I've always believed in the sovereignty of God. I've also always believed that prayer is important, so that God can show Himself strong on our behalf and so that our faith can be strengthened. But I've always prayed with a mindset that as God is sovereign, He's going to do whatever it is that He has planned, so it's better to pray for grace to handle the situation than for the situation to change. Of course I believe that God CAN do anything, the question is whether or not He WILL.
I keep hearing about prayer from different places recently. A friend was excited about a series her church is doing on prayer and shared it with me over a cup of coffee, I picked up a book for single girls and the first chapter was all about prayer, (I didn't get past the first chapter yet) the friend's brother reminded me by mentioning the series that they're going through, we talked about it in church yesterday, and I read an interesting bit in Isaiah this morning.
Isaiah was sent to the ailing king, Hezekiah, with a special message from the Lord. Basically, "Get your affairs in order, because you're going to die."
Apparently Hezekiah didn't like that bit of information, because he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, reminding God how he had walked faithfully before Him with wholehearted devotion and had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord. And then he wept.
This is the part that got me. God changed His mind. He sent Isaiah back to the king to let him know. "This is what the Lord says. I have heard your prayer, and will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the Assyrian king. I will defend this city."
I believe that God was honored when Hezekiah asked for a prolonged life. Not only did He grant fifteen more years, but those were fifteen years of God's deliverance and protection.
"So I say unto you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
I think I'm going to have to change my view on prayer.