Is praying an attempt to change the mind of God?
Praying is your way to communicate with God. Just like a child communicates with his/her parents, he/she doesn’t do so with the purpose of changing his/her parent’s mind, but to share his/her experiences, to share his/her appreciation, to share his/her worries… It is a dialogue between yourself and your heavenly Father who loves you.
In the beginning of the Lord’s prayer, Jesus says: Luke 11:2
“When you pray, say: “`Father…”
It is interesting to note that the Israelites generally addressed God formally, using words such as these: “Ali” (my Father), or “Abinue” (our Father). In contrast, Jesus used “Abba”, which is the ordinary, intimate form of the Aramaic word for father. The English equivalent to this word would be “Daddy” or “Papa”. It’s like saying: “Our Heavenly Papa …” or “Our Heavenly Daddy …”
In Matt. 7:7-11, Jesus promises the following:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Jesus wanted us to know that our relationship with God through prayer is not with a distant being who doesn’t understand us, but with a loving papa that cares for us; who allows us to run into His arms and cry, “Daddy! Papa!” Our God is a loving father who considers us His own sons and daughters.
Overview of the topic:
Prayer is the activity of believers whereby they communicate with God, worshipping him, praising Him, confessing to him and making request of him. This article will be concerned mainly with those aspect prayer connected with requests, whether personal or for others.
The one that would communicate with His creator must however know him. You cannot talk to someone you are not acquainted with. A personal relationship is crucial in this case. Until Zacchaeus knew whom Jesus was when he encountered Him on sycamore tree before there could be a dialogue – Luke 19. There was discussion between Zaccheus and Jesus. A change occurred in His life because He met Jesus as His Lord.
Not until there was a relationship between Peter and Jesus before there could be a change call for Peter. Peter a fisher man became the preacher. He even allowed his ship to be used as a pulpit by the sea He eventually followed Jesus!. What a wonderful relationship? You must know Him before you can attempt to change His mind concerning anything in this world.
From death to Life
“In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Asahi son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover”
“Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, Remembers, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court the word of the Lord came to him, Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, this is what the Lord, the God of your father David says: I have heard your prayers and seen your tears; I will heal you. Open the third days from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David”. – II Kings 20:1-8 – NIV
Can you see? The Lord changed His mind because there was a relationship.
Not only that, there was a case that Hezekiah put forth. You must know your right before God. Hezekiah knew His right and declared it and God changed his mind when He prayed. You too can change the mind of God depending on your relationship. You are not destined to die young. Reject the suggestion of the devil. You are to fulfill your full years!
Faith is Required for God to Change His Mind
Mark 11:23-24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received, it and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Friends, God is a good God. He wills that all good things come to our lives. Whenever there is a crisis in your life. Recognize that the thought that God has for you is the thought of good and not of evil to give us the expected end – Jeremiah 29:11.
What can make God not to change His mind are three things: Lack of relationships – you must be born again – John 3:3-7
The mind that refuses to forgive, bitterness, hatred, anger, strive Lack of faith in the God you are praying to. Once you established your relationship on the above, you can say to your mountain and it will move.
Mark 11:20-23 NIV “In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembers and said to Jesus, Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” Have faith in God; Jesus answered. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea.’ And does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen; it will be done for him. Everything that is not responsive must respond to your word today. Your word can create. You are fearfully and wonderfully made!
Every hopeless situation receives the attention of God. When God is called into a situation with faith in your life, God will certainly reverse it for the better. God is always expecting people to create faith in themselves and then in Him. Have faith that your word will produce good results. Have faith that the person you are praying to will hear you and change your situation. You can change your situation through prayers. God expects you to ask. He said ask and you will receive, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asks receives and He that knocketh finds. Whatever you do require in your life as you ask Him in prayer by faith you will receive it.
Keep on asking until your joy is full. Remember the persistent widow before the unjust judge. She received everything she wanted. Hallelujah! God Wills to Reason with Men:
Man’s situation is sometimes hopeless. Hopelessness that nothing may change. But through man’s invitation to God he will to change it. Read this: Isaiah 1:18: -19 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be a white a snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword”. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Don’t disobey, don’t rebel, don’t sin, live a holy life and you will have the best in life!
God wants His people to come to him and tell Him all their problems/reasons. He will like to reason with them. I remember some years ago, we reached out to a Muslim community. For many years, there was no convert. The only Muslim convert that the Lord gave us was sickly. She had TB spine. She could not walk for some years. Her Muslims parents and friends rejected her.
She had side sore. The hospital where we took her to rejected her after treating her for 3 months. Our church spent money and labor! I told the church to fast and pray for this woman. Miraculously, God changed His mind concerning this woman’s case. The church pleaded her case before God. We told God that it was going to be ridiculous for us even though God all is all knowing. He has all the power and that there is nothing He cannot do.
God healed this woman and she is still healed today. Depending on your persistence and the power to plead your cause, God can do miracles. Changing Circumstances/Situation:
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:13-18 – NIV
You and I have the greater one inside of us. May God revive us to be up to standard in Jesus’ Name!
Moses and the Israelites:
“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”
But Moses sought the favour of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. – Exodus 32:9-14 – NIV
Because of the pleading of Moses by praying to God, the disaster that would have befallen the Israelites was averted. What a great God we serve.
Praying is a basic way to change the mind of God using His Word. Moses used His Word and it made God to change His mind towards His people. He called God to remembrance. You too can remind God today about the wonderful promises He has for you in His Word. It will work for you!
Let me conclude by listing four steps that Kenneth Hagin taught which will ensure victory as we attempt to change the mind of God in our endeavors:
1. Make the decision: I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED, I WILL RECEIVE FROM GOD (I John 5:1-5).
2. Resist Satan: REFUSE TO ENTERTAIN HIS THOUGHTS (2 Corinthians 10:3-5, James 4:7)
3. GIVE YOUR ATTENTION TO GOD’S WORD (Proverbs 4:20-22)
4. Fix your mind on God’s Word (Joshua 1:8)
A. REFUSE TO SPEAK WORDS CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE RECEIVED (Mark 11:22-24).
a. Answer every doubt immediately with the Word of God.
b. Answer every symptom of sickness, unforgiveness, lack, strife, fear, etc. immediately with the Word of God.
God bless you real good!
Rev Debo Adeyemo
I think that a lot of people approach prayer in this way. Perhaps not so much to ‘change’ His mind but to perhaps make Him aware of a situation and solicit His intervention. From a cursory examination of the following verses, it would appear that such is possible.
John 14:13-AV And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 16:23-AV And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you.
Matthew 18:19-AV Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
James 5:16-AV Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The application of these popular verses leads the reader perhaps to think they have a book of signed blank checks, but further examination of the scriptures will reveal that there are strict conditions on successful prayer. Namely, the prayer must not be for any selfish reason, (prayer for salvation excepted), the person submitting the prayer must not be in disobedience or concealing secret sin, the prayer must be consistent with the will of God and fit into His plan, it should not be for something God has already said NO to, there should be no indifference or neglect of mercy to others, etc. The supplicant must have the correct attitude of respect, humility and honest motive. We are also told that when we pray, to believe that the request has already been answered. This would seem to rule out repetitive or ‘nagging’ type prayer. Just place it in God’s hands and don’t worry about it any more. Easier said than done eh?
It is my belief that God knew from before the world began, the details of the details of the lives of every one of us. Some Jewish scholars of past ages have written that they believed all this information was actually encoded by God into the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Recent discoveries of a hidden code in the Torah, whilst in their infancy at present, are causing speculation that this view may be correct. Here are some verses to support my belief.
Ephesians 1:4-AV According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
2Timothy 1:9-AV Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
Titus 1:2-AV In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
John 17:5-AV And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
1Corinthians 2:7-AV But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Peter 1:20-AV Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
The point I am laboring to explain here is that when we pray, God has known since before the world began, that we would, what we would ask, when we would ask it, what His answer would be, and if affirmative, the action put in place to answer us, which may have been months, years, or centuries in the making.
Isaiah 65:24-AV And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.
Now, whilst God, who knows the end from the beginning, may be aware of what decisions we will make, they are still ours to make. I am not saying we are not in charge of our own destinies, only that God already knows the full story. Those who are familiar with their Bibles will be aware that throughout history there have been two lines of prophecy presented. What would happen if one did this and what would happen if one did that. The future is in our hands.
So changing the mind of God, trying to make Him aware of something and seeking His intervention would simply be the request of a lowly human who was unaware that these matters were already in hand before time began. We are dealing with an intelligence so vast that even comprehending it is way beyond our puny abilities. God exists outside of linear time which constrains our whole universe. He created linear time.
So for what purpose then do we pray? By doing so we continually remind ourselves of our position in the scheme of things and our utter dependence on God, for our lives and all that goes into them. It is a means of drawing closer to our Maker, of cementing the friendship of Jesus. Our example to others may lead them to also pray and praise the majesty of God. Prayer is also listening. It is a two way communication and requires practice and diligence to develop ‘speech recognition’. Prayer for others is demonstrable of our love and concern for our neighbor, in accordance with the command to ‘love one another’. We should pray that if our request be part of God’s plan, that He will reveal the answer to us. We should also have faith to believe that we are in His hands and since we have given our life to Him, we need only to trust that no matter what happens to us in this life, however terrible we may think that is, it will work out for the best in the end. The best being the furtherance of His plan to save as many as possible, not our immediate comfort. The harder the task in terms of suffering and difficulty, the more thanks we should give that He has entrusted such a difficult task to us.
I see prayer not as a means of manipulating God but as a means of improving my relationship with Him so that I might better understand His will, and increase my faith in His controlling hand. The answers to the prayers I pray were determined long ago. What if I do not pray? Probably the answer would NOT be in the pipeline. Therefore the more I pray, the more trouble God has had to go to in past ages to factor an answer into the scheme of things. Does that make sense? Or am I getting out of my depth?
When one’s relationship with Jesus is close enough that one can hear and understand His communication with us, then we can truly know His will. We can go into prayer on a matter, ask questions and get answers. We will be able to know whether a miracle of healing may be performed or whether it may not. We will be able to call on that infinite power to perform miracles in accordance with God’s will just like great men of God in past ages. The only thing stopping us is the closeness of our relationship. When we have achieved such a relationship then the promises in the verses at the start of this study will apply to us. This is my understanding on the matter.
May the Grace of our Lord be with every reader,
It can be. I often expect God to answer my prayers in a certain way. This is often wrong but because one is desperate you accept the answer. But truly , your prayer must come from your heart and soul. Then you can avoid any controversy.
A prayer can never violate God’s will. God is alpha and omega — all there is. Prayers are always communication between a human being and Father. They should always be decision also. We should pray from the place of righteousness.
We don’t need to manipulate God — God himself has promised to answer our prayers, provided that we have faith. Take it this way — God has given us this wonderful opportunity to be on this earth.. He has given us the tools to lead a wonderful life. It is always our decision, and we can live in harmony with God and law of God.
If God would have a certain plan for our lives — then everything would have been decided already, and we would be mere puppets. We are not puppets and we have a total free will to decide what kind of life ours will be.
God is always there to help and assist us…and give us guidance…but the life is always filled with free will. God speaks directly to your heart, and thus what you desire the most is growth and what your heart says.
So therefore, you could not violate God’s will since you are doing what your heart says to you… You are violating God’s will if you don’t pray, ask and want to do what you love in your life!
If your goal, need or thing is of good report, if it will help others and if it is of positive nature — then it is certainly in accordance with God.
I believe that we were not given our desires for idly wondering.. I believe we have desires and goals, and I know they are given us by God. God is all there is; and thus all desires are also a part of God.
If you don’t like fishing — it is very unlikely that you will dream of fishing or even pray to become a fisher. It would be manipulating your own life if somebody would be forcing you to become a fisher when God speaks to your heart that you have other ambitions.
My suggestion is this: never cease asking things which you need. Jesus said that he came so that we could have a life and have it more abundantly. God said that he will always answer our prayers! Very easy and simple. There are no conditions or restrictions to this rule. The bible does not say, “Don’t ask stupid questions” nor the Bible says, “Don’t ask me things which I don’t want to give you”.
Prayer is a special gift God gives to us….He is always ready to listen to our needs, which He knows before we ask Him…sometimes I think God allows trials to happen to us to get His attention! Praying, to me, can mean many things….one, of thanks, two, of praise, three, of requests…..
When we request something of God, never do I think of changing His mind, if our request is in God’s will, I believe sometimes He purposely waits for us to ask for it, to acknowledge His omniscience, His Power, His Essence, His always being there for us ….we should be careful what we pray for; sometimes God will give us what we ask to show us we shouldn’t have asked it!
God loves to hear his people pray. It draws us closer to God in our personal relationship with him. When God was here he prayed to the Father for strength, courage, and love. That he complete his choice to die for Us and I am glad he did.
The answer is no.
“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind.” (1 Sam 15:18) Prayer doesn’t change God, but it will sure change you. Just do it and you’ll see. Big time. God knew when you were going to pray for something or someone, that’s one reason why He chose where and when you’d be born, and what you’d be like. He groomed you to pray a certain way at a certain time. He matures us alongside that which or whom we pray for. God is in control reaching even farther than we could ever hope to imagine. I think what we find out in heaven is going to be mind-blowing to say the very least.
Have a great day!
No praying isn’t an attempt to change the mind of God. First we must begin ALL prayer with great thanks to our Father. We need to repent and ask forgiveness for all of our sins……..When we pray, we are to tell HIM all of our cares and concerns. HE wants us to. When we want to have something happen and pray for it, we must let HIM know that we wish it to be HIS will that is done.The following is some scripture to refer to regarding prayer.
(Psalm 34) (Matthew 6:5-15 ~ 7:7-12 ~ 26:36-46) (Luke 18: 1-14) (John 15:1-8~17)
(Romans 1:8-12 ~ 8:18-27) (Ephesians 1:15-19 ~ 3:14-18) (Colossians 1:9-14)
(James 1:5-7) (2Corinthians 12:7-10)
May This Be A Blessing For All!
I believe that prayer does not change the mind of God. Prayer is our desire to change OUR minds so that we are in unison WITH the mind of God. It is our way of seeking, finding, and carrying out the will of God in our lives.
Jennifer N. Ayers-Gould
In response to your question. No, I do not think praying is an attempt to change the mind of God. HOWEVER, it is a requirement. In the Bible we learned that the Lord required some of his prophets to pray a certain amount of prayers…i.e. Elijah was required to pray 3 times for rain. Then rain came. If Elijah had not followed the prodding of the Holy Spirit to pray three times would the Lord have sent the rain anyway? I think probably not. Can God change his mind? I believe He can and does. I believe that when we are on one path…if and when we realize it may not be the right path, prayer can change things…lifting our prayers to The Lord in a sincere, persistent manner can change the outcome and does. My interpretation of scripture, and I am in NO WAY a theologian, is that our prayers unleash the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
It’s almost as if God guides our prayers at times too…we feel the Holy Spirit prick our hearts or get incredible urges to pray for certain things, sometimes just out of the blue…OR we get the incredible urge to praise God.
I believe He guides us and when we are obedient, that guidance produces answers and blessings. In the book of Revelation (I believe it is 8:5 or 5:8) it is said that the Lord has these bowls on His golden alter filled with the prayers of the saints, when the time is right, God takes his scepter and mixes fire with the prayers of the saints and pours it down over earth…My opinion is, and I have used this many times in intercession and my own prayer life… I have my own prayer bowl on God’s alter…when I have filled it he pours the answers upon me… works every time… sometimes the bowl is small and sometimes it requires major filling… persistent prayer usually does it and the answer, weather it is the one I am hoping for a a blessing wrapped in a different package is ALWAYS perfect.
Thanks for letting me answer :o) START FILLING THOSE PRAYER BOWLS!!!
For this reason I say to you, all things that you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and you will have them. Mark 11: 24
When I pray to God for the healing of a disease, for the salvation of a sinner, or for the accomplishment of a work. I do not know when the disease will be healed, when the person will be saved, or when the work will be accomplished. But I know God has heard me, and I received the answer to my prayer. I believe it with all my heart. In the eyes of most people, answers to prayer belong to the future. They might say perhaps God will answer whenever He is ready. Not so. The Lord Jesus said “all things that you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and you will have them,” He is speaking of genuine faith.
In our mind, we often misread the word “have” in the phrase “believe that you have received them.” and change it to
……….”believe that you will receive them”
……….”believe that you can receive them”
……….”believe that you are going to receive them”
Once you change it, that is no longer faith. Only one faith is genuine faith –the faith that believes “All things are possible with God” Don’t doubt the Lord’s word.
The Lord’s Word does not say “you will, you can or you are going to receive” but “you have received them.” Believe that you HAVE received them right now.
Do not wait for the future. Do not wait for the future. Even though God’s timing is not out timing. Remember though YOU HAVE RECEIVED THEM….right now. Claim the victory. Thank Him, Praise Him and give Him all the Honor and Glory “That you HAVE RECEIVED THEM” Do we see this?
Is praying an attempt to change the mind of God…… I think not. It’s standing of the Word of God and believing.
Lord Jesus, produce genuine faith in me. I pray that my faith would not be limited by a wrong view concerning the way you answer prayer. HAVE RECEIVED….HAVE RECEIVED…..HAVE RECEIVED…..Help me and teach me to pray with such faith.
Amen. God Bless You SpiritofLove11@aol.com
This one’s got me stumped. These are just some thoughts that I have on this: I believe God has a plan for each of us. But I don’t think that those plans are set in concrete because of the sinful nature of each of us. I believe that God wants us to come to Him to ask for help with each other, and through that asking of help, He answers us and draws us closer to Him. Maybe it could be thought of like a maze. Each twist and turn is a sin in our life, but when we come to the Mercy seat of our Father He directs us in the way out of the corner we’ve put ourselves in.
Each life is different and each sin takes us to a different turning point, but eventually, with the Father’s help we get to the open end and also help others achieve the same in the process.