And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 1 John 5:14
Nothing comes to pass without our heavenly Father’s permission or ordination. By this almighty providence, God overrules and sways all things to his own glory. There is nothing that comes to pass but God has his purpose in it. Though the world seems to run at random in blind confusion and rude disorder, yet God governs it to make perfect harmony out of all the seeming discords. Question ‘If God’s providence ordains all things that come to pass according to the immutable law of his purpose, then what necessity is there for prayer? We cannot by our most fervent prayers alter God’s decrees. Our prayers cannot hasten or ripen his blessings before their time, or prevent or prolong the time fixed to bring afflictions to pass upon us.’ Divine providence does not only ordain what effects shall come to pass, but also by what means, what causes, and in what order they shall flow. God has appointed not only the effect itself, but the means to accomplish it. Prayer is a means to bring to pass that which God has determined shall be. We do not pray out of hope to alter God’s eternal purposes; but we pray to obtain that which God has ordained to be received by our prayers. We ask, that we may be fit to receive what God has from an eternity determined to give by prayer, and not otherwise. Therefore, when we lie under any affliction, or if we are pinched by poverty, prayer is necessary because, as God by his providence has brought these things upon us, so likewise possibly the same providence has also determined not to remove then until we earnestly and fervently pray for our deliverance. Prayer does not incline God to bestow that which before he was not resolved to give, but prepares us to receive that which God will not give otherwise.
Many young parents today are beside themselves with anxieties about their children, and, sadly, confusion too about how to nurture them. The ongoing addiction of our times to the heresy of modernity and its proud rejection and ignorance of the tested and tried wisdom of the past, inevitably leads to dysfunction in home and family life. Sadly, the older, wiser counsel of God’s Word, and especially of the book of Proverbs, is unknown or neglected. Yet Proverbs was composed specifically as a manual for home and family instruction, and to prepare us for life in the world. It is a divinely given handbook to help parents.
Proverbs and Ken Wingate following them shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters too.
Here then is a book for parents to read on their own; for teenagers to read on their own; for parents and teenagers, who are willing to take the family challenge, to read round the table after dinner or on other occasions. It points us to Gods way. It promises us God’s grace. What could be better for us than that?