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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : IF PREDESTINATION IS TRUE – WHY PRAY?

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by C.H. Spurgeon

"An objection has been raised which is very ancient indeed, and has a great appearance of force. It is raised not so much by sceptics, as by those who hold a part of the truth; it is this—that prayer can certainly produce no result, because of the decrees of God have settled everything, and those decrees are immutable. Now we have no desire to deny the assertion that the decrees of God have settled all events. It is our full belief that God has foreknown and predestinated everything that happened in heaven above or in the earth beneath, and that the foreknown station of a reed by the river is fixed as the station of a king, and "the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses."

Predestination embraceth the great and the little, and reacheth unto all things; the question is, wherefore pray? Might it not as logically be asked, wherefore breathe, eat, move, or do anything? We have an answer which satisfies us, namely, that our prayers are in the predestination, and that God has as much ordained his people's prayers as anything else, and when we pray we are producing links in the chain of ordained facts. Destiny decrees that I should pray—I pray; destiny decrees that I shall be answered, and the answer comes to me.

Moreover, in other matters we never regulate our actions by the unknown decrees of God; as for instance, a man never questions whether he shall eat or drink, because it may or may not be decreed that he shall eat or drink; a man never enquires whether he shall work or not on the ground that it is decreed how much he shall do or how little; as it is inconsistent with common sense to make the secret decrees of God a guide to us in our general conduct, so we feel it would be in reference to prayer, and therefore still we pray. But we have a better answer than all this. Our Lord Jesus Christ comes forward, and he says to us this morning, "My dear children, the decrees of God need not trouble you, there is nothing in them inconsistent with your prayers being heard. 'I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you.' " Now, who is he that says this? Why it is he that has been with the Father from the beginning—"the same was in the beginning with God" and he knows what the purposes of the Father are and what the heart of God is, for he has told us in another place, "the Father himself loveth you."

Now since he knows the decrees of the Father, and the heart of the Father, he can tell us with the absolute certainty of an eye-witness that there is nothing in the eternal purposes in conflict with this truth, that he that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth. He has read the decrees from the beginning to end: hath he not taken the book, and loosed the seven seals thereof, and declared the ordinances of heaven? He tells you there is nothing there inconsistent with your bended knee and streaming eye, and with the Father's opening the windows of heaven to shower upon you the blessings which you seek. Moreover, he is himself God: the purposes of heaven are his own purposes, and he who ordained the purpose here gives the assurance that there is nothing in it to prevent the efficacy of prayer. "I say unto you." O ye that believe in him, your doubts are scattered to the winds, ye know that he heareth your prayer."

-C.H. Spurgeon

God bless you! -Abraham

 2007/8/6 20:12


We pray because we should love God with all our heart soul mind and our strength.

We know that we have been predestined before the foundation of the world, yet we still live in the old Adam this flesh. Thus we have needs, we have fears, we have peril, we have tribulation and persecution. When we are in distress, predestination has very little comfort. The knowledge of predestination is like giving a piece of bread to someone who is dying of thirst.

Predestination is the knowledge that God has fore ordained everything under His sovereign Will. Nothing escapes Him. He knows all and knows who are His and who are not, "Such as should be saved".

The "Whosoever will" are not a bunch of willy nilly self willed individuals who choose to come to the Father, "for no man can come to the Father except thru me". The Spirit of Christ is still the one who convicts men of their sins and draws men unto Himself. "For no flesh shall glory in my presence". If you choose Christ then you have something to glory in, but thankfully we are saved by grace thru faith and it has nothing to do with us, but by His grace He saved us.

Even though we have been predestined, we are also to make our "calling and election sure" that we not fall short of the glory of God. For many have not the knowledge of God to proceed to the next level of faith. Calvinists make the mistake of stopping and not going forward into what they have been predestined for. There is a high calling of God in Christ Jesus, few there be that find it.

I would like to write more concerning the degrees of heaven concerning the honourable and the dishonourable, but I'll stop here.

 2007/8/6 22:47



Because we don't have a choice.

 2007/8/6 23:07

Joined: 2005/11/2
Posts: 3698


If God is in control, why do we not speak to Him and ask what we are to do and what He want from us? He has saved us, He is God. Why are we to pray? To know Him, To love Him, To praise Him, To thank Him for the death of His only son just to get me, to learn the things He has prepared for us that are beyond our own thoughts and desires.

To call Him Father. This is the spirit of prayer, not the letter.

In Christ: Phillip


 2007/8/6 23:56Profile

Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


Corey, that was classic.

I have no idea HOW my prayers are involved in the will of God, but it is obvious when I've prayed and when I haven't.

Thanks, Phillip, as well.

 2007/8/7 0:07Profile


Our Prayer is basically, "Thine Will Be Done". We can ask for this and that, to what end?
It says

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

Prayer for things that are outside His will we can clearly see that He does not hear us. For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

 2007/8/7 15:56

Joined: 2007/1/31
Posts: 985


I guess I saw this, No need to answer the other question


 2007/10/20 21:34Profile

Joined: 2005/7/5
Posts: 382
The Netherlands


Dear Compliments,

You are right about that, "thine will be done".

Prayer for things that are outside His will we can clearly see that He does not hear us. For whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

But a question according to the quoted text (and the bibleverse). Is the word 'hear' referring to God not listening at all or God not forfilling your prayer?

I do have a possible question for you, but first I want to make sure I understand you well. :-)
Can you explain a bit more about the relation of 'whatsoever is not of faith is sin' with 'prayer for things that are outside His will we can clearly see that He does not hear us.'?

God bless,

Jonathan Veldhuis

 2007/10/21 5:24Profile

Joined: 2005/10/28
Posts: 246
Logan City, Queensland, Australia


I serve as a leader within my church's Intercessory Prayer ministry, and I fully agree with what Spurgeon said. We pray not to coerce God to change his mind by way of constant nagging, but rather we cry out to him in submission to his good and perfect will.

I have to say that I honestly love the reactions of fellow Intercessors that I'm rostered with when they discover my stance on Calvinism:

"So Ben, you belive in TULIP don't you?"
"And that means you accept Irresistable grace too?"
"That's right."
"I'm not sure if I can accept that..."
"Perhaps not. But have you not prayed on behalf of an unbeliever that God will 'break down stronghold', 'take captive every thought' and rebuke deceptions that prevent his eyes from being open?"
"I have..."
"So you're saying that you have personally prayed that God will overwrite the will of fallen man to make way for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in regeneration?"
"So you believe in it too. You just choose to call it something else."

Benjamin Valentine

 2007/10/21 6:12Profile

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