We have also spoken of light...and darkness. There are two sides to the battle between light and darkness... before and after the cross. We think of grace as including what God did for us at and since the cross, to save us, because we are saved by grace. But, grace is more than the crosswork of Jesus. Grace began at creation. Through the creative work of God, we are all given life, and sunshine, and a world to enjoy, which is considered common grace, or things provided to us through God's general providence. These are the things we are reminded to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day...common grace. We usually think of redemptive grace during the ceremony of communion, or at the altar. (Incidentally, if you do not believe in creation, skip redemption; it is a package deal. God can not redeeem what was not His to start with, can He? Redeeming is "buying back" what you've lost. We sold ourselves out in the Garden as a race, and individually since birth.)
What is in Set G above? All of nature belongs inside of Grace. Nature is God's grace. The same mind that worked out our salvation for us has been working for us throughout the ages, and heaping lovingkindness on us.
All nature is one big gift of God's providence. The sweet scent of the flowers, the breath of air from the trees, the mountains for climbing and viewing, the beauty and comfort we receive wrapped in the arms of nature are all part of the goodness of God. God gives us this Earth, the sun and stars, to enjoy and to live our life to the fullest. This can be expanded to include all material goods, God and man made. Redemption belongs in Set G. Redemption is given to us to draw us in love to the Savior. With salvation it is made possible for us to experience oneness with the God of the universe, an experience of connection on which all happiness can be built. So, God has given us the world, and He has given us Himself. How much can be left in Set P, that is not part of Set G? Really it only amounts to the particulars. Remember that I said before that I prayed for babies with big brown eyes? That is an example of a particular. What I really wanted to have was people to love and take care of, and to teach and give something of myself. I saw that as obtainable when my baby sister would come get in the bed with me sometimes, and she loved me because I did all of those things for her. She would talk and talk while I tried to stay awake, and I would lay there silently looking into her big brown eyes. So, that is the source of that prayer. God's grace included that this desire I had would be met in this way. And, He threw in the brown eyes for good measure. I guess He knew I would be thankful. He could have chosen to give me what I wanted in a different way. But, I often find that God has included "surprise" gifts in Set G, for which I never asked. Only when we can reach into the larger set can we find all that God has in store for us.
There have been times that I would allow my children to have something, which was not quite as much as they had hoped for; maybe less money, less time, or less things. Or perhaps it was more; more chores or rules than they had hoped at the moment. Sometimes they would seem upset about this arrangement. My answer was usually, "I agreed to this to please you. If you are not pleased with this, then I won't give this either, since that is not going to give me the pleasure of making you happy." Invariably, they suddenly became pleased instantly with what I had agreed. Sadly, even though God has given us much, just like children, we can become discontent and withhold praise that God is due for His greater grace, because of what it does not include.
There is no such thing as Plan B with God. He does have a plan, which he has been working since creation. Those things that seem wrong in your life, those things that are missing in Set P above; those all can be found in the outer part of Set G since they figure into God's grace. This is why God told Apostle Paul that His grace was enough. He did not mean that what He had given was all Paul was getting, in a limiting sense. He meant that Paul needed to reach into the outer part of set G and find what matched this need. Paul was asking for something outside of God's plan, from the outer part of Set P. It is not wrong to ask in prayer many times for things that are on your heart. The point is that continual prayer on a topic will change you. It will change you to the point that you can reach what you are praying for, or to the point that you understand God's grace for your need. All efforts to reach for God are God-inspired and are pleasing to Him. Afterall, no one is motivated to pray for anything by Satan. Satan doesn't want us to pray. God is honored that we bring Him our deepest desires, no matter where they are in the Venn Diagram. Let Him work out what is sufficient for you. If you never ask, you are not giving Him a chance to love you.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
This verse says it simply. But, it doesn't mean that you will receive everything for which you pray. It means that you will find the point where God's grace is enough for you. Do the Math!