I hear it in prayers on a fairly regular basis, “Oh Lord, we humbly offer our lives to you, and we are grateful for your goodness, but we know You don’t need us to do what You want to do.”
And when I hear that, I cringe just a bit. Doesn’t God “need us?”
Aren’t people healed, delivered, encouraged, and blessed through you and me? Don’t our prayers matter? (If not, why pray?)
Indeed, God is God, and we are not. Obviously, He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere; we are not. Without a doubt, we are limited humans, and without question, God can do whatever He wants whenever He wants. My theology is fine.
However, the overwhelming majority of the time in the Scriptures, God chose a partnership with humans to accomplish His will. He chose to work in and through His people—through you and me—to do the incredible!
Does He have to? No. Does He want to? Yes.
So, to the point, does God need us? Yes and no.
Of course, He sometimes sovereignly steps into our time and space and does what He wills without our direct involvement. (Though one could argue that someone’s prayer is an unquestionable link to God’s work.) Keep in mind, however, that God delights in working through His children. He invites us into the process and the adventure. God spoke prophetically through Jeremiah to the people and said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). The Lord said, “Call to me, and I will answer and blow your mind!”
The God of the Old Testament wanted to partner with His people.
Paul told the New Testament Church, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The Lord’s Prayer (as we call it) wasn’t meant to be something we only memorize and quote, but a declaration of God’s heart to see His kingdom come in and through our lives.
Jesus told Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” And He told the disciples (and that includes us), “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”
The plan of Jesus included us.
And God’s plan has not changed. He works through mere flesh and blood to do the divine and supernatural. Every prophetic word spoken, every miraculous work accomplished, and every act of goodness, kindness, and mercy in the Bible shouts to us from heaven, “GOD WANTS TO USE YOU! GOD NEEDS YOU TO PARTNER WITH HIM!” I understand the humble heart that prays, “Oh God, you are great, far greater than me, and you don’t truly need me.” Sadly, however, we don’t finish that prayer as often as we should with these words, “But Lord, I am honored and ready to be used by You.”
What’s my point?
Here it is in all its God-be-praised certainty: God wants to partner with you.
You matter. You are essential to His plan. You should always expect the God of the universe to say, “Let’s do this!” In other words, “Let us—you and Me—do something awesome together!”
No, don’t get arrogant or think more highly of yourself than you should. But do embrace your God-given responsibility to partner with our Almighty Father in heaven to do all that He wants and desires to do through you on the earth.
So, when you wake up tomorrow morning, instead of focusing on what God doesn’t need, focus on what He does want—you as a partner with Him living the truly abundant life.
Let’s do this!
Now may the God of peace equip you with all you need for doing his will.
May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.
— Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Kurt Bubna