You may say, “If I pray believing the lost will be saved, am I not undermining the doctrine of God’s sovereign election? But what has that to do with you? Are you the Lord’s keeper? The mystery of predestination God is revealed in Scripture for the praise of his glorious grace not our decision making. We are called to pray, and we pray believing that God will save the lost, perhaps through us. This was Paul’s heart’s desire and prayer, and it should be ours too.
Yet how often are we prone to look at, or even obsess on, the evidence of the Fall in our daily lives rather than the redeeming work of God in our midst? How quickly we complain, embrace anxiety, even encourage conflict, as if we are glorifying God by saturating our hearts and minds with the trite, trivial, and temporal. Now before you begin to think that I am adding shame to your guilt for not giving thanks in all circumstances, let me offer this helpful observation: I think we are not consistent in our thanksgiving to God because we do not look to the gospel to empower our praise. Praise is not an obligation accomplished but a response enjoyed.
Indeed, salvation belongs to the Lord, for our Lord said, “just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matt. 12:40). Yet, unlike Jonah, the Lord Jesus regarded the Scriptures as the very breath of God, down to the iota and dot.
Are we really supposed to pray about everything? Don’t divorce this word from the context. Contextually, “everything” means: If it is a matter that tempts you to worry, that makes you anxious, then it must be a matter of prayer. Pray about these things.
We abide in Christ through faith. We abide in Christ with prayer. And through faith with prayer we evidence our purpose, bearing the fruit of the kingdom of God for his glory.
No longer spiritually blind and lame, we have been given eyes to see our Savior and to walk in newness of life. We have been healed to worship him, not indignant like those who have no hope, but celebrating the goodness of God’s mercy and grace. Out of the mouth of babes, like you and me, we sing praises to our Lord Jesus Christ, who delights in the praise of God’s children.
In other words, the need of all people, is met in compassion for all people (namely the gospel of Jesus Christ), that God may receive praise from all people. The gospel is an invitation to come and praise the Lord forever. Let all the people sing!
And fasting prepares our hungry souls for the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. So, there is a feasting and a fasting of redemption which we find in fellowshipping in His Spirit, a fellowship known only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.