We are all at different places in life and in our relationship with God. Many of us have been walking with Him for decades, but others haven’t known Jesus that long. Still, others that God has called don’t even know him yet, at least as Jesus.
Still, it’s a common question, can we change God’s mind by praying?
Yes, we can change God’s mind by praying and. It’s part of what intercession is. Moses interceded when God told him he was going to destroy the Israelites. He changed God’s mind. Praying can cause God to make decisions in the best interest of our lives and the people we pray for.
Last night I was listening to a teaching by an unusual teacher named Arthur Burk.
I don’t know much about him but I’ve known about him for over a decade. He is very intellectual but also very spiritual. He does an amazing job combining the Spirit, Soul, and brain. He doesn’t throw out the brain and the mind in favor of an exclusively spiritual perspective.
Anyway, he said something very simple that struck me profoundly. I was listening to a recording he made to give prayer direction for a specific situation. He was using it as an example of how to use prayer in a situation. He humbly explained how he thought a particular direction of prayer was God’s will for the situation (the specifics are irrelevant).
He said something simple but it had a profound effect on my spirit. He said:
“It may be that [Father] God has decided to place these angels in the situation.”
What struck me was “God has decided.”
I often lose sight of the fact that God is a whole person. There are times I am interacting with him as the Holy Spirit, Jesus, or the Father.
I can break that down a lot further and say that there are times I am interacting with Jesus as savior, lamb, resurrected Lord, friend, and lover of my soul, as is seen in the Song of Solomon. I don’t want to get off on a bunny trail here. Even still, the Father and the Holy Spirit have different aspects of their personalities too.
We serve a 3 in one God, but even that doesn’t explain enough. Each aspect of God has more features than we will ever be able to grasp in this lifetime, or even ever.
The Four Living Creatures Still Haven’t Seen All of God
The four living creatures have eyes inside them and all over the outside of them. Their job is to gaze at God day and night without ceasing. Their eyes gaze and behold him and search the depths of who God is.
Each time they search, they find something new. Something awesome that they shout out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” What do they see??
My point is that there are so many parts of God that it’s impossible for us to fully grasp who he is. Each one of us knows a unique part of God. It’s an individual relationship, and we’re all unique. Also, certain aspects of God are emphasized more or less depending on the stream of Christianity you are part of.
Well, that was a nice bunny trail…
I Never Thought of God as Someone That Made Decisions
Let me explain what I mean…
The very act of “deciding” something indicates that there is a period of time before the decision, a time during the decision-making process, and time after the decision is made.
God is infinate and soverign. He knows all things before they happen. He is, after all, the beginning and the end. But maybe I’ve emphasized his sovereignty so much that I’ve neglected other parts of him.
He is a person that makes decisions. Even though he has a plan and knows what the plan is (the Father I am talking about), he lets things unfold and limits his plan to the restraints of time, events, and human free will.
If God can decide something, then can humans influence his decision?
The answer to this, I believe, is yes. Absolutely. It’s just not something that has really clicked in my mind recently…until I listened to that Arthur Burk prayer.
I mean, that’s what intercession is, at least a part of it. It’s asking God to intervene in a certain circumstance. Like Moses’ plea for God to spare Israel after God wanted to destroy them all and start over with Moses being the main guy.
Because of Moses’ relationship with God (and obedience and lots of other stuff), God was persuaded not to destroy Israel. This was when they were worshipping a carved image of a calf at the bottom of God’s mountain.
These truths are simple and not complex but are easily forgotten, at least for me sometimes.
This got me pondering…
If God makes decisions according to the situation and can be influenced by people’s prayers, maybe he would hear me and intervene in my situation?
That sounds like a dumb thing for someone that has spent over a decade involved in the Prayer Movement to ask. Of course, I know and believe that God answers and responds to prayer. I pray an unusual amount, though not in all seasons.
I’m known by a lot of people as someone that prays ALOT, but that hasn’t been so true lately. Forgetting revelation God has revealed is an easy thing to do. The Israelites did it a lot. They forgot. I’m not above them. I understand how easy it is. For whatever reason, revelation and “lessons” God has taught us don’t always stick. God tells us in scripture to do certain things to remember. Well, I guess I haven’t been doing that for a while…and I forgot some stuff.
Somewhere I lost the awareness of the relationship. Maybe, I’m guilty of treating prayer as something transactional. I mean, I’m aware that my words have power. What I speak can release light or darkness.
The power of life and death, after all, are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I am familiar with the authority of words, even among unbelievers. Words are powerful, whether they’re prayers to the true God, prayers to false gods, or curses. They hold power. I am aware of all this…
My point is that I forgot the simplicity of relating to God
I started to view the situations and circumstances I am in as something that God was not involved in. I believed that the only way through was hard work and determination. Having goals and having a plan.
So, what have I been doing lately? I’ve been disciplined, determined, and working hard. In order to better me and the situation, I am in.
These things are all important and often neglected. I’m not knocking on them. But I forgot how much power God has over situations, and how much further God can take us than our own abilities. Last night, I embraced my weakness and I opened myself up to God and his power that is perfected in human weakness.
I also forgot that God is a person that wants to be involved in all aspects of my life. He is waiting for me to invite him into my everyday life. He’s doesn’t just want to be involved in my prayer time, my Bible reading time, or times I designate to him. He wants to be part of my entire life. Every aspect of it.
He wants our work, our job, our businesses, all of our relationships, our plans for the future, our recreation, and our rest. He wants all of it. Even the painful areas of our heart and soul that we don’t want him to see. The areas we close off to him or view as irrelevant, he wants those especially.
He wants our eyes, our hearts, our ears and every other part of our body to be in alignment with who he is. We are told to pray that we’d have eyes to see and ears to hear. We’re also commanded to strengthen our weak knees. There are many examples of physical parts of the Bible God wants.
The point is that HE WANTS IT ALL.
God is good and when our lives are alignment with his will it opens up a flow of blessing, and that’s what God wants for us.
We have many aspects to our selves
Just like God has many different facets and aspects to himself so do we. Jesus is many things. He’s a son of God, he’s the beginning, the end, Lord, Savior, an Intercessor, a big brother, a husband, and more. The cool thing I think I am realizing is that so are we. We are much more than just a son/daughter, intercessor, missionary, pastor, prophet, author, musician, father, son, etc.
There are many aspects to our lives. To restrict our identity to just one of those aspects would cut off God’s flow of blessing into the rest.
My situation began to shift the next day
As I was listening to Arthur Burks prayer direction last night the head knowledge that I had about God began to seep deeper into my heart. I began to invite him into areas of my life I had neglected. I sought to change his mind about my situation and I asked for help.
I also prayed some of the “blessing of Job” prayers Arthur has on his website.
That was last night.
This morning something very unexpected happened. It was way out of the ordinary.
I’m not going to share what it was here but I might in a future post. It’s something that is still developing and involves someone I’ve wanted to be able to learn from, that doesn’t know me.
It might not turn into much but the fact that I am meeting a well-known person that I want to learn from tomorrow, without initiating anything on my own. Is very awesome, in and of itself.
Can Humans Change Gods Mind Through Prayer?
I invited God into my situation from the heart. All it took was for me to be reminded that God is someone who makes decisions. Which involves time and the ability to influence those decisions. If his mind was made up about everything, then that would make prayer irrelevant.
In Daniel, chapters 9 & 10, he encountered an angel two separate times. In one of those chapters, I can’t remember which, the angel told Daniel that the moment he set his heart towards God and began to pray that God heard him.
The Father sent an answer to Daniel immediately. The response from God to Daniels prayer was given to the angel that was now appearing to Daniel and explaining everything. But there was a delay due to the very real spiritual warfare that was going on.
It took 3 weeks for the angel to get to Daniel and deliver the message. The angel explained that the Prince of Persia had blocked him from getting to Daniel. An archangel had to help this angel escape, who must not have been as strong. The angel was sent in response to Daniels’s prayer and fasting.
Daniel influenced God to make a decision. He decided to give Daniel valuable insight into his plans and purposes. Daniel partnered with God through prayer, relationship, and righteous living. He influenced events that took place and ultimately how God shaped human history.
So, can we change god’s mind by praying? I hope I’ve given you a glimpse of how this is possible. It’s a subject that many books have been written on, and many more will be. It’s not like magic or like casting a spell. It’s surrendering to God and becoming his friends.
What does it mean to be a friend of God?
When Jesus was still on the earth, he told his disciples that he no longer called them servants but friends. That friendship realm is something we don’t hear about too often. A real friendship takes time to develop. It requires trust and commitment. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.
God rewards those who diligently seek him, I think, because the ones that do diligently seek him end up becoming his friend. So, if we see people who are unusually blessed by God and seem to have such a close relationship with him…were they so diligent that they stumbled upon a truth that is hidden from most of us? I mean, it’s one thing to know what Jesus said about being his friend, and it’s another thing completely to enter into it.
What kind of favors does God do for his friends? Can you grasp that? If you can then I’m not sure you are really hearing me. To be a friend of God, wow. That is a privelenge.
Can God’s friends change his mind?
Let me know in the comments.