During this winter break, I am reading a book called The Prayer Ministry of the Church by Watchman Nee. This was the title of the first section in the first chapter of the book:
The Earth Controls Heaven
Those four words piqued my curiosity immensely. According to my thought, God created the earth and God dwells in heaven, so therefore, heaven controls the earth.
But that thought misses the principle of prayer, which is that God does not act if man does not pray. The move on the earth (men praying) precedes the move in the heaven (God acting). God has limited Himself to man's prayer. Of course, men cannot make God do what He does not want, but men can prevent God from doing what He wants by failing to pray.
|Can you believe this guy controls heaven? Well, actually, the people who live on this guy.|
1. Exodus 17:11 - "Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed." Here, God in heaven is causing the Israelites to defeat the Amalekites, but only when Moses, who is earthbound, lifts his hands.
2. Ezekiel 36:37 - "Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock." Surely God wanted to increase His chosen people, but He would not do it unless the house of Israel asked for it in prayer.
3. Isaiah 45:11 - "Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: Ask me of things to come; and concerning my children and the work of my hands, command me." Have you ever thought of praying as commanding the Lord? This is the earth controlling the heaven.
Realizing that the earth controls the heaven is key to understanding the importance of prayer, but it also raises a deeper question:
Why did God limit Himself to man's prayer?