– Alistair Begg
How is our prayer admitting to God our total dependence upon Him?
Doing Nothing Without Him
Surely we must acknowledge that Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). If fact, He didn’t say we could do a little something but this is an absolute, objective statement that we can do nothing apart from Him. Doing nothing is not a little something so when we pray we are admitting to God that we need His help in every way.
Victory in Surrender
I have heard people say that they’re going to commit themselves to God and that they’re going to do everything possible they can and that’s okay as far as doing things for the King kingdom but when we admit we are totally dependent upon Him, we are basically surrendering to God. Victory is only possible in surrender because the Bible is full of statements where the battle belongs to the Lord. Listen to what God tells King Jehoshaphat when He is impossibly outnumbered by the enemy in 2 Chronicles 20:15 “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Surrendering is not us + God but God + no one!
All Things With Christ is Nothings in Ourselves
If Paul says “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13) then the opposite must also be true. We can do all things through Christ Who will strengthen us but if Christ doesn’t strengthen us, then we can do nothing. The arm of flesh will always fail as Jeremiah writes “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD” (Jer 17:6). The King of Judah declared “With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said” (2 Chro 32:8) so “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3) and “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils” (Isaiah 2:22). It is clear that “When the LORD stretches out his hand, those who help will stumble, those who are helped will fall; all will perish together” (Isaiah 31:3).
If we trust in God then we will pray for we can’t do anything until we first pray and only then can we do anything if it is in Christ, if we surrender to him, and let Him fight for us. The only position from which we can fight is from our knees but even then we are acknowledging God is our only source of help.