There is no attribute more comforting to His children than that of God’s sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe trials, they believe that sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that sovereignty overrules them, and that sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children ought to more earnestly contend to than the doctrine of their Master over all creation – the Kingship of God over all the works of His own hands – the Throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne…for it is God upon the Throne whom we trust.
Divine Sovereignty, 1856.
It grieves me that so many believers view the doctrine of God’s sovereignty as a deterrent to a healthy, vibrant prayer life. That kind of thinking demonstrates an inadequate, incomplete and unacceptable understanding, both of God’s sovereignty and of prayer. In truth, we pray because God is sovereign – He alone has power over all human events. In praying, we don’t run from His sovereignty, we run to it. It’s absolutely true that God is sovereign over every detail of our lives. Job acknowledged that even the number of every person’s days is determined (Job 14:5). Life and death are in His hands (Jas. 4:15). Yet we eat and breathe and sleep and take measures to avoid any kind of calamity that might end our lives prematurely. Why? That’s the very same question as, “Why pray if God is sovereign?” Here’s the answer to why we need to breathe, and why we need to pray: God ordains the means as well as the end. And our prayers are one of the important means by which He accomplishes His will and glorifies Himself in the process.
Grace to You, Newsletter, April 17, 2007.