testament which I did some thirty years back and I usually tell that though many people have empty heads, I have a recognition for being empty-headed (M.Th. being elaborated as 'empty head').
lol!

Please feel free to ask as we might learn from each other. ok.

You said, "Moving on, are you still saying that —
"GOD WILL NOT ANSWER OR PROVIDE BLESSINGS TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT PRAY"
while also proving that
"GOD PROVIDES AND SUSTAINS ALL THE NEEDS OF ALL HIS CREATIONS (regardless if their righteous or not)"
then, aren't you contradicting your own statements?".

These are not contraditory statements. I gave you sufficient scriptures to prove that God bestows SPIRITUAL blessings only to those who ask Him. Classical verse for that is Mt.7:11 which reads, " if you then who are evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father who is in heaven give good things TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM'!". Please read also Js.4:2b "You do not have; because you do not ask". You may also read Eze.36:37 in different versions as some versions are not very clear. The former two verses are self-explanatory. Ask and you shall receive (Mt.7:7) is the Biblical diction. And ask not, receive not (see Js.4:2b above) is the confirmed pattern of the Scripture when it comes to spiritual matters.

While it is true that in His soverign will God bestows physical blessings upon whom ever He wills, all His spiritual benefits are reserved for only to those who ask Him. That is why Jesus our Lord taught His disciples to pray "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Mt.6:10). Here our Lord is referring not to the sovereign will of God (which is already at work in this world), but about the perfect will of God for every man here on earth. For example, we read in 1Tim.2:4 that He desires all men to be saved. But we know in actual life all men are not getting saved. If that must happen they must call upon His Name. "For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom.10:13).

Your question about God knows it all and therefore why pray at all is answered in www.mathewpaul.org/logic-of-prayer.

Your other questios about will God answer all prayers etc. are answered in my other posts in the above site. Prayer in the Bible can not be understood except in the context of the spiritual warfare that is going on. The Bible very clearly says that the present world is in the power of the evil one (1Jn.5:19). Unless striving prayers are done, God's perfect will may not be accomplished here on earth now (Rom.15:30-31).

Then your question "Like this very topic about "PRAYER IS A MUST", how can you prove your statements are true and they're not just your mere opinions and self-interpretations?"

Well, I have quoted scriptures for making my statements. You might study the very same scriptures and come to your own conclusions about them. I would like to know if you arrive at different conclusions and on what grounds you arrived at those conclusions. Who knows? I might revise my position!

Please do respond as I like to engage in friendly exchanges. God bless.
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re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by butzyzk on 2008-06-11, 13:35

empy wrote:.................The Bible also tells us that God is a prayer-answering God (Ps.65:2). By what ever name you approach the Almighty, He is a generous giver and He lavishes His gifts upon peole who pray to Him through any means. Irrespeective of religious beliefs man every where has stories of God answering prayer and these could never be doubted as divine interferance in the lives of men who call upon Him..................
@empy,

Kindly elaborate in the above quoted statement of yours which I highlighted.
Do you mean that God wouldn't mind at all that:
1. He be called by any name?
2. That He would not mind at all whatever religious belief those who call on Him belong to?
Thanks for sharing here. Very Happy
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-11, 15:59

butzyzk,

Thank you for responding to my post.

I am a believer in Christ and I am a child of God by His grace (Eph.2:8; Jn.1:12; 1Jn.3:2). I know men can come to God as Father only through Christ (Jn.14:6). This is an irrefutable truth as Christ is the only one who taught us about God being a loving Heavenly Father. I stand firm on this foundation and no one can shake me away from the sure foundation on which I stand.

Having said that, I look at all people around me. I know that they do not have this light which I have received. Now I need to see how they understand things and do things.

Now let me come to your question.
You said, "Kindly elaborate in the above quoted statement of yours which I highlighted".

Do you mean that God wouldn't mind at all that:
1. He be called by any name?

Re: We must know that God can only be known by His revelations as God is invisible to human eyes. Theologans will tell us that there are what is known as general revelation and then special revelation. Talking about the general revelation, we read about it in Rom.1:20. So every one in the world knows that there is a 'god of some kind' or there is a 'super power' above man. That is why the world over poeple pray. Tragically they pray often to the unknown god... yet God in His generosity answers many of their prayers.

It is like me giving some thing to a beggar at the gate. If I, being an evil person (Mt.7:11), has compassion on a total stranger, I can not image the God of creation not having compassion on people who call on Him, through ingnorance, by some other name. The Bible says that God has compassion on all His works (Ps.145:9). We have a magazine in our language where Hindus, Muslims and men of various faiths testify about the Almighty answering their prayers. This is published month after month. They have similar stories as cancer being healed etc. etc. as we would read from a testimony journal published by any Christian group.

Tragically, Rom.1:21 makes it very clear that man is with out excuse. Because any one has had their prayers answered does not make them fit for heaven. There are many around the world who are deceived this way. They know a prayer-answering God and the gospel of Christ is not appealing to them as they already have some experience of God answering prayer. But tragically they do not know God as Father and they have no knowledge of their eternal status.

2. That He would not mind at all whatever religious belief those who call on Him belong to?

Re: If God did not mind what people believed in surely He would not have sent His son to die for us. We have special revelation in the BIble and in Christ. With out the special revelation, we would know nothing about the sin problem and how it is to be tackled. If the sin problem is not dealt with, all that any man any where deserves is the wrath of God (Jn.3:36). But while man is alive on this earth, God is calling Him in compassion throguh Christ for a free offer of salvation, rejecting which man will face the consequences of his sin without a doubt.

I know of no other place in the entire world where the sin problem is dealt with as in Christ. I believe Christ is the ONLY way for man to be saved from the wrath to come.

I beleive God answers prayer because of His compassion. But I also believe that only through Christ man's relationship with God could be restored. It is one thing being a beggar and totally another thing being a child!

God bless.
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by butzyzk on 2008-06-11, 17:07

I agree with you when you said “men can come to God as Father only through Christ.”

As you have answered my first question, you have brought up the question’s relevance when you said “Tragically they pray often to the unknown god”. That is the purpose of my question, to spare others of the tragic misconception of praying to an unknown God. Let us be careful not to mislead other people that God can be called by just any name. It may not be your intention to so I just clarified.

God have a name so we must not call on Him by just any name. This is the importance of knowing God’s name. Even His people is called by His name as stated in Chronicles 7:14.

You said, “I believe God answers prayer because of His compassion.” and I must add, so fortunate are those that have known the Father and that they are called, justified, and glorified.


Last edited by KrisChan on 2008-06-12, 11:48; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-11, 17:23

I made my stand very clear. God can be Father only through Christ.

But I know that there are many who know God as creator only not also as redeemer. This knowledge of God is only to their detriment as all man's righteousness is like filthy rags before God.

I know God as a compassionate person and God answering prayers as a living reality outside of Christ.

But I also know that only through Christ man can stand justified before God.

You said, “ and I must add, so fortunate are those that have known the Father and that they are called, justified, and glorified".

I would say two Amens to your statement. Amen and amen. Praise be to His Holy name.
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by KrisChan on 2008-06-12, 12:45

empy wrote:Krish Khan,
You are not the first one to read my username as 'empty' Very Happy . Added to that I do have an M.Th. from a reputed university in Old Testament which I did some thirty years back and I usually tell that though many people have empty heads, I have a recognition for being empty-headed (M.Th. being elaborated as 'empty head').
now, you're the first one to misread my name, hehehe. What a Face

OK, about your response. You mentioned two types of God's blessings: (1) spiritual blessings; and (2) physical blessings. Can you give me insights with biblical support how did you come up with that? I mean, is it really these "two", or is there other types of blessings that GOD can provide?
empy wrote:Your question about God knows it all and therefore why pray at all is answered here.
I'd like to correct that I did not say, "God knows it all". What I did say was Why bother praying at all, if GOD already knows what you need even before you ask him?. Does the loving God can't provide your needs, unless you ask Him? — please bear in mind that I'm just trying to know how confident are you with your teachings. Although I can visit that off-site link, it saves us time to digest that long article. If you can gave us a summary of your explanations here in our forum, that I would appreciate much. Of course, with my other questions too that are left unanswered.

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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-12, 15:36

OK, about your response. You mentioned two types of God's blessings: (1) spiritual blessings; and (2) physical blessings. Can you give me insights with biblical support how did you come up with that? I mean, is it really these "two", or is there other types of blessings that GOD can provide?[quote="empy]

RE: Yes, I did mention two types of blessings. 1) temoral and the other 2) spiritual. This is the result of my observation of Scriptures for the last several years.

I connect the temporal blessings with the [b]Sovereign will of God[/b]. The Bible very clearly teaches us that it was God who formed the individuals in the wombs of their mothers (Ps.139:13-14). No one ever had the right to be born or not to be born. It was God's decision to create us. We could not even choose our parents or what ever. This simply belongs to the sovereign will of God. According to His good plessure He did it all (Eph.1:11).

Before God created man on this earth, God had made every thing man needed for his subsistance here. So temporal blessings were there with out man asking for it. But tragically sin entered into the world and we are in a world which is cursed by God (Gen.3:17; 5:29). Here we have war and poverty and sin and selfishness. Some people enjoy every thing at the expence of others. And God was not a mere spectator of all these. He sent His Son to redeem the world and through Christ and God offers a restoration of the lost fellowship and He is calling man back to fellowship with Him through Christ (1Cor.1:9). This Icall the[b] perfect will of God[/b] for man today. To enter into the perfect will of God, man has to choose between life and death (Dt.30:19-20). Thus God has given man the right and ability to choose his future life. Man had no right to choose to be born or not to be born in this world. But now he can choose whether to be born into the family of God or not. Man can do it by accepting Christ (Jn.1:12). This is done by prayer. No one can ever get it other wise as only those who call upon Him will ever be saved (Rom.10:13). This is what I meant by spirtual blessings.

Man can choose to ignore this offer of salvation or choose against it. God permits man to do that with tears. Eze.18:23 says that God has no delight in the death of the wicked. But He permits it as God had given the freedom of choice. At the end of that chapter in Eze. God would say, "why should you die?" In other words, responsibility is completely ours. This I call the permissive will of God. Hell is not prepared for man. It is for Satan and his angels (Mt.25:41). But people who do not want God, will ultimately share that place with the Devil (2The.1:10).

No one can enter into the perfect will of God or enjoy spiritual blessings with out asking for it or with out prayer (Mt.6:10; Rom.15:30-31). And much of the temporal blessings are enjoyed by people who never prayed for them or by people who never pray.

Then your next question...
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Re: Prayer Is A Must

Post by empy on 2008-06-12, 16:20

Kris,

Then you said, " What I did say was Why bother praying at all, if GOD already knows what you need even before you ask him?. Does the loving God can't provide your needs, unless you ask Him? — please bear in mind that I'm just trying to know how confident are you with your teachings. Although I can visit that off-site link, it saves us time to digest that long article. If you can gave us a summary of your explanations here in our forum, that I would appreciate much. Of course, with my other questions too that are left unanswered.[/quote]

Your question, "why bother praying at all, if God already knows what..." is answered by me this way.

God operates the universe by laws of life. There are physical laws under operation. Say, for example the law of gravity. Till Newton explained it to us, though man never knew about it, it was under operation from the inception of the universe. No one can question it or challenge it. No one can work against it with out being hurt.

There are not only physical laws which God uses, God also uses spiritual laws which are revealed to us in the Bible. One of the spiritual laws written out in black and white is "ask and receive" (Mt.7:7), "ask not...recevie not" (Js.4:2). Mt.7:11 is very important to note. The last phrase says, ''how much more will your heavenly father give TO THOSE WHO ASK".

Why did He make it the rule of life? Well, Only in the context of spiritual warfare, prayer can be properly understood. Adam chose Satan over against God. Sin entered the world. Satan claims authority here now (Lk.4:4; 1Jn.5:19). Now God wants man to choose again between Him and Satan. All men are under the influence of Satan today (Eph.2:2). Unless man calls upon God for rescue, man shall remain under the power of the evil one.

There is another reason for it, I think. In Gen.1:28 man is given dominion/authority on this earth. Though Satan stole it from and claims to be his, according to God it is still in the hands of God (Ps.115:16) "The earth He has given to the sons of man". So today here we are the decision makers. Look at Rev.3:20, "... if any man open... " Today man decides. The Day of the Lord is coming when He will be the decision maker. And He will decide every thing righteously. May His Name be praised. Till that day we are decision makers here on earth within the given limits.

There are many in the world today who pray for temporal things of this world. Paul would say, if we do that we are of all men to be pitied (1Cor.15:19).

May I make my stand very clear. Temporal blessings are given with out man asking for it.
Spiritual blessings can never be received by any one who does not ask for it.
If our prayers are limited to temporal things, we are to be pitied.
This unchanging rule of life is there because of the spiritual warfare.
And today man is the decision maker. Man must choose. Man must call upon HIm.

Your other questions may be given to me one by one to be answered.

God bless and bye for now.
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