I believe one of the main reasons many Christians do not pray as much as they should pray, is because of a misunderstanding of an attribute of God called, “His Sovereignty”. The word sovereign simply means supreme in power and authority, ruler, or supreme reign. When we say God is sovereign, we are saying that He is the supreme ruler of the universe, or He is in control. There is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. Here are a few scriptures that prove with absolute certainty that God is in complete control of all things.
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16-17
The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Psalms 103:19
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: Ephesians 1:21
And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? II Chronicles 20:6
A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9
For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods. Psalms 97:9
The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Psalms 24:1-2
The Lord does whatever pleases him throughout all heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths. Psalms 135:6 NLT
Our God is in the heavens, and he does as he wishes. Psalms 115:3 NLT
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Jeremiah 32:17
There is nowhere in the Bible that says it more clearly than in the book of Job. If you read the first two chapters of Job, you will see that Satan is the bad guy, totally focused on doing harm to God’s servants, trying to get them to curse God and walk away from their faith. Even though Satan is the one responsible for Job’s pain and suffering, it is important to note that God allowed this to happen. Why? Because God was getting Job to go higher and deeper in Him, as God was in the process of changing Job increasingly to have the character of Christ. Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.
The story of Joseph illustrates this point clearly, as his brothers sold him into slavery, and meant evil against Joseph, but God allowed it to happen for good, as Joseph, with the wisdom of God, saved many from the famine in the land. Satan does things for evil against us, yet God allows it for our good and His glory.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Genesis 50:20
Key point #1: God is in control and allows circumstances for our good.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
With these scriptures in mind, we must also consider that when Adam and Eve sinned against God, they got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and entered a world where the god of this world, Satan, ruled the earth. God gave them free will, and when they chose to believe Satan’s deceptive word over God’s Word of Truth, they lost their dominion over the earth. Yes, God is in control, but God has thrown Satan down from heaven to earth with all his fallen angels where he rules this sinful darkened world. He is called the prince of the power of the air. He is also called the god of this world.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2:2
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus did not dispute Satan’s claim to the dominion over all kingdoms of the world, and the glory that goes with that authority.
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
Satan is a liar, a deceiver, and an accuser of the brethren. His mission in life is to steal, kill and destroy people and their relationship with God. He will do anything within his power to discourage the saints of God. There are numerous negative or evil things that happen to people on this earth that people get mad at God over when they should blame the devil, not God.
Key point #2: Satan is the ruler of this world
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
..for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John 8:44
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: John 10:10
We Christians need to realize that we are constantly in spiritual warfare whether we like it or not, and it is necessary to put on the whole armor of God each day to keep the enemy from wounding us with his vicious attacks. We are in a continual warfare with Satan and his gigantic army of demons, fallen angels and wicked spirits.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12
God is a good God, and He loves us so much more than we could ever know or realize. He is good to us over and above our understanding of His infinite and unlimited goodness. Knowing that God loves us is essential, but we also need to understand that we must have opposition on this earth to see our need for God, so we can learn to choose him and develop a relationship with Him. God is sovereign, but He has sent Satan to this earth to test and try the Saints. Yes, many painful, bad, negative, or evil things might happen to us, but this is Satan doing these things to us, not God directly. God wants us to exercise our faith and pray against Satan and the powers of darkness. We are not to submit to the oppression of the devil, but rather we are to pray in the name of Jesus and drive back the forces of evil. We are to take the victory over the devil and his army.
Through the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, Christians now have the authority and dominion over the devil. Outside of Christ Jesus, we have no power over the devil, but in Christ, we have complete authority and dominion over Satan and his followers. To blame God directly is unmerited; we should realize this stuff is coming from the devil. True, God is in control but He also allows the devil to do all kinds of bad things on this earth. To blame God indirectly would be more accurate, but to blame him or be mad at Him because of the evil or painful things that come our way is simply to be ignorant of the ways of God and why there must be opposition to the truth.
Key point #3: We have authority over Satan through prayer in the name of Jesus
God is the Head!
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say this in my life or how many times I have said: “God is the head” in a wrong way. I believe many Christians have a wrong view or misunderstanding of what the sovereignty of God really means. When people believe that God is in control to the point of saying “He is going to do whatever He wants to do, therefore there is no need to pray,” then they misunderstand His Sovereignty. The evil, bad, sinful, and wicked stuff that happens on the earth is a result of Satan and his oppressive influence. It is not God’s will for babies to get aborted; that comes from the devil and his influence into man’s sinful nature. It is not God’s will that people commit adultery, murder, lie, steal or covet. All of those actions come from our sinful nature that is constantly influenced by Satan. However, God does allow these things to happen, because He has given us a free will and allows Satan to rule or have dominion over this sinful, cursed earth.
Jesus came to this earth to seek and save the lost. The Bible states clearly that God does not will or want anyone to perish or go to hell, but He wills or wants all to come to repentance. That is the will of God.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. II Peter 3:9
The truth is that many people die and go to hell every day, even though God desires or wants all of them to come to repentance. Yes, God is sovereign, but God does not take the free will of man away from him, instead, He lets man choose whether he wants a relationship with God or not. In addition, God allows the devil to continue to rule and influence this earth, so man can have opposition to choose against. We would never love truth if we did not experience deception. We would never value pleasure if we had never experienced pain, and we would not love the light if we have never tried to walk in darkness. Sure, God is the head, but God does not want anybody to go to hell and perish. What is the difference? Or what can change this for those that are perishing? It is what you or I can do about it. Are we willing to obey God, and do our part in praying against Satan and his wicked schemes, and become salt and light to this perishing world?
For we are laborers together with God. I Corinthians 3:9
God wants us to co-labor with Him and reach out to the lost and help them find the truth. God wants us to love the sinners and speak truth into their lives, helping them to find a relationship with Jesus Christ. If “God is the head” means that whoever He wants to go to heaven will go to heaven and whoever he wants to go to hell will go to hell, then there would be no need for us to witness to others or even pray for others. If we take the position that God is the head over all Satanic oppression, then we will not pray for the drug addicts or other sinners. Certainly, God allows Satan to rule on this earth, but He wants His children to pray against Satan and his fallen army of demons.
As Christian warriors and co-laborers with God, we should believe the Word of God and continually go to war against Satan. We are citizens of heaven and ambassadors of God on this earth. We live on an earth that is controlled by the enemy because God has endowed man with a free will that has chosen to sin against God. God wants us to pray against the enemy and take victory in Jesus name. We should have the faith to believe God enough to pray for ourselves and for others with the hope and expectation of God answering our prayers.
Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. I Peter 5:7
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. I John 5:14-15 NLT
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14
God is a sovereign God, but that doesn’t mean- since He is in control – that there is no need to pray. It means the opposite; that God is in control so we need to be dependent upon Him and pray to God for Whom nothing is too difficult. We need to learn to pray for the lost, the sick, the afflicted, the imprisoned, the broken-hearted, the blind, the poor, the hungry, the naked and all of those that are in need. We first must love the needy before we can really pray for them, but once love is in our hearts, we need to learn to pray about everything and for everyone that God brings to our minds or that God wants us to be responsible for. This wrong view or misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty has kept God’s children from praying. The Bible tells us to pray continually, and God promises to answer our prayers.
Satan is the ruler of this world, but we need to stop being so impressed with his power, authority, and dominion, and start believing God to do the impossible. We should be more impressed with the Kingdom of God and His promises than with the kingdom of Satan and this world.
We have authority over Satan through prayer, so go in Jesus Name, to war against the devil and his angels. Pray continually without ceasing. Get dependent upon God.
The sovereignty of God is great news because it means that God is the supreme ruler of the universe and when His children come to Him in prayer, dependent upon Him, He will answer our prayers. Sick people can be healed and lost people can be saved. Drug addicts can be delivered. Satan has already been defeated at the cross of Calvary where his power, dominion, and authority were destroyed, but we as Christians need to take the blood of Jesus and go in the authority of the name of Jesus to our knees and pray for God to push back the powers of darkness and help people in need. When we pray this way, in Jesus name, it is God’s delight and pleasure to answer our prayers.
“God is the head” means that since He rules the universe, we can pray and He will answer our prayers. “God is the head” does not mean that God is going to do whatever He is going to do, so there is no need to pray.