Can We Change God’s Mind with Prayer? A Bible Study

by Robert Driskell · Print Print · Email Email

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. [A discussion of God’s foreknowledge, election, and predestination are beyond the scope of this article]

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?

Most often, it is we who are changed when we come to God in prayer.

Most often, it is we who are changed when we come to God in prayer.

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.

Conclusion

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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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Patti Driskell August 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

Great article. Thank you for reminding of this. I do need to trust God for everything, he knows what is best for me.

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Robert August 29, 2013 at 11:47 am

You are so absolutely right, my better half.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Ken August 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Help me understand… If God knows everything that will be… what’s the point of everything that was or is? In other words… if God knows who will be saved and who will not be saved, what’s the point of worrying about it? God not knowing the unknowable is not a problem theologically… Saying that God knows the unknowable is a problem theologically. Similarly… Does God get everything He wants… and doesn’t God want everyone to be saved?

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Jack Wellman August 30, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hello Ken. Not being the author of this fine work, maybe I can say this. We know God desires that none perish (2 Pet 3:9).

Why pray then? Jesus commanded us to pray, that’s enough for me. Jesus giving the Lord’s prayer said to pray like this and then gave the template in the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus told the disciples “When you pray do not pray like the hypocrites…etc.” He said WHEN not if.

We come to God with our specific requests, and we have God’s promise that our prayers are not in vain, even if we do not receive specifically what we asked for (Matthew 6:6; Romans 8:26-27). He has promised that when we ask for things that are in accordance with His will, He will give us what we ask for (1 John 5:14-15). Sometimes He delays His answers according to His wisdom and for our benefit. In these situations, we are to be diligent and persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7; Luke 18:1-8). Prayer should not be seen as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God’s will done on earth. God’s wisdom far exceeds our own.

God wants everyone to be saved but people have free will and anyone who chooses to believe may be saved (John 3:16-18) but God will not force people to go to heaven. They must want to come willingly.

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Robert August 30, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Ken,
Thank you for reading and commenting. I will attempt to answer your questions as fully as possible.

First, you wrote: “If God knows everything that will be… what’s the point of everything that was or is?” Simply put, the point of everything is God. Being the Creator, Sustainer, Savior, etc. means that He is fully worthy of our worship, and He is the ‘point’ of everything. He does not have to answer to us or answer every question that we may have. He even told us that we would not understand everything about Him or His ways, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV).

You also wrote: “if God knows who will be saved and who will not be saved, what’s the point of worrying about it?” God’s knowledge does not determine our destiny. He has provided the way for us to be saved (the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus), but we must choose whether to put our faith in Him or not So, just because God knows who will be saved and who will not, does not remove our responsibility to respond to His loving offer of salvation.

The ‘knowable/unknowable’ discussion is a waste of time, much like the question of how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. We have enough information to make decisions that affect our eternal destination, we shouldn’t foolishly waste our time and energy on futile speculation (I Timothy 1:3-5).

You finished with: “Does God get everything He wants… and doesn’t God want everyone to be saved?” The Bible does say that God wants everyone to be saved, “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:3-4 ESV). Nevertheless, God has also set the conditions by which one can be saved, “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV).

Ken, I hope the answers I’ve given will help you in your search for truth. Please feel free to comment further if you’d like. God bless you.

Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Jack Wellman August 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I agree with Patti…great article from a godly man who I love like a brother. I believe you hit this spot on brother…I do think prayer changes us and your friendship has changed me too.

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Robert August 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm
David September 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm

didnt God change His mind in the wilderness when Moses interceded and asked God to blot out his [Moses] name fro, the book of life rather than break His promise to Abraham?

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Jack Wellman September 1, 2013 at 5:12 pm

David, does God change His mind? No, God does not change his mind and I am glad for He probably would have changed His mind about saving me! It is not in an eternal sense that He changes anything. However, we do see verses in the Bible that imply he does – in a temporal sense. We have to understand that God has revealed himself to us in what we call anthropomorphic revelation. This means that he has lowered himself to our level and speaks to us in a manner that is consistent with our understanding so that we can understand, having finite minds, what He is saying (from the infinite mind of God). The Book of Life in the Old Testament was about the physical life and not the same book, even different language or words used in the Greek Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old & New Testament) as in the New Testament, precisely in Revelation. We must understand that God knew that Moses would say this and decided ahead of time what He would say. God is sovereign. Who can fathom His mind…so He speaks to us in words that finite human minds can wrap around from the mind that no human can discover.

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David September 2, 2013 at 2:12 am

I`m not sure I agree, but we both love God, have accepted Christ, and are a part of His body [the Church].
Peace and love, David
P,S, at the moment thinking of the wonderful hymn “When I survey the wondrous cross“

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Robert September 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hi David,
Thank you for reading and commenting, brother. I would like to add one thing to Jack’s comment earlier. I think the event that you were talking about (Moses) is simply another example of God reacting to our response to Him. Many, if not all, God’s promises are conditional; for example, when we come to Him in dependence He reacts differently than if we are rebelling in disobedience. I don’t think the Bible teaches that God changes His mind as much as it teaches He changes His course of action depending, many times, on our responses to Him. God bless you, David.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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David September 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Thank you brother Robert. Very good answer. Never thought of it that way.
Blessings

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John Harris (UK) September 9, 2013 at 4:29 am

May I respectfully suggest that the above discussion has got a little off the point and bogged down in the details of the mechanics rather than the overriding principle. God’s mind like everything else about Him is perfect so if it were to change it would become less than perfect. Impossible! I think we often forget that prayer should be a two way communication and we need to listen as much, or more, than we speak. A man who has a child who meekly accepts everything his father says and does what he is told without comment or question cannot be said to have a great relationship. Surely the joy of having children is in their involvement in your life, in their wanting to know the whys and wherefores. Gradually you explain to your child the reasons for your actions and train him to be a good member of society. Prayer, listening as well as speaking, is that training to be a good member of God’s kingdom. Perhaps not many of us would claim to be there yet but our aim must be like Paul to “have the mind of Christ”. “Pray without ceasing” might be interpreted as “Be involved in God’s work all the time”.

with every blessing,
JOHN

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Robert September 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

John,
Thank you for reading and commenting. Your analogy of prayer is spot on. Prayer cannot be reduced to a mere set of steps to be carried out, it is a relationship (as you say) that must be cultivated constantly. Thank you for your insight into this vital part of being a follower of Jesus. God bless you, brother.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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DocReits November 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Hey Robert, Jack and John,

Good discussion. I like your thought Robert that God’s promises are conditional. What is a conditional promise one might wonder? It goes like this, “If A, then B. If not A, then not B”.

A really great Scripture reference for this, stated in a nice concise manner is found in Jer 18. Here the nation of Israel is being reminded that God is the potter and they are the clay, not vice versa…After this reminder God speaks through Jeremiah and says,

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”(Jer 18: 7-10)

So does God change His mind here? No. He sets up (If/Then)conditions for His mercy or His wrath. The choice is ours. My prayer is that everyone will say along with Joshua, “As for me and my house, We will serve The Lord” (Josh 24:15). IF we do, THEN we will have eternal life, whereas IF not, THEN not. God remains constant in this equation(unchanging), the dependent variable is “us”.

Blessings!

DocReits

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Robert November 5, 2013 at 6:54 am

You are absolutely right, Doc.
I think that the root of our problems in this world is that we too often forget the potter/clay relationship and, as you said, we tend to invert it and live by the belief that, since we are believers, God exists to serve us instead of the other way around. Thank you for sharing your insights on this site, I’m sure they are a blessing to many who read them.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Chris D August 17, 2014 at 5:57 am

I see a lot of circular reasoning here. Gods ways are unknowable in their totality, but most of his ways are revealed to us in scripture. To answer everything with “well, the clay pot is made a clay pot by its creator, if it doesn’t like it, then too bad” argument is baseless and counter to the spreading of the gospel. We are told to be like the Boreans, to diligently study and uncover many of the hidden secrets God put forth to confound the worldly wise. God does not change his mind when he has come to a conclusion, however, him being omniscient explains how our prayer does have impact. He knew before stating “Light, be” everything from beginning to end. Our prayers were known beforehand, and God sometimes sets his plans in motion to coincide with said prayer. When you understand the concept of God living outside of time and seeing all events connected like links in a chain fence, God remains unknowable, but to some degree understandable. It also helps one to understand the concept of the Elect. Free will decisions help God to formulate His plan accordingly, whereas changing God’s mind is utterly impossible.

Thomas Aquinus, perhaps the Churches greatest theologian and philosopher put it like this. “We pray not in order to change the divine disposition but for the sake of acquiring by petitionary prayer what God has disposed to be achieved by prayer.”

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DocReits August 17, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Hi Chris,

I agree with you that God is outside of time and that does help with the whole “election” debate. I also like the way you described God knowing our prayers “beforehand”. In my strange moments I pray for events that have already happened in the past, like for a loved one’s salvation, whom I wonder if they were saved. They have died. If God is outside of time He should be able to “look forward” in time, seeing my prayers occurring in our future(His present) and will have, God willing, answered them in our past. Strange, right?

I do disagree with your statement that, “God does not change his mind when he has come to a conclusion”. You might wish to set me straight regarding your intent of the word “conclusion”, but there are numerous accounts in the Bible where God did change His mind, as you might remember.

Just a few good examples include the story of Jonah and how God relented or changed His mind about their destruction. He told Jonah that He had planned to destroy the city and everything within it, for their evil. The people repented in sack cloth and ashes, including the King, and cried out to God for forgiveness and God changed His mind regarding the destruction of the city and its people.

Moses on so many occasions , stood between God and the Israelite’s, as an intercessor in prayer on behalf of the people, reminding God that these were His peculiar people, a chosen people, dedicated unto His service. God relented, and changed His mind, regarding their destruction, because of Moses’s intercessory prayer.

Read again from Jeremiah, as I posted above,

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”(Jer 18: 7-10)

This just all proves that we have Free Will, for if we did not then our prayers would not be able to change or influence anything. God constrains Himself, though Sovereign, and allows Himself, through His own Will, to allow humankind to alter His Hand, within the body of His ultimate plan and purposes for the world.

IOW, God’s will is going to be accomplished as you said, and that Will has already been determined, before the foundation of the world. We are a part of that plan presently, and have already influenced and impacted that plan for eternity as we pray today.

Blessings,

DocReits

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Ken Hogan February 7, 2015 at 11:25 am

Let’s examine this recurring fatherhood theme using a wordly example:

You are a parent. Your child gets his hand caught in the spokes of his bicycle. You have previously told him not to engafe in tnis behaviour, vut he has willfully disobeyed you. You sit in your chair observing this spectacle. You, possessing the power to get up and extricate the hand, continue to sit there, grieving for your child. In pain your child pleads “Dad! This hurts! Aren’t you going to come and help me get my hand out of here?”

You reply: “Son, I told you this would happen if you stuck your hand into those moving spokes.”

He pleads: “Dad! Can’t you just come over here and get my hand outta here! I mean, you’re Dad! You can fix this if you wanted to!”

You reply: “No, Son. the minute I get up from this chair, then you would know that I could intervene, and that I make these kinds of choices all the time.”

The child asks: “Don’t you even care that I am suffering? You are a cruel Dad.”

You reply: “No Son, I love you and it grieves me to sit here and watch you suffer. I feel the hurt! I can’t get up, but I can tell you now to get your hand out of there. Just turn the wheel back a little in the opposite direction and your hand will come right out. Then put a bandage on it so it heals.”

Once God starts intervening, then we all have to accept that he is choosing to help, or not help. But, if we ask for help and guidance, and for strength in our souls to carry the burden, he will provide it.

Did you raise your children this way? Would you? Hmmm….

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DocReits February 7, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Hi Ken,

I understand your analogy of the spoke. God allows us to sin, (disobey) or just make stupid mistakes…and we have to pay the consequences. He teaches us this way. That does not mean God does not intervene in our lives. God might not appear as an angel, reaching out to prevent an accident, in this case, but in another He might. I believe in God’s intervention, second by second in our lives allowing and not allowing. We don’t understand the myriad butterfly effect of God’s Hand and thus our confusion and the deist’s suggestion that God sits back and lets it all “happen”.

God “intervenes” in our lives everyday. God is so intimately involved intervening in your life Ken, that he was intervening for you when you drove home today. He made sure traffic was just as He planned. That accident you perhaps had, was also known beforehand by God. Really bad stuff does not escape God’s Eye or Hand. Like these recent shootings in Georgia. I don’t understand the seeming senselessness of such acts, but God does. I do know that the un-Godly are also being used(intervention by God) to eventually show forth His Glory. Here it is,

“Desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, [God] has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory.” (Romans 9:22-23)

Everything that happens is to bring forth(show) His Glory. Nothing “happens” that isn’t God intervening. When your time on earth is over God will end your last breath, on His timetable. It will be Him intervening on your behalf.

Who has known the mind of God? We might think we know God but we don’t. Unfortunately Christians take 1 Cor 2:16b to mean Christians know God’s mind. “We have the mind of Christ”. Those things we know Paul explains are what we have received from the Spirit, “who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”(1 Cor 2:12). I do not presume to know the things, “not freely given us”. We do not have a clue, and hence Paul says “who is the clay to say to the Potter, ‘Why did you make me thus”. (Rom 9:20)

Even Paul here, says He doesn’t understand the deep things of God. To say, as another writer has that, “that is a cop out” is the height of presumption. To suggest we know even a quark’s worth of God’s mind is the quintessential mark of a fool. That does not mean we do not read God’s Word, study and pray for God’s Wisdom, but to think we will know all of God’s counsel(or even a quark) by doing such reminds me of another one who thought so also. He was cast down from Heaven.

I wish you well,

DocReits

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Ken Hogan February 14, 2015 at 8:49 am

Doc,

Neither of us really “know”; it’s presumptious indeed to think otherwise! So it’s silly to presume, then call ourselves foolish for having done so. So I’ll continue with the silliness:

I believe God’s intervention is really “interaction” with us, to the extent we are open to it.

Steering cars around me on the way to work and such isn’t happening in my view. Me being in tune with God, and listening to His voice suggesting that I stop and help a stranded motorist CAN happen. It’s my choice, my “free will” to listen (or not). If I don’t listen, God grieves but does not turn my car around for me. If He could, we are chess pieces on His board, and not made “in His image”, complete with a free will.

Do you believe that God grieved over the Sandy Hook massacre? On what basis was He grieving if He had the power, as you might suggest, to disable the firing mechanism in the gun?

I am enjoying our thoughtful discussion and also wish you well. One day we will both find out the big plan and laugh at our feeble attempts to understand.

Regards,

Ken Hogan

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DocReits February 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

Ken and Ken H(maybe one and the same?),

I agree that God is so far above us that we have no clue what is really happening around us. I do believe Scripture helps our clue-lessness though:

“Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.”(2 Kings 6:17).

Why would God be any different today is my question? I believe that we have angels all around us. I believe that when we praise God, our praises rise, like a sweet, fragrant incense to God in heaven while angels rejoice around us.

“Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering.”(Ps 141:2)

I believe that God is involved so intimately with His Children and the vessels of wrath that it defies description. Those vehicles you describe are all known by God in their journeys. Is His Hand shortened so He cannot arrange their destinies?

Is it not possible for God to speak to you to go back to the closet and pick out another tie for work than the one you are wearing while your neighbor makes a phone call to her son, which God put on her heart, delaying her departure.

Did those delays prevent that head on collision between you and the neighbor? Did it cause a head on collision and cripple you so your dependence would be more upon God? Maybe your quadriplegia would be used by God to bring Him Glory(Joni Eareckson Tada).

Multiply those “coincidences” by trillions upon trillions as God speaks to people to accomplish His Will upon the earth. Ultimately all people will not be saved. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many”(Matt 7:13).

The final battle is coming and God is preparing those who will follow Satan and those who will follow Him. He is hardening hearts as we speak, just as He did Pharoh’s. Why? To show forth His Glory. It is all about His Glory…not about us…we secondarily get blessed by being on God’s Side. Primarily, all things happen for His Glory. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7)”

Don’t discount God’s intimacy with your life. He is right beside you and will help you as you call out to Him in prayer. Don’t discount God’s protection He has mercifully blessed you with all of your life. I would be dead many times over if the Hand of God had not spared me. Prayer does move the Hand of God.

Josh Wiley, the creator of this site, has a most excellent post on prayer. Here it is:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/10-awesome-bible-verses-about-the-power-of-prayer/

You are correct Ken, it is beyond us all what God is doing. I would love to have my eyes opened, like Elisha’s servant, to see the many warriors fighting on our behalf.

Blessings,

DocReits

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DocReits February 15, 2015 at 11:23 am

Hi Ken H,

A follow up on this comment of yours,

“If I don’t listen, God grieves but does not turn my car around for me. If He could, we are chess pieces on His board, and not made “in His image”, complete with a free will.”

Free will is way over rated, IMO. Yes we have free will, but it is “limited”. I disagree with the idea that we are not in a chess game. Lets go with that analogy for a moment.

It is impossible to get a complete picture here but the best I can do is to say that we have the ability to move our pawns from place to place, within God’s Will. He will not change your “free will” to take someone’s life or to do other sinful activities. You are moving your chess pieces within God’s Game.

It is God’s game though and He will win in the end, no matter where we move our pieces…so that begs the question of our “freedom”, doesn’t it?? Our “freedom” does not accomplish our win. The game is rigged and God wins. God ultimately “is” directing traffic, no matter how “free” we think we are.

God can think, not just 20 moves ahead for every one of our moves. He can think all the way to the end of the game and He has a counter move for every one of our moves. So go for it and take your move but God’s Will and end game will not be changed.

Scripture repeats this idea better and much more succinctly:

“A person may plan his own journey, but the LORD directs his steps.”(Pr 16:9)

“You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”(Pr 19:21)

This begs other questions. Do you think Satan is aware of this certainty(God’s Triumph)? If yes, is he just spitefully attempting to drag as many as possible, along with himself, to his doom. If no, why not?

Blessings,

DocReits

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Ken February 14, 2015 at 11:07 am

Sorry guys… It seems every analogy, example, and platitude we offer… breaks down in one way or another… Trying to define the “Undefinable” in our terms is impossible… Biblically… God has acted in various ways in various situations as it has pleased Him… If I suggest God is perfectly and consistently inconsistent… I sound like a heretic… But when we use “our” terms to define Him… we fail. I believe God loves me and wants me to spend eternity with Him… Why He moves me from point A to point Z… slowly and often painfully… I don’t know… To suggest He knows what will make me “perfect” but chooses to let me struggle to get there raises even more questions and difficulties… This “time” we call life is inconsistent with a “timeless” God… Terms like “In the beginning…” “It is finished…” and “God’s plan” are inconsistent with a “timeless” God… I am not an agnostic… but there are things about God we cannot know and we should not suggest otherwise.

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Ken February 14, 2015 at 11:24 am

Ten months ago… I had a heart attack… the doctor “screwed-up” the catheterization… and caused another heart attack… resulting in heart failure and me on my death bed… My family was called together to say goodbye and make arrangements… Word got out… and I’m not exaggerating when I say I had 10,000 people praying for me… I was ready and willing to enter eternity… BUT… here I am. Was it the prayers that changed things? Why would God lead me to the very doorstep of heaven and then say, “Wait?” My theology has obviously been challenged here… Some have suggested God was not finished with me yet… Others have suggested my wife and family needed me more… And still others have suggested it was the prayers of thousands of righteous men and women that changed my life and death… My pastor friend was very quick to say God planned it this way… Really?

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Ken Hogan February 15, 2015 at 11:34 am

Nope not the same guy! Haha!

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Das Mookken March 15, 2015 at 7:05 pm

No one can ever change God’s Mind with Prayer, because, “God” is eternal, permanent and everlasting.

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DocReits March 15, 2015 at 9:29 pm

“No one can ever change God’s Mind with Prayer, because, “God” is eternal, permanent and everlasting.”

Well Das,

We can either believe you or the Bible. I choose the Bible. Here is God’s Word again:

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.”(Jer 18: 7-10)

DocReits

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Das Mookken March 16, 2015 at 6:40 am

Oh yes, you are right, law does not permit a person to both approbate and reprobate.
I think, you don’t know the fundamental difference between the essence of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Matthew 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

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.

If anyone believes that he can change God’s Mind with Prayer, then, certainly, he is NOT believing in true “God”, but, believing in many Traditional Religious Superstitions!

Das Mookken.

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Robert March 16, 2015 at 7:10 am

Hello Doc and Das,
Maybe this is an issue of perspective. (1) From God’s perspective, since He is omniscient, He already knows what He’s going to do, so He DOES NOT change His mind; however, (2) from our perspective, God reacts to our choices in one way or another, thus appearing that God DOES change His mind. There also may be some nuances in the definition of “changing His mind” that need to be explored. I know this is not a comprehensive answer, but I think it touches on the overall concept.
God bless you both.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Das Mookken March 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Your Ref: ” Maybe this is an issue of perspective.”

This is NOT an issue of perspective, but an issue of “Spiritual Knowledge” and numerous Spiritual Philosophies emerging from a single “Spiritual LAW”.
All Spiritual books are written according to a single “Spiritual LAW” and numerous Spiritual Philosophies emerging from the very same single “Spiritual LAW”!

Das Mookken

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Robert March 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Das,
I’m not really sure what you are getting at with your comments, I apologize…maybe you can enlighten me a bit. The Bible clearly reveals that God is not oblivious to the actions of men and women (as Doc showed with his references to Jer 18: 7-10). So, I’m not sure where we disagree. I too believe that God is eternal and unchanging. However, the ‘unchanging’ part does not mean that He always does everything the exact same way; His nature is unchanging. Anyway, maybe you could elaborate as to these ‘spiritual laws’ of which you speak. God bless you, Das.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Das Mookken March 16, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Ok. Let me Know your level of “Spiritual Knowledge.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

Is it practically possible???

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DocReits March 17, 2015 at 1:13 am

Hi Das,

I didn’t mean to offend you in my previous reply. If I did, I apologize. This format of communication is not ideal because we do not know the background of the people we speak with for the first time, nor how they are interpreting the meaning of what we are trying to communicate.

I will just dive right in then to a soup that might be a different flavor than what I believe(so please correct me where I am wrong with my assumptions).

You speak of spiritual Laws. You say, “numerous Spiritual Philosophies emerg(ed) from a single “Spiritual LAW”.”

You then quote Jesus’s answer when asked what the greatest commandment was:

“36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

The Bible makes it clear that we, by ourselves, are incapable of doing this. We are sinful. The Law(Ten Commandments) is a mirror, that when we behold our face in, shows us that we are sinful. “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were.”(Rom 5:20) Have you ever stolen anything Das? Have you ever looked upon a woman with lust? We are sinful and ultimately guilty before a Holy God. This is not superstition.

God’s incredible love for us is this, in that while we were still in our brokenness of sin, the Father sent His Son to pay the bondsman for our bail(Rom 5:8). The Perfect Lamb of God(Jesus) offered Himself willingly for you and for me on the Cross. His Blood paid the price for our sin. The sinless one, becoming sin for us, so that all who believe on Him and His Resurrection will be saved(Rom 10:9,10). God’s Holy Spirit will take up residence within your body and you will be born again.

Knowledge, whether physical or spiritual does not last and is eventually useless:

“special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.”(1 Cor 13:8b-10)

What lasts now and beyond this life is that we both believe on Jesus. By believing we will live with the Father in heaven forever. We will never stop sinning in this life, but God’s Holy Spirit will come to dwell within us, when we take these steps and will help us to sin…less.

I wish you well Das,

DocReits

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