The Sovereignty of God and Prayer in the Local Church

At the MCC, November-January is our Prayer Season. Our Sunday School gatherings, small groups, and sermon application aim to equip you to pray. During our adult Sunday school class Pastor Adam Anderson taught about the doctrinal foundations of prayer. He walked us through our church doctrinal statement and then helped us to see how we should respond to God’s revelation. One of the most inspiring lessons dealt with the doctrine of election.

Election is God’s choosing of some for salvation despite their sin and the fact that all people deserve His wrath for eternity. In John 6:37-40 Jesus teaches about election in the midst of explaining the feeding miracle. He proclaims that He is the bread of life and that all who come to Him for life are the ones the Father gave to Him, the elect. It follows that the elect feed upon Jesus. This is consistent with Jesus’ subsequent statement to the Jewish leaders that they do not believe because they are not of His sheep.

Paul’s first sermon in his first missionary journey expresses a similar paradigm (Acts 13:46-57), but in light of the progress of salvation history in the calling of the Gentiles. Paul—in a moment of great drama—states that among the Gentiles God has called some to believe in Christ. Paul’s argument concerning election in Romans 9-11 expresses a similar view: the remnant of the Jews and the elect of the Gentiles together conformed to the image of Christ fulfill the purpose of God in election. Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 1 and 3 express the same logic.

While some would suggest that knowledge of God’s sovereignty in salvation leads to lazy spirituality among the saved (“if God is absolutely sovereign, the great Evangelist, we need not worry about the nations”), the opposite is in fact the case. The doctrine of election is one of the most compelling forces for Christian prayer. Election expresses God’s love and grace to sinners, motivating the forgiven to pray that God would draw more people to Himself—that they too would know His love and goodness and glory. This Saturday (Feb 22, 2014) the MCC leaders are gathering to pray to the God who is sovereign, because He is sovereign and because we want our church and the world to know Him more. We will pray in different locations; we will stand and sit and kneel; eat and fellowship; and pray. I have placed the schedule below:

12:30 Lunch

1:15 Meditation on John 14-16

1:45 Prayer for MCC Family

2:45 Coffee/Drinks

3:00 Prayer for Discipleship Ministry Emphasis

3:45 Prayer for Outreach Ministry Emphasis, including Missions

4:30 Musical Worship

4:45 Prayer for Fellowship Ministry Emphasis

5:30 Prayer for Prayer Ministry Emphasis

6:00 Leave for dinner

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