The Simplicity of Prayer – Convergence of Men and God’s Answer
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
The preeminence of pray is in Jesus’ witness to the importance of praying. In Luke 18, Jesus gives one of the most riveting examples of perseverance in prayer leaving no question of His support of the preeminence of prayer to face a hostile world in which God’s people need to have patient endurance.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (KJV)
This passage teaches us that we are disciples tasked with waiting for deliverance. We are not good at this.
Why does God “bear long” making us wait? Does he watch us suffer with satisfaction? Are we only mice in a maze for his Divine Sovereignty?
The most obvious explanation is that God is not ready to move “the cloud.” He is preparing circumstances in order to answer our prayers. As creator, God placed man in a world of time, space, and matter. This creative necessity brought Self-imposed limitations on God’s actions. This does not make him any less sovereign, omnipotent, or omniscient. God may and can overrule these Self-imposed limitations, we call these events miracles. But in most recorded events in the Bible, He does not overrule with miracles.
God willingly acts according to man’s world of limitations. Because of this, God appears to move slowly when executing actions, because convergence of men and events must occur for Him to accomplish His will. He moves men to the convergence of His will according to their environment of time, space, and matter.
An example of God overruling and suspending Self-imposed limitations is the miracle of tongues on the Day of Pentecost. The disciples did not have time to learn the languages needed at Pentecost. Therefore, God miraculously gave tongues so the message would be available at that crucial point of convergence of nations, events, and men. God’s plan for the Gospel will never be thwarted by man’s inability and limitations.
The greatest example of God converging His will according man’s limitations was the birth of His Son. Galatians calls this the fullness of time.
4 But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
All the world had to be prepared through the earthly nation of Israel. It was Israel with all of its history, ceremony, and laws that would give the platform from which Christ would save the world. Each event of Christ’s birth and life had to be according to the prophecies of the Old Testament
The Roman Empire had to be on earth to provide for the crucifixion and unity to spread the message. They unified a disjointed world. They provided the law to put Christ to death. They built the Roman roads over which the great disciples of the gospel traveled. They provided the catalyst for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem.
Mary had to be born and become of age so she could be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit – God overruling limitations – and be the vessel for the body of Christ.
The birth of Christ is one of the greatest convergences of all the plans of God. This was done so the message of Christ could be heard, propagated, and understood by all men.
God does everything in His own timing. Titus 1:2
Titus 1:3 (KJV 1900)
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
Nothing can thwart his will, and no one can say to him, “What doest Thou”?