Interesting question, huh? It’s been an issue of debate for centuries. On one hand, would the All-Sovereign, All-Knowing God of creation ever need to change His mind? And yet, many godly people in Scripture were compelled to petition and fervently cry out for certain outcomes in history. Even Jesus is described, “in the days of His flesh, when He offered up prayers and supplications with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able save…” (Hebrews 5:7). Surprisingly, prayer changes many things…
…even the mind of God.
After Israel made a golden calf and worshipped it, the Lord’s wrath burned hot against the people to destroy them. But then “Moses pleaded with the Lord, his God…” And because of his fervent prayer, “the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.” (Exodus 32:9-14)
Scripture implies that prayer is necessary for certain outcomes, and if people don’t pray, they might be deprived of what God intended. James wrote: “You have not, because you ask not.” (James 4:2) Jesus taught his disciples to be proactive: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the door will be open to you.” James spoke of the prayer life of Elijah and its effect on the world around him. He concludes, “The fervent effective prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (James 5:16-18)
All of us are so prone to make mistakes; use poor judgment or make incorrect decisions. We have a nature that’s so weak, the Bible admits, “We don’t even know how to pray as we ought.” (Romans 8:26) Being aware of our faulty nature, the Apostle Paul instructs us to pray about everything; pray without ceasing; and continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2)
With prayer we flourish and thrive. Without it, we falter, faint and die.
Prayer should never be our last resort but our first response. God pays close attention to prayer. “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17) Prayer is mysterious. It holds a power within our universe to do remarkable things. Prayer prolonged a day; stopped rain for three years and six months; brought on a pregnancy; healed a sick child; delivered a man from hungry lions and tore down the walls of a city.
Prayer! Just do it!
And God will change everything, beginning with your heart.