Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prayer Changes the Man

Here's another gem from the pen of the late A. W. Tozer. I posted this on Pilgrim Scribblings today but, as Pilgrim Pals is a "prayer" blog, thought I should include it here as well:

"And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it." - John 14:13-14 (KJV)

In all our praying, however, it is important that we keep in mind that God will not alter His eternal purposes at the word of a man. We do not pray in order to persuade God to change His mind. Prayer is not an assault upon the reluctance of God, nor an effort to secure a suspension of His will for us or for those for whom we pray.

Prayer is not intended to overcome God and "move His arm." God will never be other than Himself, no matter how many people pray, nor how long nor how earnestly.

God's love desires the best for all of us, and He desires to give us the best at any cost. He will open rivers in desert places, still turbulent waves, quiet the wind, bring water from the rock, send an angel to release an apostle from prison, feed an orphanage, open a land long closed to the gospel.

All these things and a thousand others He has done and will do in answer to prayer, but only because it had been His will to do it from the beginning. No one persuades Him.

What the praying man does is to bring his will into line with the will of God so God can do what He has all along been willing to do. Thus prayer changes the man and enables God to change things in answer to man's prayer.

from The Price of Neglect, pp. 51-52


Terry said...

Dear David ...This is really good!
Do you remember Arnold Adams?
He was a preacher from the Gospel Hall.
He was preaching about prayer once and about praying in the will of the Lord.
He was telling us that "You don't get your suit cases all packed and THEN get down on your knees at the couch in the front room and ask "if it be God's will could you please go on that trip that you really want to be going on?"
Then get yourself up right quick and bolt out the door carrying those very same suitcases outside to the waiting cab and off to the airport?"

After praying in the will of the Lord, we should do some waitng, don't you think for the answer?

Have a great day David..
It is finally spring here!.......Love Terry

Vicki said...

David, this is a really good post, filled with truth that we do well to remember - thank you!

The Lord seemed to have adjusted my prayers over the weeks to prepare my heart for the possibility of cancer, and yet as long as I focused on Him, His peace was real to me. In the days right before surgery, I think my fear was more about anesthesia than anything else, but even in that, He reassured me. And then a really emotionally painful thing happened on the eve of surgery, and He gave me grace to overcome the hurt and go on with surgery the next morning.

While I'm rejoicing (and amazed) at the good report I just received, I also realize how much praying kept me reliant upon the Lord no matter what happened...or else I just wouldn't be able to cope in my own strength. To ask in His name, seems to me, is about being in tune with His Spirit by abiding and resting in Him and His Word...seems He guides even our prayers, or adjusts them as He did mine, so that we can accept whatever His will is. It's comforting to know that whenever we don't know how to pray, the Spirit is ever interceding for us to the Father anyway! Isn't that wonderful? God is so good like that!

I so love and appreciate Tozer! Thanks again!