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Does prayer change God’s mind?

Full Question

Someone asked me, “Do you really think you can change God’s mind with prayer?” What do you think?

Answer

God does not change his mind in response to our prayers or our actions. Though Scripture sometimes speaks as if he does, this language is figurative, not literal. If he did change his mind, that would mean that God had imperfect knowledge.

However, the fact that God does not change his mind does not mean that we should refrain from praying. God, in his perfect wisdom, has made some things we need contingent on our praying for them. He does this so that we may turn our hearts to him, rely on him, trust in him, and grow in the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.










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15 comments

  1. Corinne Reply

    So how would that effect us if we are praying for a miracle . Someone being very sick

    1. Dede Reply

      I believe the Lord does answer our prayers. He may not answer them in the way we would like or when we would like, but he does answer them. Yes the Lord has a plan for all of us. This article wants you to believe no matter how much we pray for the sick or dying that it won’t help because the Lord won’t change his mind. The Lord knows everything. I believe the Lord already knows what your going to pray, and is just waiting for you to ask.

    2. emily ward Reply

      When it is said that God does not change his mind, that may be true, however, since we are given free will, which may cause some of the things to happen, that need to be changed for healing, or happiness, I believe that prayer to God can make this certainly happen with no doubt in my mind, and I have experienced it. God is a merciful Father, when our prayers are not answered as we would like them to be, it is always for a good reason, even though we may not be able to see it at the time. I know it really is hard to accept , especially when it concerns loss , as I have lost someone who meant the world to me, recently, and I am still grieving, yet somewhere inside of me, I believe that God allowed it for a good reason and one day I will understand.

  2. winnie Reply

    I respect author’s opinion as entitled. But GOD is immeasurable. No man can fathom or can read GOD’s great mind.

  3. mikeloria Reply

    God’s miracles are not for our physical healing. His miracles are for the benefit of all. It is a physical revealing of His love and glory and what is to come for all of us. The physical healing is just the result. Whether we are healed in this world or the next, everyone who loves and follows will one day be healed. I struggled to understand why God would provide a miracle for one person but not the next until this was explained to me. Our God is awesome.

    1. caconnington.gmail.com Reply

      So when we ask for prayers for , let’s say children with cancer or a child that is having eye surgery . It’s for the benifet of all

      1. Cher k. Reply

        When we pray for a child with cancer, or any other specific, why not add and for all suffering that same thing? God is BIG and he can handle a prayer said for all sufferers. What about the poor souls who have no one to pray for them?

  4. william neal Reply

    Dear Father. In reading Matthew Chapter 6, on prayer and fasting and almsgiving, and other verses of scripture that mention “prayer and fasting”, exactly what are we praying for, or praying in asking to God? If prayer does not change God’s mind, exactly what is meant by us praying to God? Is prayer supposed to be done only to exalt and praise God? When we pray the Lord’s Prayer are we asking for God’s grace via the prayer or what exactly are we doing?

  5. Liesl Almeria Reply

    Praying is not all about asking what we need or want. It is also about praising, thanking and a conversation with God. We will never fully understand His will but all have been laid out even before these things happen in our lives. When we pray for something and we think that it wasn’t granted, doesn’t mean He didn’t hear us. Most of the time He answers it in a way we don’t expect in our ways. And sometimes even in a death of a loved one, being a child or an adult, their demise is not intended for us but His plan for that person. Not because He took our loved one away but He is fulfilling His plan for that person, and we are feeling the effect of that plan as if we are the one who’s being punished for that lose. All our trials in life are what it is: Trials. This is to make us aware that we should only rely on God. He tries us to make us call on Him. To trust in His plans, in HIs way and in His own time. And when we are healed of a deadly disease like cancer, that is God’s plan too. He didn’t change his mind that you lose the battle, but He gave you the gift of healing so you will have a second lease on life and as a living proof that God loves you and that prayer is very powerful. All too is true about how deep our faith is in Him.

    1. Craven Moorehead Reply

      If god has a plan, then free will doesn’t exist. Otherwise it would circumvent the plan, right?
      The person who prays usually gets what they asked for….or the opposite….or neither….which just so happens to be exactly the set of outcomes for those who don’t pray.

  6. Les Reply

    What if we would only pray to praise and thank God, and to ask, Father what is your will in this situation, your will be done Father, or what would you have me do Father? You see, we’ve asked God for nothing but His will to be done as opposed to us asking Him to do something for us. In this case, there’s no issue of whether our prayers change His mind, it’s whether or not we will do what He asks of us.

  7. Ricardo Chahine Reply

    Lot of prayers can give us what we want:

    “Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.” (Luke 11:5-8)

    But so far God doesn’t give us but good. Because he knows better what’s benefitial for us. Even if we kept asking him he won’t satisfy our askings if this will harm us.

    Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13)

  8. Jerick Dave Piamonte Reply

    God does not change His mind. Everything that He planned is for the goodness. Since we have the freedom, He can’t give it directly to you. He respect our free will. When we pray, we need faith. If we pray for the sick, or we need miracle/s, it is His plan to provide it, but with the freedom that we have, it is up to us to accept His plans. Our faith with Him through our prayer will tell Him that we really want His plans for us. Thus, He answers our prayer according to our response to Him. Have Faith!

    1. Heywood Jablome Reply

      That is insane crazy talk! Thor runs the world… Not some mid eastern madman from 2000 years ago.

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