Future Grace: Chapter 7
Every sinner who comes to God in Christ, with all his needs, finds God coming to him in Christ, with all his promises.
Faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on our behalf is the foundation of all God’s grace — past, present, and future. God has made many great and precious promises to believers. The point Piper wants to make in this chapter is that all of God’s promises to us are yes in Jesus Christ. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus]. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”
Piper makes four important points regarding prayer.
1. Our prayer goes to God through Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 1:20 (above), Paul says, “through him we utter our Amen.” This is yet another reason why we pray in Jesus name.
2. We see that prayer is for God’s glory. Again, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that “we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Piper writes, “He gets the glory he deserves and we get the good that we need.”
3. We see that prayer is a response to promises of future grace. We pray because we know that because of Christ God has already promised to answer us.
4. Our “Amen” is the exclamation point of hope after a prayer for help.
Piper isn’t purporting a name-it-and-claim-it kind of doctrine of prayer. I think what he is driving at is our prayers for holiness, prayers for fighting our sin. We can go to the God of grace to help us fight sin because we know that it is his will that we be holy as he is holy. That is definitely a prayer that He will answer.
This chapter challenged me to evaluate the discipline of prayer in my life.
- What kinds of things have I been praying for?
- What have I been asking God to do?
- Do my requests line up with scripture and the things that God wants to give?
- Am I praying and desiring the right things?
- Am I praying within God’s will?
- Have I noticed my desires changing as a result of Bible reading and prayer?
- Have I given up on praying for certain things because of unbelief?
- Do I need to be more disciplined regarding prayer?
- Have I allowed the demands of the day to crowd out time for concerted prayer?
- How often am I calling on God?
- What does my discipline in prayer say about my faith?
- What does my prayer life reveal about the hope I have in God?
- Have I said yes to all of God’s yes to me?
This chapter definitely encouraged me to pray more. What about you?