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.
Table of contents
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.
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Praying for God to change someone’s heart? Then jump in here, let’s pray together! Who are you praying for? Husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, family, or friends? Now is the time to pray for God to change their hearts.
Praying for God to change someone’s heart
Are you praying for God to change someone’s heart? Then join me, let’s lift our voices high up!
I will praise you oh Lord! I will exalt you. Great is your name king of glory and mighty is your word in heaven and the earth. Your greatness, I can’t even think of, you greater than the greatest and bigger than the biggest. You are the Lord above all the earth. Noone can ever compare to you great God. I call on your name today, please hear my prayer. Do not hid your face at all, because your face is all I need right now. Turn you ear and hear me oh God. I am in difficulty and distress. Hear my cry dear Lord and save me today and the one I love.
I pray today that you give us strength to survive this mountain. Strengthen us with your spirit oh Lord. Live in his/ her heart and life. Take charge and take control. I know you can do this and I believe you have done it. Forgive us al our sins that may render our prayers unanswered, and fill us with the fruits of Holy spirit. Guide us through these deepest times and give us the fruits of love, kindness, forbearance, patience and goodness.
Give my lover the spirit to forgive, the spirit of faith and belief in you. Let him/ her get closer to you. Open the eyes of his/ heart so that he/ her may see you. Breathe into him/ her dear God and let him/ her come to life. I thank you because I know you have done it. You are a great God and I know that you will change his/ her heart.
Thank you everlasting father. You are the greatest and the most powerful God.
“The great work of intercession is needed for the returning of the Lord. It is here that the coming revival must find its strength. Let there be, with every minister and worker, ‘great searching of heart’ (Judges 5:16), as to whether they are ready to give as much time and strength to prayer as God desires. Let them, even as they are in public, leaders of their larger or smaller circles, give themselves in secret to take their place in the front ranks of the great intercession host.” Andrew Murray
Evil is invading our cities. Many people have resigned themselves in defeat to the darkness that is invading our world. I have to ask myself, “Is this what God wants us to do in the end times? Is He surprised or taken off guard by the increase of crime and evil?” I don’t think so. Though darkness is covering the earth, we are not powerless.
There is another way of looking at life – Let us consider the perspective of God’s transforming power.
God is beginning to move with revival power all throughout the earth, and we are the ones who are alive in such a remarkable time in all of history. These are merely the birth pangs. God is on the move and we must get ready for all that is about to enter our radar screen. We can so easily get depressed and discouraged at all the difficulties and inconveniences of living in such days as these, but do we realize what a great privilege it is to be alive for such a time as this?
I remember several years ago watching the Transformationvideos by George Otis, Jr. They were a message of hope stirring the appetite for God’s presence in the city. My husband was able to visit Almalonga, Guatemala where carrots and other produce were growing several times larger in size, and prisons were closing down because of the presence of God in the city. Transformation was happening in several cities.
I encourage you to watch the DVD called The Quickening and the Transformation videos. Part inspiration, part instruction, these videos present compelling evidences that the spiritual quickening foreseen by the prophet Amos is now upon us. In 1999 there were 8 reports of transformed cities, but since 2002 there have been no less than 175 transformational reports!
There is a hope-filled appetite for change in the world. But we can’t just wish or hope for change or spiritual transformation. Hope must give way to commitment and faith. It’s time for God’s people to rise up in fervent, believing prayer!
What is Community Transformation?
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.” (Amos 9:13).
Community transformation is when a culture is impacted by the presence of God. His supernatural power flows into the city and affects every level of society. Our cities are filled with spiritually homeless people who don’t know who they are or where they are going. There is an emptiness without God and we must invite Him into our cities. Our communities are looking for identity and God’s presence is our identity. We must believe that revival and transformation will affect everything. We need a sense of purpose and the authority of God in our city. Only Jesus can change a city and a nation. Jesus told His disciples, “Without me you can do nothing.”
One day God will rule the whole world because He is God of all (Ezekiel 48:35, Isaiah 62:4).
There is evidence that God is bringing transformation to communities around the world. George Otis, Jr. has witnessed evidence of God’s willingness to transform spiritually barren communities in areas where believers have determined to exchange passive dissatisfaction for active, prevailing prayer. But history tells us that people do not change until they are aware of an imminent crisis or an immediate opportunity. We as humans must be persuaded that our present circumstance is desperate and that time is running out quickly. We must realize that our condition is not only broken or painful, but very dangerous.
If we are only disappointed, most of us won’t change. We think our condition is only temporary or that time is on our side. Our society will change and we will take action in prayer only when we get desperate. Then we will be willing to do the impossible. Then we will fervently pray for our cities. We need to ask ourselves:
“Are we desperate enough for revival and city transformation?”How to Pray for Transformation in Your City
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you” – (Isaiah 60:1-2).Transformation is the reflection of God’s character coming forth in every way possible. This is what we want in our cities. Let us not draw back at such a critical hour. We are now at the desperate stage in our cities. Let us move forward in prevailing, passionate prayer by the grace of God and seek Him for transformation and revival! This is an opportunity that we must grasp now.
The following are principles that can bring life to your city. They are adapted from The Quickening DVD:
Pray and invite God into your city. God wants to be invited into our communities. He wants His presence to become so strong that men see themselves as lost and start coming to Him. If God is to increase our spiritual appetite, we must ask Him. First we must be emptied of our own satisfaction and feel the awareness of our emptiness. We are “undone” like Isaiah which will cause a cry from our heart (Isaiah 6:5-8). As God’s watchmen, we must call on the Lord and invite Him into our cities.
“I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth” (Isaiah 62:6-7).
Pray for holiness and humility. God is drawn to holiness and humility. If we want to be change agents in the city, we must be changed agents. The humble and the poor in spirit He brings to himself. The biggest thing that impedes unity is our own pride. What is ready to die? We have to make the basic decision,“I will not be offended by others.” God uses humility and broken people. A sincere heart cuts into the frozenness of the world.
“’Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?’ declares the Lord. ‘These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit and who tremble at my word’” (Isaiah 66:2).
Pray for corporate revival. It begins with individual obedience and solitary decisions. The most important thing is that we begin. It’s not what we do but why we do it. Man is impressed by activity but God is impressed with obedience. We will encounter resistance and get discouraged, but God is focused on us. We must make that commitment ourself and search out a core group who have that commitment. It starts with a few who won’t give up, press on and keep praying and crying out to God month after month with fasting, prayer and humility. This will have a domino effect.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
Pray for unity. Biblical unity is a majority with God. It’s not based on numbers. Unity is a byproduct of relationships. When kingdom connection occurs, we then live under kingdom rule. Where two or three hungry hearts join together in the cause of revival, God is there. The presence of God unites people in a supernatural unity. Leaders must be committed to a community.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity… For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore” (Psalm 133:1, 3b).
Pray for fervent prayer among the churches in your city. Breakthrough, fervent prayer releases destiny. It’s desperation and humility, a foundation of fervent, persevering prayer when we become desperate for God. People of travailing prayer have a determination with a desperation that says,“We will not let go of you until we hear from you.” Allow Him to break and mold you. Pray for your city’s destiny. We forget that God is the God of destiny, and we are people of destiny. Prayer has to be more of a priority, and we must hear the trumpet call.
“They all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14).
God’s work will always be unique. It’s risky, aggressive, and brought about through prayer. It’s not predictable and out of our control. There is an unexpectedness of God. We are often fooled by strategy, but we lack God’s processing power. You can’t format God. We are proud and impatience, but God’s approach is to come in through the back door. He shows up, not shows off. There is a flow with the Holy Spirit that is not stage-managed. He is willing to be invited but only on his terms. We must persevere through apathy and not give up. It’s not a quick start but a long run. The goal is to love God and direct men and women toward the kingdom.
God is looking for leaders who will stand in the gap for their nation who don’t care who gets the credit. They are not stakeholders but shareholders. They give God the glory. Revival leaders are often unlikely choices. The measure of leadership is not influence with the public but influence with God.
Apply this message to your own heart in prayer. Seek God for personal revival and transformation as well as for your church and nation. The Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center websites are designed to help you grow in personal and corporate prayer. Included are dozens of motivational teachings on prayer and intercession.
“There is nothing in Scripture to suggest the Second Coming of Christ will be welcomed by a six-billion voice choir. Darkness will increase before it is vanquished forever. But as it spreads and intensifies, it will also accentuate any light that is shining. And herein lies our hope… and opportunity. By prevailing with God in prayer and preparing his way through obedient action, we become “bearers” and “welcomers” of light in this darkening hour. As the Kingdom of God is put on exhibit in neighborhoods, towns, cities, and nations, a weary and demoralized world is made aware of a shimmering way of escape. The role is ours if we are willing to allow the pain and urgency of this present darkness to transform our passive dissatisfaction into active desperation. May God give us the courage.” George Otis, Jr.
Together in the Harvest,
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)
God’s Power to Change your Life – Daily Prayer for April 30. The question of, who is the true God is being raised often by people. We must start to show them who the real God is by demonstrating God’s power to change your life.
Bible Verse for Today
“Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire–he is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” (1 Kings 18:24)
Different times in the Bible, people have questioned the people of God who their God is, how powerful he is and what he is capable of doing. Elijah was challenged too in this same manner. And he told them that the God that answers by fire will be the true God. After the prophets of Baal wasted their time and tried all they could calling their God to answer, they got no result. But when Elijah prayed, God answered with fire. We Christians should not be afraid of facing those questioning us about our God. We must start to show them how powerful he is.
The three Hebrew in Babylon refused to bow to an idol, yet they were not afraid of confronting the king. God did not give us the spirit of fear, he gave us the spirit of power. 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” God gave us the spirit of power so we can show forth his power for people to see. He gave us the spirit of love so people can see that God is a loving God. And He is the true God who loves everybody. The true God hears his children whenever they call on him and he delivers them.
God’s Power to Change your Life Prayer for Today
Lord, I thank you because you are the true God, in you, I put my trust – nobody can help me the way you have been helping me, for this, I magnify your name. So I declare God’s power to change your life.
All my challenges today, all my troubles today, and all my enemies today, show them that you are the true God and let your name be exalted in my life. Amen.
Also read: BUILDING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD Daily Prayer for April 29