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September 30, 2019

Ep.1093: Do Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?

Unlocking the power of prayer and its influence on the will of God

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Did Moses convince God to change His mind?

Did Jonah convince God to change His mind?

How can we take advantage of the huge benefits of prayer?

How do we access God's will to make changes on behalf of others?

Theme Scripture: Exodus 32:14

One of the very basic tenets of Christianity is the belief that God does not change. We see him as omnipotent, above the fray and the embodiment of clear vision and intention. As such we believe that when God’s plan has been put in motion it is a universally unstoppable force. Enter the concept of prayer. Not only are we instructed to pray for and about things, we are shown several scriptural examples where prayer seems to have changed God’s mind. How can these things be? Why would we pray if God has already decided and how is it even possible to change the mind of He who is unchangeable? Does prayer change God's mind? The answers, as is usually the case, are not found on the surface. They are rooted in the depth of scriptural meaning and provide profound biblical insight into the extraordinary character of God!

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What about the Scriptures that say God changed His mind?

Here we are commenting on the mind of God and whether or not it is changeable.  It’s easy to look at the Bible and see some Scriptures that say God changed His mind and think, “Well, that settles it.  God is changeable therefore ultimately NOT reliable. This means He is not to be trusted or followed.  But it is silly to go down that road.  Why? These accounts were written 2,000 to 4,000 thousand years ago in an ancient language.  We are reading about the Creator of the universe – the being who was there before anything else was.  We have the audacity to conclude, based on these few sentences in question, what the whole character of God is based upon.  Silly!

A better approach

Why not take this approach:  Read these Scriptures within the context they were written.  Examine the words and find their clearest meanings for the time and circumstances in which they were used. Understand who is speaking, who is being spoken to and why.  Then put those findings against the backdrop of what we know through other Scriptures about God.  With all these ingredients in the mix, we certainly have a much better chance of finding the truth of the matter.

Think about this.  You made up your mind to build a bridge.  As you go through the designing and engineering processes, you lay out the steps for construction.  During the actual construction process, one of your trusted engineers comes to you and says, “I think following Plan B instead of Plan A will better reflect all you want this bridge to accomplish."  You have faith in this engineer’s dedication to the project, so you follow his suggestion to use Plan B.  Did you change your mind?  No!  Did you change the method with which you accomplished what your mind was set to do?  Yes!

Check out our September 30, 2019 podcast, “Can Our Prayers Change God’s Mind?” for more.  Follow along as we examine the Scriptures that speak about God “changing" His mind.  As we uncover the true meanings of those verses, we also discover greater depth to the character of God.  This is a conversation worth having!



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5 replies
  1. Doug Rogers
    Doug Rogers says:

    Often times you must fast also….prayer and fasting….we eat or drink something about all day long in todays modern society….probably lifes greatest pleasure all in all. Are we willing to go 10 days with no food just water, or 3 days, or even 24 hrs for something that is very important to us? 2 Chr. 7:14…. maybe the most quoted verse in the OT. Says to humble our selves and pray. We humble ourselves thru fasting….David said ” I humbled my soul thru fasting”.

  2. chanel
    chanel says:

    I just found out my brother is facing life in prison. I said to all family members, “lets pray”. My mother said “why” if she has been praying the entire time. After listening to this podcast, I realize that may be: 1. we werent asking the right questions, 2. we were not being mindful of God’s character and power (? 🙁 ) 3. we prayed for miracles which was wrong (strength instead) and so much more we were doing wrong – is it too late for us to have “energy” now to pray correctly? How fast does God hear/answer prayers, (my brother only has 2 days) (His Word is quick and powerful…) If we fast because we wants something so bad for the other person will that be good enough? or is that perspective prayer and negative hopes? I dont know what to say 🙁 or how to feel. So God really wants to bless us? Did anyone have a prayer that did come true from their own “selfishness (for lack of a better word)? something they wanted for themselves – sight, family member well/alive?

    • Christian Questions
      Christian Questions says:

      Hi, Chanel – we are very sorry you and your family are going through such a heart-wrenching experience. Rest assured, God knows your heart’s desire and anguish. Romans 8:26 tells us “We do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

      The Bible has a very important principle in prayer – the word “nevertheless.” Jesus in the garden prayed to God that his trial would be removed. There are different thoughts as to exactly which part of the trial he was praying about, but we believe it was that he would die as a blasphemer, something that was completely abhorrent to him. He prayed fervently his desire, but ended the prayer with “Nevertheless, Thy will be done.” He was prepared to accept the answer and outcome.

      The Apostle Paul prayed fervently three times for relief from his “thorn in the flesh,” which we believe was his poor eyesight. “Nevertheless I rejoiced in tribulation.” Paul made known his requests and the answer was no, because it would be for his highest spiritual welfare and would be the way to give the most glory to God. He was prepared to accept the answer. Nevertheless.

      It is okay to pray but critical to accept the answer. We need to be ready to receive an answer we do not want to hear and trust the Lord will overrule in the long-term best interest of the situation. God will not withhold an answer because the technical structure of the prayer was not perfect. We want to pray for God’s providence and not our own desires. It would be appropriate for you to pray your brother’s experience will help him to grow, learn and be closer to God. You did not state if the prison time was just in the eyes of the law or if he was wrongfully convicted. There are actions to our consequences and this, too, is a learning experience that if used wisely, can make us better.

      We pray for your strength and for His will to be done every step of the way. We need to trust God’s decisions in our life and in those we love. He always knows what is best. Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” – Christian Questions

  3. Rj
    Rj says:

    So far this one has some good points mentioned. I love to discuss many other points with you as I was suffering with a lot of questions ( which you might feel amateur, simple or foolish). I read many books, articles, sermons and met(emails, in-person) pastors, theologians n scholars but each of them has their own understanding and all those explanations confused me and I am now unable to trust god or focus god. I realised that god wants me to learn from basics again for the foundation of my faith, also to understand to concept of God. Problem is that when we have two attributes of god are getting clash when we read the bible or to those videos/sermons or whatever. So I am confused. I want to lear more n be in touch with you. You can help me with your email or ping me at (email address removed). please help me and I am not an anti-christ and an atheist. I do not want to give upon god because for many reasons I can’t live without god. But with these doubts/questions ( I think it is bcz I don’t have proper basics or foundation) I am unable to be with god. Please help me and don’t lose upon me.


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