Implicit within prayer is the acknowledgment that God is in control of our lives. If it were not the case that God is in control, it wouldn’t make sense to pray to Him.
In this article I will give a few examples of how Christians trust in God’s omnipotence and omnipresence when they pray. I will explain why such beliefs, while demonstrating the believer’s trust in God’s power, simultaneously create problems for the Christian worldview.
God is in control of our relationships.
For instance, Christians pray to meet a future spouse, or pray for God to grow and bless their friendships, or their marriage.
God is in control of our circumstances.
Christians would naturally pray for God to bless them with a new job. They might pray that God would bless their friends or relatives with a safe journey, indicating God is in control of all circumstances related to transport. Christians often pray for God to plant them in a great church, or to help them pass an exam.
God is in control of the weather.
Christians pray for rain for our crops, or for severe weather to be calmed, or for a bright and sunny wedding day.
God is in control of our bodies.
Christians pray to be healed of sicknesses and diseases.
God is in control of society.
Christians pray for God to raise up good leaders in our political parties, and for Him to protect and bless our countries. Also, Christians regularly pray for God to bless those who are living in poverty, or for those who are being persecuted.
God is in control of evil.
Christians pray for God to deliver them from evil (for instance, by reciting the Lord’s Prayer), and to protect them from the schemes of the devil, or from the wickedness of their enemies.
My argument is that on some level, Christians know that God is in control of everything that happens, and this is reflected in the way they pray to God. But if God is in control of everything that happens, this necessarily implies there is no free will. Therefore central Christian doctrines such as sin, judgment, salvation, and the fall of man, don’t make sense. To read an expansion of this argument I invite you to read my essay entitled An Almighty Predicament which is available here.
Do you believe there are things that are outside of God’s control? With reference to the argument made above, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.