Q. I have been visiting your site for some time now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Recently I received e-mail from the Reformation Book Store. They were advertising a book on the dangers of dispensationalism. It says that this belief causes confusion about how to pray for our Nation and the world because we believe the Bible predicts what will happen and there is nothing we can do about it, so why pray. I have to admit that I feel confused about this too. When we read that “there will be perilous times” why should we pray for wise leaders? What do you say on this subject?
A. There’s a one word answer to this question. Nineveh. God sent Jonah to Nineveh to warn them of a judgment coming in 40 days. But they had a wise leader and at his command the entire city, from the King to the lowliest subject, went into prayer and fasting with sincere repentance. God was impressed enough to delay the judgment. It eventually happened, because a future generation rebelled again. But the whole generation of people who prayed were spared from it. God said the judgment was coming but the people of Nineveh determined the timing by their response.
Dispensationalists are not fatalists. We understand the power of prayer. And remember this. God knows the end from the beginning, and dispensationalists believe that every word He spoke will come to pass. But that’s not the same as saying He controls the timing of every event. The story of Nineveh proves that He listens to us and can be moved by the fervency of our prayers.