Q - Does prayer change God’s mind?
by Pastor Dr. Rande Smith
A. This is one of the most complex theological questions that can be asked when discussing prayer. If I were the Apostle Paul, and attempting to answer it I would use the word, “mystery.” This is a theological mystery.
As for me, I start with the concept of God’s omniscience. God knows everything … if God is God that has to be true. Scripture teaches that before the creation of the world, God knew everything that would happen in our lives. (Jeremiah 1:5) He knows what we will be praying about even before we pray the words. (The Psalms 139:4)
So, do our prayers really change what God is going to do if He has known all along that He would be doing what we prayed for? That’s a theological mystery. But Scripture also provides examples of how prayer sparks God’s involvement in the circumstances of our lives. Consider the prayers of: Jonah (Jonah 2:7-10), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-20), Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-24), Peter (The Acts 9:36-41), and (The Acts 12:5-11).
Finally, there’s a sense of security in knowing that one of God’s attributes is that He never changes. (Malachi 3:6) His love and concern for us is always constant. He is dependable. So, pray for God to be involved in the details of our lives, knowing that is His desire.