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Corbin
12-02-01, 04:20 AM
As I understand it, god has supposedly given man free will. Therefore, he is able to make all his decisions by himself, without anysort of divine intervention at all. Am I correct?

When you pray to god, what exactly are you asking him to do? Many people pray for things such as, "please help me win my race tomorrow", and "please help my mom overcome her cancer".

Now these are general prayers, but are quite common. When you ask god to help us win a race, what exactly do we expect of him? Do we expect him to give you some "supernatural" strength or speed? Do you expect him to increase your will power so you can push yourself harder? Perhaps slow the other racers down? Do some just pray for some "extra good luck"? I am quite curious to know what exactly it is that you expect god to do once he has heard your prayers.

Christ__Alone
12-02-01, 06:03 AM
Corbin,

those of the reformed faith, do not believe the Bible teaches that God has given men free will, for starters. We believe the Bible teaches that man is in bondage to his first nature, and cannot do anything outside of that nature, unless God reaches into the heart and changes the will.

As for praying, and seeking God's hand in our lives, I don't know how other folks pray or what they think their prayers are going to accomplish.

I pray for God's will to be done, no matter the situation, and that as His will be done, He might offer peace, comfort, protection, etc., for the issue I would be praying about.

I don't pray thinking I'm going to change God's mind about anything, or get Him to do what I want - I pray asking Him to help me fall into line with His will, and as a result, allow me to understand and know, His strength and security in that.

Fledge
12-02-01, 09:13 AM
Praying for "things" is only a secondary purpose of prayer. It is not the primary function nor reason to pray.
I agree with C_A here. We don't pray to change God's mind, but our own.
We pray because it is a priviledge we, as Christians, have.

Brandan
12-02-01, 09:16 AM
Corbin, I don't believe man has free will either.... In fact, if you read the articles on this web site, I have labored long and hard to fight what I believe to be one of the most dangerous theological lies known as "free will."

Corbin, when I pray, I simply pray for God's will to be done. That is my prayer, and I make requests with that stipulation.. If it is your will, please save Johnny. If it is your will, Lord, please heal me from this sickness... etc..

The deal is, God has predestined everything to take place, including our prayers. I believe He does everything for His own glory, and that is ultimately what matters most to me.

If it is His will.

Fledge
12-02-01, 09:21 AM
I'm doing a study on prayer right now and it should be ready in a few days.
Studying it has really helped me a lot and my prayer life and habits.
If anybody is interested, I will post some of my study here on the forum somewhere.

Christ__Alone
12-02-01, 10:31 AM
Hi Fledge,

I look forward to reading what the Lord has shown you. Please do post your study when you're done.

Corbin
12-02-01, 06:32 PM
So let me get this straight....It is God's Will that EVERYTHING has happened the way it happened? It is God's Will that I just spilled coke on my keyboard? It is God's Will that a 4-year-old girl got hit by a bus, causing the girl's mother to commit scuicide?

Based on your logic, we are not personally responsible for anything! We could kill someone tomorrow, and it would be God's Will, because Everything that happens of course is, God's Will.

Lts
12-02-01, 07:37 PM
Corbin does prayer work help or is it effective and can it change the outcome I believe it does. In the bible it tells us many many many times to pray to ask. Does all we ask for come nope it does not. But we do not always see things the way God does and if God does really love us He will do what is good for us even when we think He is not listening or for that fact is being crule.

Corbin in your bible read 2kings chapter 20 there Isaiah went to the king Hezekiah and God told Isaiah to tell him to get his house in order because the illness he was going to die from. But Hezekiah prayed but look at what the scriptures say he did not ask to be healed but asked God to remember how he walked before Him in truth and honesty and how he was loyal. After this prayer God instructed Isaiah to go back and tell Hezekiah that He was going to add 15 years to his life.

I hope that might help you alittle
God Bless
Lts

Christ__Alone
12-02-01, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by Corbin
So let me get this straight....It is God's Will that EVERYTHING has happened the way it happened? It is God's Will that I just spilled coke on my keyboard? It is God's Will that a 4-year-old girl got hit by a bus, causing the girl's mother to commit scuicide?

Based on your logic, we are not personally responsible for anything! We could kill someone tomorrow, and it would be God's Will, because Everything that happens of course is, God's Will.

If it was NOT within God's will, that coke would have never hit your keyboard...

The little girl would have never been hit by the bus...

And the mother would have never committed suicide.

No one is saying that we're not responsible for our actions at all, this is where so many folks miss the depth of God's sovereign nature.

There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that happens without God allowing it to, or ordaining it to. Good, or what we call evil, nice, mean, wonderful, horrible, all things, ALL circumstances and events, are within God's hand.

This is very difficult for many to understand, in light of all the horrid things that happen in this world - they wonder - why does God allow this to happen?

For me, the answer is simple - to show the world the result of sin, and the fallen nature of man - and just how badly we truly do need a redeemer.

That's too simplistic for alot of people, I understand that, but it makes perfect sense to me, in light of knowing God is indeed, 100% sovereign over all.

Corbin
12-03-01, 12:02 AM
There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that happens without God allowing it to, or ordaining it to. Good, or what we call evil, nice, mean, wonderful, horrible, all things, ALL circumstances and events, are within God's hand.

Hmm..if God allows something, does that mean that something unexpected has occured, and he decided to allow it to happen, even though it wasn;t originially in his will?

Christ__Alone
12-03-01, 04:46 AM
Originally posted by Corbin
There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that happens without God allowing it to, or ordaining it to. Good, or what we call evil, nice, mean, wonderful, horrible, all things, ALL circumstances and events, are within God's hand.

Hmm..if God allows something, does that mean that something unexpected has occured, and he decided to allow it to happen, even though it wasn;t originially in his will?

Nope... there is nothing unexpected with God. Circumstances may take man by surprise, but there is nothing that surprises God.

I think we may be even MORE surprised, if He were to allow us to see all those things that He DIDN'T allow to take place...

smilesjc
12-03-01, 07:01 AM
I'm still not getting this "no such thing as free will"
Isn't our free will that makes God's grace soooo much more amazing? That he allows up to botch things up.. and then as undeserving as we our... he "fixes" things.
And didn't God say that ....

JAS 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective

if God's will is gona be done.. good or bad... what "effect" is he talking about? we are just pawns if we have no will.
What is love is someone can't choose to love us...if it is forced?

I'm asking God to reveal if this whole thing you guys are talking about is true... cause if it is.. then I want to believe.

But I'm not at all seeing it... in fact the more I think about it the less and less it makes sense.
I've read the post on the subject..... but it's still just seems very wrong.

Brandan
12-03-01, 08:27 AM
Hi smilesjc, I think you are confused about things.

I do not deny that man has free angency. That is he has the complete freedom to do whatever he desires.

However, I deny that man in his lost and completely depraved state has the free will to come to God.

Man can only act according to his nature. And his natural state is one of complete hatred for the Holy God. Therefore, he can do all kinds of things according to his nature. But what he cannot do is come to God.

Scriptural proof:

"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies." (Psalm 58:3)

"Surely I have been a sinner from birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me" (Ps. 51:5)."

"The intent of man's heart is evil from his youth" (Gen. 8:21).

"And without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Heb. 11:6).

"To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and conscience are defiled" (Ti. 1:15).

"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these things proceed from within and defile the man" (Mk. 7:21-23).

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn.3:3).

"Who can say, 'I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from sin' " (Prov. 20:9).

"There the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was very great on the earth, and that every intent of the thought of his heart was evil continually (Gen. 6:5).

"There is none righteousness, not even one; There is none who understands, there is none who seeks after God; All have turn aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one" (Rom. 3.10-12).

"And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no man can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father" (Jn. 6:65).

"For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" (Rom. 6:23).

"The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives . . . (Ecc. 9:3).

"Can the Ethiopian change the his skin? Or the leopard his spots? Then you also cannot do good who are accustomed to do evil (Jer. 13:23).

smilesjc
12-04-01, 08:32 PM
ok I totally hear you.. and I agree. That much I've always know.. and I continuously Thank God for helping me see just how much I need him. But what I don't follow is part where you don't believe in the fact that we choose to follow God.
I'm saying God calls.... we all have "sense" of God. The world would call it a "conscience" we somehow know we aren't right, and that we are missing something.
I have seen post that state that God only choose's some to be saved, and the rest he didn't therefore they are lost. That those who are saved didn't choose God...but he chose them, and they really didn't have a choice in the matter... they are just the "elect" and that's all.
I don't see that as being true. I see that Yes there is nothing good in us... and YES God is the only one that can cause us to see him in a different light........... but I believe he doesn't choose and pick whom to reveal that to. I believe he came to save the world (john 3:16) He is calling to the world, and is saying "I AM THE WAY" ...... but then he leaves the choice to accept his gift of salvation. We then are faced with the same decision that Adam and Eve Botched up. He saying will you Trust me? God is calling... he's saying "There more to life.. and I'm IT!" That's where our free will comes in. Will we answer his call?.... or will we deny him?God said "behold I stand at the door knocking"
I believe just like the bible says "many are called but few are chosen" God is calling us... but the chosen are those who accept what he gives. He's given man a measure of faith to believe......
but it's those who accept him as Lord and Savior who are chosen.
Not by any credit to us.... we are wicked.. but he's calling... he's showing us "hey, hellon I love you, and I'm here for you" and being the gentleman that he is he waits... and waits and waits. Of course he knows already who will say yes... but God is just and fair. I believe he gives everyone the same oppurtunity...... but like Adam and Eve.. he lets us choose. Salvation accredited to his Mercy, and gentle guidance... and Damnation for our stubborn and wicked ways.
Your theories are really thought provoking.. they make me ask myself why I believe what I do... These things have been on my mind since I found this web site....I'm not saying your right... or that I'm right. But I enjoy discussing this because I know that if for any reason I may be wrong God will reveal to me ... and you may be the tool he uses, and if your wrong perhaps You'd be willing to rethink your beliefs as well. My ultimate will is to believe the TRUTH, which can only be reveal by God........ be blessed ~Naomi~

Christ__Alone
12-05-01, 06:29 AM
HI Naomi,

re: fallen man's nature, and the ability to choose to follow God.

When humanity fell in the garden, that 1 act of disobedience forever changed man's nature. From that moment forward, it became impossible for fallen man to believe, repent, walk in God's ways, etc - UNLESS - the power of God moved in that man's heart, and enabled him to.

The comparison I like to use, is that of an apple tree.

You plant an apple seed, and as it grows, it develops twigs, then branches, leaves, buds, and eventually, apples. It cannot grow oranges, shoes, elbows or kumquats, this is literally impossible, since to grow anything outside it's own nature, is just not going to happen - it only grows apples.

The only possible way for that tree to produce anything other than apples, would be by supernatural interferance, on the INSIDE of that seed, or tree... some force, reaching in, changing the nature of it, enabling it to produce something besides apples.

It cannot do it on it's own, it has no ability to change itself and produce anything other than what it IS. To do so, would be to behave outside it's very nature, and it's impossible.

The spiritual condition of fallen man is very much like that apple tree. Our very nature by birth, due to the fall, is to be in 100% rebellion against the things of God. We have no faith, therefore we cannot please God, and we have no desire to repent or seek forgiveness, because our very nature (the flesh, the natural) demands that we are at enmity AGAINST God.

The way we are like that apple tree, is that we cannot do anything outside of our own nature, it's impossible. We might feel a "sense" of God, as you suggest, since I believe all human hearts have some deep sense that something is missing in their existance, but unless God reaches in, supernaturally, and changes that nature that we were born with, man will never seek God.

Like the apple tree, if the nature is changed from the inside, then, and only then, are we enabled to behave contrary to our first nature. THIS, is where freedom to seek God comes from.

Not all men seek God, because the Bible teaches that not all men will be changed by God. He reaches in and changes whom He chooses, for His glory, for His puposes, because it pleases Him.

Fallen man is no more free to choose God, than an apple tree is free to grow a watermelon, of it's own choosing. Fallen man is just as bound to behave and live as a fallen man, as the apple tree is bound to produce only apples.

When Jesus said, in John 10:27, that His sheep hear His voice, and that He knows them, He did not add that His sheep "choose" to follow Him, He said "they follow me". When changed by God's Holy Spirit, this is just the beginning of a process we go through in our new life in Christ. God does not reach in, change a heart, enabling that heart to believe and repent, and then step back and allow man to say "naw, I don't think I'll be saved, I think I'd prefer to wallow in sin and rebel against God".

No where does the Bible teach that God changed a man's heart, bringing that man to Himself, and then stepping back and allowing that man to choose to serve Him. On the contrary, it teaches that this is the process:

Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

We cannot find in that verse anywhere, an out-clause for man to make a contrary decision, and choose to reject Christ. You know where we do find it though?

John 10:26. In that verse, and so many others like it, we find out why men do reject Him. "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you."

Man rejects the things of God, because he can't do anything else, by his very nature. Those not of Him, will not, and cannot believe on Him, and will in fact reject Him.

I hope this answers some of your questions on this topic... or at the very least, gives you something to think about, pray about, and study.

Livinloud316
12-05-01, 10:47 AM
personally i belive in free will and try personally not to ask for personal goals or gain. when i pray as a request i pray for personal strength and mental power to resist temptation and to be kept safe in his loving embrace

TranquilWaters
12-05-01, 12:04 PM
The Word taught man who to pray to, what to pray for, and how to pray for them:

Mark 11
1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

We are to pray to the father. We are to ask for sustenance, forgiveness, and deliverance from temptation.