The Bible instructs us to pray. In fact, in the New Testament we are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The Christian life is a life that is to be lived in constant communication with God. We read that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful (James 5:16). Nevertheless, the question is often asked, “Do my prayers really change God’s mind?” Let us look at this question and try to answer it from the Bible.
God is omniscient
The Bible indicates that God is omniscient. Omniscient means ‘all-knowing’. God knows everything; what was, what is, and what will be. Because of this, we know that God already knows what we need, and even what we are going to pray about. Therefore, we can conclude that our prayers do not surprise God. It cannot be said that God intended to do thus and such but, as a result of our prayers, He decides to do something different.
However, God does respond to our prayers. Our interaction with Him affects His actions. He has told us, in His Word, how He will react to certain actions and attitudes of ours; and our prayers reveal what our attitudes are. When we come to Him in prayer, we are exhibiting our reliance and trust in Him. And, just as an earthly father wants the best for his children who come to him in dependence, so God relates to His children who come to Him dependently.
The ‘real’ question
Many times, the real question behind the question, “Can we change God’s mind with prayer?” is “Do I, and my prayers, matter to God?” We want to know if God cares about us enough to pay attention to our prayers. Jesus asserts that God loves His children even more than earthly fathers love their children (Matthew 7:10-11). God loves us more than the most loving human father ever has or ever will.
God gives us some conditions that must be met in order for us to be in the right condition to have our prayers answered:
- our prayers must be grounded in faith in God (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24);
- we must ask in Jesus’ name (John 16:24);
- we must ask with the right motives (James 4:3);
- we must be persistent in our dependence on God (Matthew 7:8; Luke 1:10);
- we must keep His commandments and obey Him (I John 3:22); and
- our prayers must be in accordance with His will (I John 5:14).
This may seem like a lot of things to do and remember in order for God to answer our prayers, but they are all wrapped up in the one commandment Jesus said is above all others, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37 ESV; cf. Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). When this is the condition of our heart, all the conditions for answered prayer are met.
When we are truly submitted to Jesus, and His Lordship, our relationship with Him will be such that He hears and answers our prayers as a loving father would answer the requests of his children, whom he loves dearly. David Platt, in his book Follow Me, compares the believer’s submission with the submission of earthly children to their earthly father,
“If my kids were to say me, ‘Dad, this week, we will do whatever you think is best for us,’ how do you think I would respond? Would I make their week miserable? Certainly not. I would honor their trust in me by leading them toward whatever is best for them. Now I’m not perfect, and I don’t know what’s best for my children 100 percent of the time. But God does. He is a perfect Father, and he makes no mistakes. He desires our good more than we do. So shouldn’t we gladly surrender our will to his? This is what it means to be a disciple” ( p. 130).
Whose mind is changed?
Often, when we come to God to ask Him for something, we have already decided what it is that we need. Too often, we pray to God to get Him to see things our way and to join the plan that we have envisioned. However, quite often, God uses these times to teach us that He knows what is best for us. He will gently change our minds to see things His way, so that we end up participating in His plan. Most often, it is we who are changed when we come to God in prayer.
The Prayer of Repentance
However, there is a special prayer that completely changes one’s relationship with God. The Bible tells us clearly that, when anyone prays the prayer of repentance and becomes a follower of Jesus, God relates to that person in a very different way than He did while they were unrepentant sinners in rebellion to Him. Whereas before they were under God’s wrath and judgment, after they confess their sins and repent, they are forgiven and are no longer under His condemnation (Romans 8:1). Nevertheless, this does not indicate that God changed His mind; rather, He simply responded just as He promised He would when anyone confesses and repents of their sin and turns to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Have you confessed your sins and repented of them? It will be the most important prayer you’ve ever prayed.
Since God is omniscient (all-knowing) it cannot be said that, from His point of view, He ever ‘changes His mind’. Nevertheless, we are not omniscient, we know that God loves us, and we are instructed to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In this way, we are always communicating with God and, as long as we are living as He wants us to, we can be confident that He hears our prayers and acts on them. The most important aspect of our prayer lives is to make sure that, in everything, we are living for Him and His glory. So, does God change His mind? No…but He does respond to our prayers as a loving father responds to his children’s needs and requests…only better.
Take a look at this article about prayers:
10 Awesome Bible Verses About the Power of Prayer
Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” Platt, David. Follow Me. Tyndale, 2013. YouTube video “On My Knees” by Jaci Velasquez.
Would you like to get the daily question in your FB messenger? Just click the button below to get started.
Share this post
: | | | |
It’s Monday. Most of us have meetings to go to today or later this week. Here is a prayer before a meeting. It’s published on the St. Louis University Prayerbook, a site where members of the SLU community share prayers.
Heavenly Father, we come to you today asking for your guidance, wisdom, and support as we begin this meeting. Help us to engage in meaningful discussion; allow us to grow closer as a group and nurture the bonds of community. Fill us with your grace, Lord God, as we make decisions that might affect the students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of Saint Louis University. And continue to remind us that all that we do here today, all that we accomplish, is for the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of You, and for the service of humanity. We ask these things in your name, Amen.
For other prayers on this site, see the Prayers by St. Ignatius and Others.
Enjoy reading and share 31 famous quotes about Prayer And Change with everyone.
“In order to have real prayer and action to change things, we must have conviction as to the need of prayer and action. In order to have conviction as to the need of prayer and action, we must have knowledge.”
— John Mott —
“Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us. As we engage in this communion with God more deeply and come to know the One with whom we are speaking more intimately, that growing knowledge of God reveals to us all the more brilliantly who we are and our need to change in conformity to Him. Prayer changes us profoundly.”
— R.C. Sproul
“Prayer is actually setting out a tuning fork. All you can really do in the spiritual life is to get tuned to receive the always present message. Once you are tuned, you will receive, and it as nothing do to with worthiness or the group you belong to but only the inner resonance and a capacity for mutuality. The Sender is absolutely and always present and broadcasting; the only change is with the receiver station.”
— John Predmore
“Hundred pounds. Sometimes the power of prayer is the power to carry on. It doesn’t always change your circumstances, but it gives you the strength to walk through them. When you pray through, the burden is taken off of your shoulders and put on the shoulders of Him who carried the cross to Calvary. After”
— Mark Batterson
“The little box that was given to me was by no means unique. I’d heard of prayer boxes, and I knew what they were for.
… Any scrap of paper will do, anywhere, anytime of the day or night. The important part, in a world of fractured thoughts, hurried moments, and scattershot prayers, is to take the time to think through, to write down, to clarify in your own mind the things you’re asking for, the things you’re grateful for, the things your’re troubled about, the hopes you’ve been nurturing.
Put them in the box and …
Let. Them. Go.
That’s what trust is. It’s letting go of the worry. It’s the way of peace and also the way of God. such a hard road to travel for people like me, who are worriers. When I’m writing a story, I control the whole universe. In life … not so much. Actually, not at all. Things happen that I hadn’t anticipated and wouldn’t choose and can’t change. That’s the tough part.”
— Lisa Wingate
“Is the Son of God praying in me, or am I dictating to Him? … Prayer is not simply getting things from God, that is a most initial form of prayer; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God. If the Son of God is formed in us by regeneration, He will press forward in front of our common sense and change our attitude to the things about which we pray.”
— Oswald Chambers
“If by prayer
Incessant I could hope to change the will
Of him who all things can, I would not cease
To weary him with my assiduous cries;
But prayer against his absolute decree
No more avails than breath against the wind
Blown stifling back on him that breathes it forth:
Therefore to his great bidding I submit.”
— John Milton
“Beware, I pray thee, of presuming that thou art saved. If thy heart be renewed, if thou shalt hate the things that thou didst once love, and love the things that thou didst once hate; if thou hast really repented; if there be a thorough change of mind in thee; if thou be born again, then hast thou reason to rejoice: but if there be no vital change, no inward godliness; if there be no love to God, no prayer, no work of the Holy Spirit, then thy saying “I am saved” is but thine own assertion, and it may delude, but it will not deliver thee.”
— Charles Spurgeon
Prayer And Change Quotes Pictures
Want to see more pictures of Prayer And Change quotes? Click on image of Prayer And Change quotes to view full size.
Do you desire a change in your life or in that disturbing issue before you? Or are you wondering why you haven’t seen a change since you prayed? The solution lies in continuous fervent prayer, which always brings about change.
So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent prayer for him was persistently made to God by the church (assembly) – Acts 12:5 (AMP)
Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? Luke 18:6-8 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
Many people want change but they do not want to lift a finger in order to see the change. They want it all ready-made and delivered to them like Pizza. However, in spiritual things, the mode of operation is different. Everyone needs to work out his salvation with fear and trembling, Philippians 2:12. And continuous fervent prayer is one of the ways of doing so.
Whatever changes you may desire in your life: spiritual, financial, emotional, physical, etc., you can achieve them by continuously praying about it until you receive your result. Answered prayer is possible if you don’t quit.
The enemy may say, “I am not letting go of your goods”, then it’s time for you to tell him boldly, “neither will I allow you to keep it” by your actions which include continuous fervent prayer. When you persist, he will let go like he let go of Jesus after tempting Him for a while, Luke 4:1-12. No matter how long it may take, remain dogged. He can never withstand a persistent prayer filled with faith.
Many people lose their victory at the nick of time just because they quit believing and praying. Jesus says there is salvation for those who endure till the end. Your end may be NOW! Yes, you have been on it for a long time, your change may be now. Joy comes in the morning, and so as long there is breath in your nostril, your morning is coming. Prayer brings about change.
The disciples rested a bit and Herod killed James but when he went on to pick Peter for execution too, the disciples said not this time, and they engaged continuous fervent prayer for a change. And indeed their prayers brought about a change. They were still praying when Peter knocked on the door, Acts 12:1-19.
Also, Elijah kept praying to God to send rain until he saw a sign of it. His servant went seven times before he saw the sign. Elijah didn’t stop at the third time, he continued until he saw his heart desire. I believe he would have continued beyond seven if the sign of rain was not seen at the seventh time, 1 Kings 18:42-44.
Daniel is another example for us in the scriptures. He sought an answered prayer from the Lord for twenty one days before his answer came. He stayed at it until he received his heart desire. Interestingly, the angel said he was coming with the answer from the very first day Daniel started praying but the enemy tried to stop him. Daniel’s continued fervent prayer kept the answer coming till the angel was able to bring the result to him, Daniel 10:12-13
Your case may be like Daniel’s case above, your answered prayer may have been disrupted by the enemy. Your continuous praying coupled with faith will ensure you receive your change no matter how long it takes. Continued fervency in prayer brings about change.
Does God want you to have your change? Sure! But how long can you hold on with your prayers? Continuous fervent prayer does bring about change.
What is your experience with fervent prayer?
By Ngozi Nwoke
Vist her site here – Steps with God
Page 1 of 11