Question for Calvinists

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Do you pray?

    If God is sovereign and has chosen the elect to salvation from the foundations of the earth, then why do we pray for the salvation of others? I know that we share the Word of God with others and witness because there is a command from the Scripture for us to do it. Is there a similar command in Scripture for us to pray for the salvation of others?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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  3. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    JohnP? Calvibaptist? Anyone?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. NateT

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    I pray. I believe we're commanded by Jesus example to pray. I also believe that God has instituted prayer as one of the ways in which He brings about what He has chosen to do.

    Grant me the liberty to rephrase the salvation question, though. Couldn't it be "To those who believe that God has exahaustive foreknowledge (as opposed to a more open-theistic view), do you pray for the salvation of souls?"

    After all, if you hold that God knows everything past, present and future, then wouldn't He already know who will "choose" to be saved and who, by your prayers will "choose"?
     
  5. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    Nate,

    You believe Jesus has commanded us to pray for the salvation of the lost. Where in the Bible do you see this?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  6. NateT

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    Joseph, perhaps I misread the original post. Thinking the question in gerenal was "why do you pray." Perhaps next time I'll be more observant.

    I'm not sure I can think of a specific verse (like the great commission) that tells us to pray for those who are lost, that they might be saved. Granted, we're told to pray for our enemies. And that we are to love them, so I would think that praying for salvation for them would be a natural outflow of that prayer. But it doesn't specifically say "Pray that your enemeies might be saved."
     
  7. webdog

    webdog
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    Sounds awfully like Word Faith theology.
     
  8. OldRegular

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    Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
     
  9. Grasshopper

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    Does praying for someone increase the chances they will be saved? Does God intervene in the lost man's heart when Christians pray for the lost? If so doesn't that thwart the lost mans free-will? If it is man's free will to not choose God, why do the non-calvinists pray for that man? So God will violate that mans free will?


    You raise a great question, but it works both ways in my view. These are the questions I still struggle with.
     
  10. npetreley

    npetreley
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    Here's a similar question for anyone who reads the Bible, Calvinist or otherwise: Do you pray? Why?

    And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him

    I believe in election. I pray for at least three reasons, if not more.

    1. We're told to.

    2. It keeps the lines of communication open.

    3. It keeps me aware of my relationship to God - that I need Him and can't do anything without Him.
     
  11. Ransom

    Ransom
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    Do you pray?

    Of course.

    Everyone who prays for someone's salvation is, at that moment, an operational Calvinist. He is acknowledging that salvation is God's prerogative, not man's.
     
  12. Calvibaptist

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    Honestly, the issue of prayer is a quandry for everyone. That is why I asked the very question in my thread to Arminians.

    To Calvinists, the problem is what effect do our prayers really have on God's eternal plan.

    To Arminians, the problem is what can God really do if He has already determined not to override our free will.

    I pray because God commands me to pray. I pray because I believe God uses my prayers, as well as my proclamation of the gospel (the means), to achieve His ends.
     
  13. Calvibaptist

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    BTW, did you ever read the Lord's Prayer? Every request in their is something that God has already said He would do. So, why are we told to pray for something that is already certain?

    There are two answers that I can see. One is that prayer is a farce and is just a tool used by God to change us. The other is that God has chosen to use our prayers to accomplish His will.
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

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    Then why pray about anything at all? I believe, on the other hand, that God can and does change His mind (not His nature). If you argue that that's not consistent with your view of God I would argue that you are trying to put Him in your own little box. If God is truely sovereign He can do as He chooses.
     
  15. OldRegular

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    It is not unreasonable to question, if God is sovereign why pray at all?

    We see in the testimony of the Apostle Paul an example of a prayer, offered in faith, for a temporal need that was not granted.

    2 Corinthians 12:8,9, NKJV
    8. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
    9. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


    Commenting on this passage W. Bingham Hunter [The God Who Hears] writes:

    “Paul’s experience highlights the simple but profound truth that prayer is not the means by which we get what we want, rather it is a means that God uses to give us what he wants.”

    I believe that Hunter is correct in his explanation of the purpose of prayer. Prayer brings our wills in tune with God's will for us. We see this in Paul's experience. After praying for relief three different times, Paul understood that the grace of God was magnified in Paul's weakness, whatever it was.
     
  16. Calvibaptist

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    Then why pray about anything at all? I believe, on the other hand, that God can and does change His mind (not His nature). If you argue that that's not consistent with your view of God I would argue that you are trying to put Him in your own little box. If God is truely sovereign He can do as He chooses. </font>[/QUOTE]Then I would assume you don't know this verse?

    Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
     
  17. Tom Butler

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    I posted this in another thread several weeks ago, but I think it fits here. C.H. Spurgeon said something similar to this, but in a far more serious way. I have found that some folks don't find any humor in

    The Arminian Prayer

    God, I thank you that You provided salvation for every person and that everyone has the equal opportunity to that salvation. And I thank You for my salvation. Actually, I thank me some for my salvation because You gave us all the freedom to choose. Yes, God, every man You gave the freedom to choose or reject You. I chose You and I'm sure You're happy that I did.

    After You provided salvation for everybody it is good that somebody responds to it. I responded to it and I thank You. Well, really, it was my choice so I don't thank You for my response. I'm sure You're grateful to me that I responded. If I and some others had not chosen to respond You would not have any children and that would be too bad. So I know that You're delighted with those of us that had the good sense to do what is right, to love You and choose You.

    Everybody could have chosen You, but I'm the one who did. It is just too bad that those other people were not as clever as I am. God, I'm sure You're disappointed in them. But don't take it too hard. You still have us that had the brains to appropriate Your salvation. God, I'm obliged for Your part in my salvation. And though You have never said so, I'm sure You are appreciative to me for my part as well. There is no doubt that when I get to heaven You will let me know how grateful You are. We've worked this out together for our mutual benefit. I thank You and You thank me. How nice.

    We are a real team.

    And God, I especially thank You that I am not like those self-righteous Calvinist. Well, actually, You didn't have anything to do with that so I don't thank You. It was my choice to believe what I believe so I'm sure You are happy with me. Imagine me thinking that You were so egotistical as to do all the choosing Yourself. How unfair! Those Calvinist are so self-righteous to think that You would just save them while they do nothing but sin. But I'm not like that. I know I made the right decision when I chose You, God, and You can take great joy in it.

    To God be all the glory... Well, a little of it anyway.

    Amen.
     
  18. Tom Butler

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    Please understand that this is supposed to be humorous, and a little dig at the free willies. No malice intended.

    The Arminians wonder why Calvinists pray if God has already decided things.

    The Calvinists wonder why Arminians pray for someone's salvation if God can't deliver unless that someone will allow it.

    The answer is that prayer is not for God's benefit, nor is it intended to get God to do something He doesn't intend to do--or not do something He intends to do. Pray doesn't change God. It changes us.

    Tom B.
     
  19. npetreley

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    I see a third answer. I think I recall that A. W. Pink said this, too. Prayer helps keep us in a state of mind where we remember upon Whom we depend. That's the only answer that makes sense to me, given that Jesus said that God knows what we need even before we ask -- yet combined that thought with teaching us how to ask for those very things.
     
  20. npetreley

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    You forgot the part about..."Okay, now I'm going to go out and win some souls for you. When I'm done, I'll let you know who I saved so you can add their names to the book of life."
     

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