WHY DOES GOD ASK US TO PRAY?
Updated: Apr 4
And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Gen.1:26,28)
He especially mentioned the birds in the air, the fish in the sea, the cattle on the earth, and every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. Man was not only created in the image of God and according to His likeness to express God, but also for the purpose of representing God with His dominion. God gave man dominion to rule over all these negative things, all the creeping creatures, which signify Satan and his powers.
God’s intention in giving man dominion is that man would subdue God’s enemy, Satan, who rebelled against God. God has an enemy in the universe – Satan – who rebelled against Him, and this one also instigated many of the angels to follow him; furthermore, Satan has deceived man to also rebel against God. A negative aspect of God’s eternal purpose in creating man is that He wants man to have His dominion to defeat and subdue God’s enemy.
1. God Gave Man Dominion
John 5:26,27 is a key that unlocked the mystery and answered my perplexing questions about prayer. Jesus said, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man”. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be the “Son of Man”? in order to have authority on earth? the answer is found in Genesis 1:26. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”.
The whole earth was given over to man’s rule or dominion. Man was made for that purpose God made him the head or chief authority over the earth.
2. Man, Lost Dominion to Satan
We know from Gen. 3 that Satan came into the Garden of Eden and through deceiving Eve, gained access to Adam. “1Tim. 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression”. Adam chose to eat of the forbidden fruit and “Wherefore, as by one-man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one” (Romans 5:12,14,17.) Thus, Adam and Eve lost the right to rule a right God had given. Satan took over that authority and power and held it fast.
a. Satan ruled through Dominion of Death
Adam had everlasting life as long as he obeyed God. That added further authority to his empirical rule, since it would go on forever. He ruled through the dominion on the power of an endless life. In contrast when Adam sinned and caused death to pass upon all men Satan ruled by becoming the channel for the dominion of death. The devil used this dominion to intimidate and dominate mankind forcing compliance with his will. Man, by his sin gave up his head-ship when man sinned the image and likeness of God was ruined and his relationship with God was broken.
b. Tempting Jesus Proved Satan’s Dominion
The devil tempted Jesus by offering Him dominion to rule and reign over the earth without going to the cross. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9). At this time, Satan had the earthly kingdoms and their glory to offer to Jesus. The devil promised. Probably one of the mountains in the wilderness, and from that eminence, partly by the advantage of the place, from which he might behold many magnificent buildings, rich fields, pleasant meadows, hills covered with wood and cattle, rivers rolling through the fertile valleys, and washing the cities as they passed along; and partly by an artful visionary representation, showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.
Whatsoever was gay, splendid, or glorious, either in respect of the honours, riches, or pleasures of the world; their great and opulent cities, sumptuous edifices, costly attire, equipage, pomp, and splendour; displaying to his view one of the finest prospects that the most pleasurable and triumphant scenes could furnish out; and all this, not one after another, but in a moment of time, that so they might amaze and affect him the more with their splendour, and on a sudden prevail upon him, which otherwise they would not have been so likely to do. And saith unto him. With the most egregious impudence, falsehood, and pride; All these things will I give thee, all this glory and power, and all these possessions, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
The devil now showed clearly who he was, and therefore Christ, in answering this suggestion, calls him by his proper name, Satan, which, though he undoubtedly knew him, he had not done before. We may learn from hence not to conclude we are utterly abandoned of God when we are assaulted with horrible temptations; Christ himself, we see, was tempted even to worship the devil: but in such cases let us, like Jesus, resolutely repel the temptation, rather than parley with it. As an obedient Son of Man, Jesus had to totally rely upon the higher and greater authority of God’s Word and God’s Spirit to overcome the temptation. These are the same resource available to you and me. Jesus thereby overcome the temptation and becoming into this world as the Son of MAN.
c. God Honour or Dominion
The above explanations why prayer is necessary. God honors the dominion which He has given to redeemed men. He waits for us to come to Him in prayer before He will enter the earthly arena. He respects the dominion He delegated to us. That is why He doesn’t work or intervene until we ask Him to. In effect, God will not work in our earth without someone who will work with Him those who through prayer will discover His will and take the action necessary to implement it on earth.