Why Pray If God Knows Everything?
Some might ask the question, ‘If God is sovereign over everything and the only things that come to pass are those which are the result of His providence, why pray at all? What is the point of prayer when only what God has ordained will come to pass?’ It is this type of mindset that makes a person wrestle through the role of prayer in the life of a believer. While the question seems perplexing at first glance, considering who God is and how prayer operates helps us see that it has a very important role in the life of a Christian.
First, we must affirm that God is completely sovereign in all that comes to be. God is the ruler and king of existence, and His invisible hand of providence directs all things. God knows everything that will come to pass (Prov 16:33), and even uses evil events for His glorious purposes (Gen 50:20). He also is sovereign over our salvation, and those whom he predestines will come to faith (Eph 1:11). Though we cannot see it, God is directing all things to come to pass for the good of those who love Him (Rom 8:28). He is a good, kind, and all-powerful king.
The fact that God orders all things does not mean that we should not pray or that prayer is meaningless. On the contrary, there are many reasons why we should pray even as we hold that God sovereignly ordains everything:
1. We are commanded to pray in the Scriptures (the same Bible which speaks of God’s sovereignty has no problem commanding us to pray at all times [1 Thess 5:17])
2. God uses our prayers to bring about His purposes (2 Kings 20:1-11)
3. God delights in answering our prayers (Matt 7:11)
4.God has promised to answer our prayers as they are made according to His will (1 John 5:14)
Thus we can have confidence and motivation in our prayers, knowing that God not only delights to hear and answer us, but is also powerful enough to bring about His good and perfect will.