Prayer in Its Relation to the Three Persons of the Godhead -- By: Charles Lee Feinberg
BSac 96:383 (Jul 39) p. 285
Prayer in Its Relation to the Three Persons of the Godhead
Prayer is one of the most important of the activities of man. The exercise of prayer is universal, for wherever we find man recognizing his own need and the existence of a supreme Being without and apart from himself, he prays. “Man prays because man is man, and needs help from One who is above and outside of man.”1 There are those who contend that on the basis of the sovereignty of God, His foreknowledge, and His foreordination, prayer can have very little of real value. After all, it is maintained, God knows what is best for us and surely will not change His eternal purposes to meet the requests of puny man. I shall deal with this problem more fully later, but suffice it to say here that prayer is the exercise of a will that is free within the sphere of a will that is sovereign. The very act of prayer and all its manifold possibilities are all within the purpose of God. All prayer, however, is not pleasing to God, for “Since prayer is possible only on the ground of the shed blood and by virtue of the believer’s vital union with Christ, the prayer of the unsaved cannot be accepted of God.”2 Prayer is living faith in practice. It is man’s response to the promises of God. Just as God speaks to man through His holy Word, so man speaks to God in prayer. Prayer is not merely going to God to have petitions granted, for it is not an itemized “grocery list that one takes to a store to have filled.” Prayer includes adoration, worship, praise, confession of sins, thanksgiving for past blessings, desire, supplication, entreaty, communion, petition, and intercession. No one definition can do it full justice. It is as boundless and as sure as God can make anything.
When we ask how important prayer is, we are told “Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, the Christian’s native
BSac 96:383 (Jul 39) p. 286
air.” It should indeed be so, for the believer never reaches the stage in his Christian experience when he can dispense with prayer. To do so would cause incipient and immediate decay in his spiritual life and would bring about atrophy in all his spiritual sensibilities. There seems to be a widespread sentiment, howbeit not outspoken, among some today that the Church has so broadened out in her activities in recent years, that she can get along with a little less prayer. The attitude is somewhat of this nature: “Your task can be to pray if you want to, and ours will be to do the work.” This is most assuredly erroneous, for they fail to realize that prayer is God’s way of getting work done which cannot be done any other way. The fact that ...
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