My seminary emphasized God’s sovereignty. They followed it to its extreme logical conclusion: the intercession group prayed 15 minutes a week.
FIFTEEN MINUTES A WEEK??!?#&?
Their theology was good. Their practice bad. Jesus Himself spent whole nights in prayer. If the Son of the LIVING GOD needed loads of prayer, how much more ourselves?
Sovereignty means nobody, nothing stops God. Everything is part of his total-control. Carried to an extreme, hyper-Calvinism rules out the need for evangelism since God already has destined for salvation those who will get saved. Never mind that Jesus told us to go and evangelize.
My seminary didn’t rule out evangelism, and they didn’t rule out prayer in theory — but they sure did in the practice. While I believe in God’s sovereignty, at the same time I believe my prayers make a difference in the war for the world. I’m constantly reproaching myself for prayerlessness.
We should not discredit the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, but it lives in tension with calls to action in the Bible. (The atheists have a field day with this doctrine!) I’m comfortable with the uncomfortable tension. Stay calm and keep praying.
Great to meet ya!
Great thoughts rhank you Pastor!
Agree 100% on prayer. No limit. If anything, we should be praying way more than we already are. But help me understand, are you saying you agree with the “hyper-Calvinism” as you put it? That people are pre-destined for salvation? I pegged you more as a “salvation is up to the person” kind of pastor?
My blog is NOT a theology blog. I grew a bit tired of the endless debates, especially in eschatology. In any case, I would say I’m a middle of the road believer. I avoid the extremes and think we get into error when we press too far any one doctrine. In any case, the purpose of the blog is to inspire prayer. I believe in predestination because the Bible says. At the same time, the Bible says each person makes his/her choice. Go figure. Not trying to get myself in trouble…
Lol, and I don’t mean to make it sound like I’d want you to get into trouble. My intention is truly to understand. (I personally see predestination as something you were chosen to do for Christ and nothing to do with salvation, just so you know where I’m coming from.) I was just curious to see how you viewed free will. I think I understand a little better. 🙂
😀 Glad to know you are not part of the theology police. LOL!
Great way to put it, and great stance. Thanks for sharing that wisdom!
How do you manage to get such fascinating photos?
My devotions this morning centered on intercession, and at this point I think my sermon on the 17th is likely to, too. I’ve always considered prayer a mystery, like why on earth would our prayers make any difference? However, the Bible is full of encouragement to pray, and the Bible and experience are full of examples that it really does make a difference.
Yes, and an even greater mystery… if Jesus is God, then Who was He praying to? Himself?
Our understanding of the Trinity is limited by our humanity. Jesus indeed took on that humanity, which is why He needed to pray. That part has never bothered me! After all, David lectured his soul to praise the Lord!
Sure, I understand that Jesus is a separate Person from the Father. But it still seems to have some mystery to me. It doesn’t “bother” me, but it certainly seems something that our limited intelligence can really grasp, as you say, our limited humanity.
Reblogged this on Pastor Jason R. Gainey and commented:
Prayer is the language for which God governs the world.
I’m glad God answers prayers…and yes it is a mystery! God can measure all these things like love, determination that we as humans cannot even begin to quantify! I don’t have to understand everything, but I know that prayer gives me peace and joy…if even my prayers don’t get answered how I want, His presence alone is refreshing.
I always love what you write – it gets me thinking and feeling. And I have been thinking about this one, and deciding that my current POV is that 15 minutes of prayer is great, more is better, but whatever we can do is awesome and God will work with what we give Him.
Yes, yes, yes. I totally agree. 15 minutes is better than nothing. But these are future ministers, seminary students, who will move in the things of God. It might be good for them to learn to pray a bit more. 🙂
Great and timely message, thank you!
Yes I agree, when we pray we start moving things… we make the will of God come to pass