Partners with God
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Since I am the Creator of all that is, and you are made in My image, you have a wealth of creative power within you. Strive to look at your circumstances with a fresh perspective: eager to collaborate with Me as I create newness within you—and through you. Though I am Lord of the universe, I desire to work in partnership with you. As you say yes to this sacred adventure, you become more fully the one I designed you to be.1—Jesus
Prayer is like a great joint venture between the Creator and his creatures. In prayer, we join forces with the God of the universe to accomplish his will around us. He asks us to do the asking, and then he responds by answering. …
If all of this is true, then ... powerful prayers are a partnership! … God is transcendent, self-sufficient, and omnipotent—with no dependence on us for anything. But he invites us into partnership with himself. It’s a privilege on our part to work in tandem with God to accomplish his will on earth in a partnership formed on the basis of his grace.
We who are sinful and weak are afforded the privilege of direct and constant communication with the Father so that we might come to understand his will, to know him more intimately, and therefore ask for the things that he delights to do on our behalf.
Powerful prayers move God to answer. Yes, prayer is a conversation. … But prayer is also more than a conversation. It has real power. And it has real power because God chooses to act in response to our asking.
It’s not that prayer is a secret formula or magic spell. It’s that there is a real and living God who responds to our asking. He shows up. And when he shows up, supernatural things happen. Heavenly things happen on earth when we pray according to God’s will, because God has simply chosen to work out his will in this way. …
I shudder when I hear someone say something like, “Some of you can give, others can go; and if you can’t do either, at least you can pray.” At least you can pray? No. At most you can pray!
Prayer is a ministry—like feeding the poor, preaching the gospel, and counseling the broken. Prayer is an active process of joining the plans of God in the power of God to accomplish the will of God. …
Here’s the big question: Do you want to be part of the greatest joint venture in all of creation, accomplishing heavenly things on earth in tandem with the Creator of the universe?
Then the plan is simple. Pray. Ask. Storm the throne room of Heaven with your requests in hand.
Join the great joint venture and partner with the God who has promised to listen and respond!—Brandon Cox2
God wants—and deserves—to be an active partner in our lives, and the more we partner with Him, the more we benefit from that partnership.
A key component in this partnership is being available to Him and for Him. To Him in the sense of being sensitive to when He wants to communicate with us, and being available to listen to what He has to say. For Him in the sense that we open ourselves to being agents of His purpose in the lives of others, acting as a means for Him to communicate with others who aren’t yet in relationship with Him.
Our spiritual and practical availability is our declaration to the Lord that He is a full partner in our lives, that we want His involvement in all we do.—Peter Amsterdam
During the US Civil War, Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was not a churchgoer but was a man of deep, if at times unorthodox, faith. At one point one of the ministers said, “Mr. President, let us pray that God is on our side.” Lincoln’s response showed far greater insight, “No, gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God’s side.”
Lincoln reminded those ministers that religion is not a tool by which we get God to do what we want but an invitation to open ourselves to being and doing what God wants.—From storiesforpreaching.com3
We are co-workers with God. This applies to every area of life, including prayer. This answers a question that naturally comes to mind when we reflect on Jesus’ statements in Matthew 6. He said we don’t need to pray on and on with vain repetitions like the pagans, because our Father knows what we need before we ask.4
The question is, then, why pray? The answer is simple and comforting. God has graciously chosen to give us the privilege of being His partners in both the physical and spiritual areas of life. Through prayer we work with Him in defeating the powers of evil and in bringing about the fulfillment of His loving purposes in the world. Partners with God—what a privilege! What an incentive to pray!—Herbert Vander Lugt5
Although God knows our every need,
His work He wants to share;
He takes us into partnership
By calling us to prayer.
—D. De Haan
Published on Anchor May 2019. Read by Jerry Paladino. Music by John Listen.
1 Sarah Young, Jesus Lives (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009).
3 http://storiesforpreaching.com/category/sermonillustrations/gods-sovereignty. Source: This is a widely distributed anecdote found on the internet, including citation in serious studies. I have been unable to confirm its historicity.
4 Matthew 6:7–8.