Hope-filled Prayer Warriors.
Today, we’re going to discuss the subject of fatalism. Theological Professor Peter Wagner recalls how he learned in seminary the most important function of prayer is to change and mold people. The explanation for this was: “God never changes. He is sovereign and He’ll do whatever He intends to do, whether I pray or not.”
I personally find that mindset about the nature of God to be quite discouraging, as did Wagner. Upon further study, Wagner later learned that this is an extreme, unbalanced form of Calvinism, taught by the French reformer John Calvin. It is an interpretation of scripture to which Wagner nor I subscribe.
Wagner has since written several books on the subject of prayer. Wagner quotes a Calvinist friend, Alvin Vandergriend of Harvest Prayer Ministries, who shares a more balanced perspective on prayer. Vandergriend says, “God wants to be asked not because He is powerless but because of the way He has chosen to exercise His will. We are not pawns on a cold, hard, mechanistic view of God’s sovereignty and predestination. Such a viewpoint assumes that God discounts our prayer and simply moves in accord with a predetermined course of action.”
I do not believe this is how we should view of God. This kind of thinking resembles a fatalistic Muslim-like view of sovereignty that the Bible repudiates. God, of course, can do whatever He wants, but He doesn’t want to do it without us. Understanding the nature of God—that He wants us to cooperate with Him, to pray, to trust Him, and He loves to meet the hopes of our heart and prayer—ought to give us great hope because serve a loving, good Father who is listening.