To the prophet, we have noted, God does not reveal himself in an abstract absoluteness, but in a personal and intimate relation to the world. He does not simply command and expect obedience; He is also moved and affected by what happens in the world, and reacts accordingly. Events and human actions arouse in Him joy or sorrow. Pleasure or wrath. He is not conceived as judging the world in detachment. He reacts in an intimate and subjective manner, and thus determines the value of events. Quite obviously in the biblical view, man’s deeds may move Him, affect Him, grieve Him or, on the other hand, gladden and please Him. This notion that God can be intimately affected, that He possesses not merely intelligence and will, but also pathos, basically defines the prophetic consciousness of God.
Abraham Heschel, The Prophets p 289
The God of the philosophers is . . . unknown and indifferent to man; He thinks, but does not speak; He is conscious of Himself, but oblivious of the world; while the God of Israel is a God Who loves, a God Who is known to, and concerned with, man. He not only rules the world in the majesty of His might and wisdom, but reacts intimately to the events of history. He does not judge men’s deeds impassively and with aloofness; His judgment is imbued with the attitude of One to Whom those actions are of the most intimate and profound concern. God does not stand outside the range of human suffering and sorrow. He is personally involved in, even stirred by, the conduct and fate of man.
Abraham Heschel, The Prophets, 289
The person with a good and sold faith should never refer to “all that happens” as God’s will, and no one should flatter himself by saying that “nothing happens apart from what He allows,” as if to say that there is nothing that we, in our own power, cannot do. If this were the case—if everything that happens were God’s will—then sin would be excused. That way of thinking would lead to the destruction of our way of life (nay) and even of God Himself—if it can be said that He makes happen by His own will things that He does not will, or if there is, in fact, nothing that He doesn’t will. . . . Accordingly, we should not blame “God’s will” for those things that we ourselves choose.
Tertullian, De exortatione castitatis 2.2,4
He will be moved, but not subverted. He will respond accordingly in each circumstance. Every action provokes a feeling in him: anger in response to the wicked, and indignation in response to the ungrateful, and jealousy in response to the proud. . . . But he shows mercy when people lose their way, and he is patient even with the unrepentant . . . he does whatsoever is necessary to bring about the good.
Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem 2.16
It is prayer alone that conquers God. Christ has determined that it should do no harm. He has imbued it with every power for doing good. And so it has no other function except to save from the path of death those who have fallen away, to build up the weak, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to open prison doors, and to break the chains that bind the innocent. In the same way it flushes out sins, repels temptations, snuffs out persecutions, comforts the faint, delights the merciful, guards travelers, calms the waves, confounds thieves, catches those falling, and affirms those standing. Prayer is the wall of faith, the arms and weapons we use against the foe who stalks us from all sides. So let us never walk unarmed.
Tertullian, On Prayer 29 (updated translation ANF 3, 691)
If we compare all the disasters of former times, we see that they come less frequently now since God gave Christians to the world. For when men began to pray for God’s mercy, the evil of this world became restrained. When the summer clouds give no rain, and everyone feels the anxiety, you (pagans) party by day, and remain eager as ever for your banquets, baths, bars and brothels . . . While we - weary from fasting, and depriving ourselves of every desire, denied of life’s pleasures, rolling in sackcloth and ashes – assail heaven with our desparate pleas, and touch God himself.
Tertullian, The Apology, ANF 3, 48 (updated)
Thus God is wholly good, because in all things He is on the side of good. His omnipotence is ultimately revealed as He displays both his ability to save and to punish. . . I would question his ability to deal with humans if he were only able to do one, but not the other. And thus even the display of God’s justice reveals the fullness of the divinity himself, showing him as the perfect Father and the perfect Master: he is a father in his mercy, a Master in his discipline; a Father in kindly authority, a Master in his severity; a Father who is loved affectionately, a Master to be feared. He is loved because he loves mercy more than sacrifice, but he is feared because he hates sin. He is loved because he prefers a sinners repentance rather than his death, but he is feared because he rejects those who don’t repent.
Tertullian, Against Marcion 2.13 (ANF 3, 308, updated)
This way of making man bears witness to God's goodness and his rationality, for in our God these always work together . . . It was necessary that there should exist something worthy of knowing God. And could anything be thought of so worthy, as God's own image and likeness? This too is beyond doubt both good and rational. So it was necessary that God's image and likeness should be given free will and the ability to do things for themselves.
Tertullian, Against Marcion 2.6 (Evans, 102-103, updated)
Without prayer, the Creation languishes in futility.
Prayer releases the life-giving power of the Logos amidst His Creation. It is an invitation that women and men extend to God, asking him to intervene in our world according to his just and righteous character. Prayer is more than just agreement with God’s will. It is the human endeavor that activates the will of God (as revealed in heaven) here on the earth.
The fact that God is sovereign does not mean that we can sit back and just watch him orchestrate all things “for his glory.” We must diligently pursue his purposes, fervently pray, and courageously take action. Only then shall his will be done, and his kingdom come.