R.C. Sproul | – If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?: Prayer with R.C. Sproul

As Christians, we are given the privilege and responsibility of communicating with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Yet many Christians neglect prayer. In this series, Dr. R.C. Sproul demonstrates that intimate communication with God is at the heart of our relationship to Him. Through Christ, we are accepted by God and enabled to call upon Him as our Lord and Father.

This message is from R.C. Sproul’s 6-part teaching series Prayer. Learn more: [support us]

About The Author

Ligonier Ministries Ligonier Ministries is an international Christian discipleship organization founded by theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul in 1971 to equip Christians to articulate what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it. Proclaiming God’s holiness is central to Ligonier’s purpose. Ligonier produces Renewing Your Mind radio broadcasts, the Reformation Study Bible, Tabletalk magazine, books through the Reformation Trust Publishing division, and various teaching series. It also offers academic degrees through Reformation Bible College. In addition, Ligonier hosts national and regional conferences, offers an online learning community through Ligonier Connect, streams twenty-four-hour Christian internet radio through RefNet, and makes available thousands of unique discipleship resources online at Ligonier.org. Ligonier Ministries

Comment (47)

  1. Please do not miss this.
    WHY DO I NEED JESUS CHRIST IN MY LIFE ? Man needs to consider the answers to life's important questions. We ask ourselves who we are, where we came from, where are we going, AND WHY ARE WE HERE ? There is no greater place to seek the answers to these profound questions than the Bible, a book provided by God to help us in our endeavor to seek truth for our lives here and for all eternity.

    WE ARE HERE TAKING A TEST. ARE YOU PASSING ? We are here taking a test given free will to make choices and decisions. You are in the middle of a spiritual warfare between God / Jesus and Satan and his evil agencies. Both have access to you. The condition of your heart as described in the parable of the sower in Luke 8th chapter will determine who you want to identify with and therefore determine your eternal destiny.

    LIGHT OR DARKNESS, WHERE DO YOU LIVE ? Many people live in darkness. separated or disconnected from their Heavenly Father by their sins causing them to be at war with Him. Man is a sinner filled with much of the same character defects which got Satan and a third of the angels thrown out of Heaven. They are here on planet earth continuing their disobedience and rebellion til Jesus returns.

    There are two spiritual kingdoms around us at this moment in time. There is the spiritual kingdom of light where Christ rules and the spiritual kingdom of darkness where Satan rules. All of us exist in one of these Kingdoms. Matt. 7: 13-14, The pathway to Heaven is narrow and few find it but the pathway to Hell is a broad road where many dwell and travel. In simple terms, few dwell in the Kingdom of Light but many in the kingdom of darkness. Satan and the fallen angels have been given a certain amount of freedom and access to us as they are the negative part of the test we are all here taking with the " free will " God gave us.

    Both Christ and Satan have superior power to any human being. Satan is a liar, deceiver, tempter, robber, destroyer, and killer of men's souls. He is the god of this world, and is capable of blinding people so they cannot see Jesus Christ. II Cor 4: 3-5. Since so many people live in that Spiritual Kingdom of Darkness they only have access to the knowledge and understanding that this Kingdom provides. They may consider the substance and theology of the Kingdom of light to be foolishness.

    I Corinthians @ " Now the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged." And how are they going to visualize or comprehend the Holy Spirit who indwells every genuine believer and follower of Jesus and His teachings. Acts @, We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Jesus said, John 14: 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. ( Holy Spirit ) The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. Most people live separated from God / Jesus by their sins causing a void or emptiness in their life. They live disconnected. I John @ Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

    Dear friends, Your sins and mine put Jesus, who had no sin and was that innocent lamb slaughtered on the cross so that you and I may have opportunity for forgiveness of our sins and hope of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. The only escape any of us have from the power of Satan and the power of sin is to surrender our life to Jesus Christ.

    On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 there were 3,000 people wanting to know what to do to be saved. Peter told them to repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 3,000 did this, ( immersed in water ), and Jesus added them to His Church, which is God's Kingdom here on earth also known as the Kingdom of light. Colossians @-14. The HOLY SPIRIT is given to those who obey God, Acts @, to be the enabler and helper in a Christian's life connecting' them to the Heavenly Father with Jesus as Lord, Savior, Mediator, Rescuer, and High Priest.

    Any humble penitent heart can get God / Jesus's attention to be saved.

  2. Ah, he knows what you need before you ask.

    Very, very true.
    But since Calvinism teaches that no one has a thought, plans how to do what was thought, or moves to complete the plan, unless God put it in the devil or man so to do.

    God says that you have not

    But in Calvinism, WHY do you ask not?
    Because God, knowing what you need before you ask, ordained before Creation began, that you shall not ask.
    his supposed ordaining is causal, the ordaining makes is so that you cannot, ask.

    In that case, you have not, because you are restrained from asking.

    Calvinism loves to pretend that it is holy and good to assign ALL THINGS to God
    So you can write two columns down. in each column, you can write preordained, created and fulfilled, in that order.
    If the thing ordained is 'good', then God gets all the glory (for he shares his glory with none)!
    But if the thing ordained is bad, then God is not going to share blame at all, that is all for you, even though the one and only reason is that he ordained ALL things, including all participant's thoughts and deeds to make it happen.

    God ordains the 'ends' and well as the means, means nothing. Ordaining the ends is all in all.

    i am both so greatful for God leading me out of Calvinism, AND that I study Calvinism more now than then.

  3. Because of Free Will, that's why. God has an expectation, as rabbitcreative said. Free will means we can do as we're told by our Creator or not. My confession is that I don't pray NEARLY enough, and I suspect many people feel the same way about themselves if being honest about it.

  4. The problem with this presentation is that he assumes that everybody believes the same thing about God's sovereignty. Of course, God can change His mind. We see it in scripture (i.e. Moses).

  5. I found it impossible to Forgive and I was suffering greatly. Finally I remembered to ask God to deliver me from evil..And Now I can Forgive and I will get well again. We pray..For Us..for God To Help us Do the things we cannot do on our own.

  6. If God is soveghn, why pray? Because "you are not"sovereign and that's why you need God's sulvation, guidence and will. Because you don't know what using God's plan in relationship to your plans, wishes and vision. You need God to accept your plans, wishes and vision as a "free willing dicision and choice making agent".

  7. WHY meed to shock. If God prayers. Katotohanan lamang God is not Evil never happen become evil. Talks or players is natural na kausapin ng God ang kalikasan na pilit binago ng tao dahil sa kasaman ng humans sa mga God mans fathers and sons holy souls bodys minds emotions. Kaya all changes. Kaylanman hnd marunong mag imaginations ang God dahil all is only for the truth. Forever truth that transform to the liars Gpd mans fathers and sons. But no one can success bcos truth is forever like my mother and father in heaven and in this earth. Forever all only for the truth. And all liars and imaginations use the back magic voodoo rituals spells words sumpah darkness all this is never happen success bcos lahat ay panandalian lamang. Paano massabing May maggandang kinabukasan ang partnership sheep na meron ngayon na ibinigay sa kanila kung ang puhunan ng partnership sheep nila ay purong pang loloko pang lilinlang perfects sa KASINUNGALINGAN at pag nanakaw. Alam nila ang lahat ng salita ko ay totoong lahat. Sila ang mga dahilan ng disasters at troubles phenomenon earthquake tsunami floods abnormal na kalikasan at ang virus. Dahil ganyan kadumi ang mga partnership sheep na ibinigay sa dalawang ama pati sa anak ng God. Kaylanman CHURCH NEVER HAPPEN TO DIE OR LOST. BCOS FOREVER IS IN. HEAVEN HAND. ONLY GIVE FOR FATHERS AND SONS TO THIS WORD EARTH. ALL HOLY ISPIRITS IS IN YOU. ALWAYS FOREVER. ONLY IN TRUTH. ONLY TRUTH FOREVER HOLDS FATHERS AND SONS. GOD ALMIGHTY MOST HAIGHT QUEEN MOTHER THE ONLY SUN IN HEAVEN. TRUTH LIGHTS GIVES FOR ALL.

  8. Great Amen! Mannas from heaven really can't be distorted, but struck and fill the hunger and thirst those forever seeks His knowledge and wisdom. The same goes with His anointed who shares the exact two edged swords of mannas being delivered. Thanks Almighty for sharing us Your appointed. To God be the glory!

  9. The gospel is the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM!

    Repent and believe the gospel! Follow Jesus’ teachings!

    Jesus is going to return and set up the kingdom of God ON THE EARTH! God’s government ON THE EARTH! The Messiah will resurrect his people! The destiny of the Messiah and his people is to be ON THE EARTH! The renewed restored earth! God also dwelling with them! Rev 21

    Jesus said the Father is the only true God!

    John 17
    3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

    Monos theos
    The Father

    Jesus is the one sent by the true God (the Father)!

    Jesus never claimed to be God, Jesus said he has a God!
    Jesus has a God!

    Jesus died!
    God can’t die!
    God raised Jesus from the dead!

  10. God did not work out a plan , He did create a very good system known as the universal force's for signs, seasons and years as a calander to guide you in the time you are in to recouldnise his ways.

    He formed the earth in such a way that mankind can not overthrow it's balance as natural desasters claims back what is taken in such a exstend , balance must be returned.

    He gave you a life to maintain in a very good ballance of a plural form . You do not need religion to understand it , just look at nature itself.
    Example : You need a male and female to reproduce life to continue. Male on male never worked. Nature never excepted such stupidity.

    Now if you wanna know who God loves , is the ones who are not stupid enough to act against nature. Because thy are willingly and knowingly ignorant of what is true.
    If one of his children returns , he shall treat him with tears of joy. He wants you not to worship Him , he wants you to recouldnise Him in everything you do and accomplished.

    He wants you to share that as a witness in Spirit water and blood, just like Jesus did.

    Anyone can do good ore be helpfull , but it's tuff to be fruitfull not honoring yourself when you need it the most. Now that is were your faith in God is tested. Do you not know what God will give you in return ?
    Blessed are thy that are weak and humble , for the kingdom of God is theirs

  11. That is not the real teaching sir. It is said in the bible, that is is love that pleases me not sacifices and the knowledge of God I prefer to holaucosts. The mind is a gift of the Spirit and your telling your flock not to think! You should know and tell your flocks that Jesus-Christ will take revenge on those who do not know God. Lucifer would say the same thing to your assembly.

  12. yes some prayers where not answered but how where they not answered did they not receive a word from heaven no they did receive a word from heaven R.C . sproul you are wrong about that. and yes we are to believe that the church wasnt praying for James. Does he will it or not will not yes he wills it

  13. God is sovereign and that is why we pray. The act of praying is in itself an acknowledgement that we are not sovereign but that God alone is sovereign. He is sovereign over all things and that we are all utterly dependent on Him for all things.

    We don't pray in order to change God's will but rather to acknowledge how we all need His will to be done in every aspect of our lives. For apart from Him, we can do nothing… for in Him we live and move and have our being.

    Whether one likes it or not, even the most hardened atheist depends on God for his very next heartbeat. But the atheist will not acknowledge this. How blessed and privileged God's children are for having eyes and hearts now opened to acknowledge God's sovereign Lordship over all things.

    Thank you LORD Jesus for paying the price so that sinners now declared saints, can forever draw near with confidence to the throne of grace. Holy Spirit, please continue to teach us how to pray so that in every aspect of our lives, God and God alone is glorified. Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for this great privilege of acknowledging the triune God's sovereign lordship over all things.

    Thank you Lord God for blessing us with resources, such as these from Ligonier Ministries. May you continue to use Ligonier to teach us how we can live abundant lives that point to the Lordship of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Soli Deo Gloria.

  14. Ofcorse God can change his mind because of prayer! He did it for Hezekiah "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life." (2 Kings 20:5-6, NIV), Abraham (concerning the destruction of Sodom) and David when he took the census after God told him not to! You're absolutely wrong.

  15. “I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked(T) people. 10 Now leave me alone(U) so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy(V) them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”(W)

    11 But Moses sought the favor(X) of the Lord his God. “Lord,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?(Y) 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’?(Z) Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster(AA) on your people. 13 Remember(AB) your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self:(AC) ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars(AD) in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land(AE) I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the Lord relented(AF) and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened

    Exodus 32:9-14

  16. If only those he predetermines who are saved, then it follows that God created the non-elect to sin and go to hell. That might sound crazy, and it is crazy. Scripture offers a counter to this by stating that God does not cause us to sin, hyper sovereignty does not seem to fit with scripture.

  17. God does change His mind for our prayer. Example is He heard Moses plea not to destroy the rebellious Israelites. He hear the prayers of Israel kings and fought for them despite their sins. He heard King Hekeziehs prayer and granted him 15 years more instead of killing him. He heard Joshua's prayer and stilled the sun for half a day. He heard Hagar's prayer in the desert after she was kicked out by Sarah and blessed Ishmael . Why ? Why does God the Sovereign hear the prayers of His people and change His Mind? That's called Grace.this is what the gospel is all about. You and I are so condemned in our sins yet when we pray and repent before Him in Jesus Name , He will hear us, change His mind and save us. But if we refuse to repent, beware God won't change His mind about punishment for sinners. In hell.

  18. I Samuel 8. Israel demanded a king and God warned them and still gave them a king. God does not need to determine everything to be Sovereign. Determinism puts God in a man-box. In the beginning, God put two trees in the garden for man to make a choice. Calvinists are not the authority on what the Sovereignty of God is and is not.