Saturday, September 15, 2018

Changing God's Mind

A person speaking on Christian radio suggested that prayer is changing the heart and mind of God. I am not sure about that.

God loves me. He knows everything that can be known. He knows what is best for me. If God wants something for me, it would be a mistake to get him to change his mind to align with what I want. I am often wrong about what I need, so if God gives in to what I want, I am probably going to get “second best”.

So, it probably better not to change God’s mind. That way I will get what is best for me.

Prayer is not changing God’s mind, or persuading him to do something that he does not want to do. It is giving him permission to do what he already wants to do.

One place where it might seem we could change God’s mind is about what he is planning to do for someone else. For example, Abraham thought that he changed God’s mind about what he was going to do about Sodom. But that is only part of the picture.

God gave authority over the earth to humans, so he can only intervene on earth, if we give him permission. Humans sinned and surrendered their authority on earth to the spiritual powers of evil. They used their stolen authority to get with wrecking and destroying everything that God had created ever since.

God needed to intervene and cut off the advance of evil in Sodom, but he could not do it without human permission. So, Abraham was not really changing God’s mind. He was giving God permission to do what he had already decided to do. God let Abraham think that he was persuading him to be merciful, so that he would give God the permission that he needed.

Prayer is not changing Gods mind. It is not persuading him to do things for us that he does not want to do. Prayer is people with authority on earth giving God permission to what he has already said that he wants to so. Therefore, a key to prayer is listening to God and discovering what he wants to do.

More at Prayer and Authority.

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