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One of the greatest privileges we have is prayer. Because of Jesus Christ, we can come boldly to God’s throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). We communicate with God and draw closer to him through prayer.
Yet God ordains everything that happens. He knows it beforehand. Do our prayers change what he wills to do or what he knows will happen? Does he already know what our mind desires to ask of him or confess to him? Have you wondered if this should change how we pray?
God not only ordains ends, he also ordains means. (Paul Rezkalla, “Why Pray if God Has Already Decided Everything?”)
K. Edward Copeland
Why pray? Because the Sovereign God, who is
indeed omniscient, omnipotent, and good, has established
prayer as the means by which we receive
what he has promised and help fulfill what he has
ordained. ( Thomas A. Tarrants, “Why Pray?)
God is omnipresent. He is everywhere at every moment whether we feel it or not. He has always been fully omnipresent in both past and future. We can’t escape his presence or hide from him (Psalm 139:1-12 ESV). Yet he ordains a specific order for mankind to approach his presence in the Old Testament priestly system, and he only manifests his Spirit at specific times.
Since Christ, however, we have the privilege to boldly come into God’s presence, and we have the gift of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:19-22 ESV). Christ provides us a way to God (John 14:6 ESV, 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV). We become a permanent dwelling place for God through the Holy Spirit which is our guarantee that one day we will be at home with Lord fully in his presence (2 Corinthians 5:3-5 ESV).
We look forward to being perfectly in God’s presence once we die, but have you wondered what it’s like to live in God’s presence now? How near is he? Can you feel his presence? Do the degrees of his presence vary at times? The following resources will help you further understand this reality.
Martin Lloyd Jones
Much of Scripture testifies that no one can see God (1 Timothy 6:16 ESV). He is invisible and unapproachable (1 Timothy 1 :17 ESV, Exodus 33:20 ESV). We would die if we looked on him.
Much of Scripture also gives account to the act of seeing God. The pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8 ESV). Jacob recalls seeing God face to face (Genesis 32:20). Job hopes in seeing God one day (Job 19:26 ESV).
Does Scripture contradict itself on this topic? The below resources help dig into the meaning of what it means to “see” God according to how its used throughout the entire Word.
God commands us to fear him, and his Word says the beginning of knowledge comes from fearing him (Psalm 34:9 ESV, Proverbs 1:7 ESV). We often think of fearing God in regard to salvation and obedience. Because we fear him in all reverence, we trust him. We want to please him and obey him.
Once we join him in heaven in our glorified and sinless state, will we still fear him? We will have already received eternal life with him, and we will no longer need to strive to obey him–for we will be perfect. But will his power and presence be unbearable to cause us to fear him?
Below, John Piper and others break down what it means to tremble before God and what it may look like in heaven.