Q. My Husband and I were having the discussion on prayer. How do you explain to someone that even when God already knows the outcome of something, he still wants us to pray. Can you please explain this?
A. In Phil 4:6 Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
I don’t believe God requires us to do anything just for the sake of doing it. I think our prayers can influence outcomes. Think about it. If God knows the end from the beginning, then He knows everything in between as well. In other words, He not only knows the outcome of a given situation, but how that outcome was/will be reached. For example, He knows in advance whether we’ll pray for a particular outcome or not.
Numerous times as a battle was beginning God told His people, “I have given the enemy into your hands.” But they still had to take up arms and fight. Gideon’s battle with the Midianites (Judges 7) is a good example. I often wonder what would have happened if they had decided not to fight. Of course God already knew that they would fight, and because of that He fought with them to ensure the victory He had promised.
Their battles were against physical forces, whereas ours are against spiritual forces (Ephesians 6:12), But I think our decision to pray is the same. If this wasn’t the case, your husband would be correct and our prayers would be meaningless exercises in futility.