Discuss Can Prayer Really Change Things?

Can Prayer Really Change Things?

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Can prayer change things? Does talking to God have any effect whatsoever on what happens? If we are sick, does asking God to heal us make a difference in whether we get better? If a friend has rejected the Lord, is there any point in pleading for his salvation? These are not just theological questions. Our trust in God is at stake. On one hand, the Bible assures us that the Lord answers prayer. On the other, it teaches that God is the sovereign Lord who knows and rules all things according to his perfect will.

1 John 5:14

I believe that God answers prayer, but not necessarily all prayers. I think 1 John 5:14 provides a good rule of thumb: when we ask things according to his will, he grants our petition. However, if we pray for something that is not his will, he will not grant it. For example, Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane prayed that he would not have to be crucified, that "the cup would pass" however, that was not God's will for him. In another example, Elijah prayed that the heavens would quit raining until Israel repented, and God granted his request.

I think the key is to first measure, is: what I am asking for, working with or against God's plans? Then once you are certain, then pray with confidence, because God loves when people approach him with faith. As an extreme example, Abraham "negotiated" with God back and forth, until finally God consented that, for even as little as 10 righteous people, God would spare a city (Genesis 18:20 - 32.)

God is sovereign, indeed, but he is no dictator. He is a loving father who can be reasoned / pleaded with, and trusted. If your child asks you for bread, will you give them a stone? (Luke 11:11) On the other hand, if my child asks me for wine, I'd surely decline.

Grace be with you all,
Nate

viviana's picture

Yes, prayer can change

Yes, prayer can change things. Prayer is a way to communicate with God.

celinaB's picture

I believe prayers are strong.

I believe prayers are strong. This can changes things and can be a miracle. Just have faith in God.

drpreeti's picture

Help Required

I need a personal suggestion from you. I have a friend who is Narcissistic. She used me , abused me and now have discarded. I am not angry at her at all. She has been doing this with many of them. She is having an affair although she is married.

Being a doctor myself I understand that she herself does not recognizes this issue. I really want to pray for her (because currently she is not talking to me) and if i write an email to her explaining about her personality problem , I think she might revolt, because Narcissistic do not have that sense of understanding.

So would praying for her change her mind or should I explain her about her problem. I really want to help her because currently her life is in mess both personally and professionally and she is not realizing this.

Your suggestion would be very helpful as this would help my friend.

Lynn59's picture

Reply to DrPreeti regarding friend

Hi there, DrPreeti,

I saw your post today, and I understand how you feel about your friend, as I have friends--and even family--who are narcissistic and, of course, have not yet come to the realization of how destructive that can be. But I am still holding out hope for those whom are negatively impacted by their own narcissism or who are negatively impacting those around them.

I have found that when I pray, I must leave the matter in God's hands and then wait. Often, our advice to someone close to us is not well-received, especially if we have given it more than a time or two and it has gone unheeded. I, therefore, intercede for the person and ask God to speak to them and enlighten them. I also pray for wisdom if I am to continue to vocalize my concern to that person. It seems that often the Lord has me remain silent so that He can do the work needed. And I also ask that the Lord would send others across my loved one's path to speak truth in love to them, as guided by the Holy Spirit.

I may have a deep desire to help others, but I realize that I have no power over them nor can I make them change. That must be done by the Holy Spirit. Anything I say or do must be guided by the Holy Spirit so that it is a help and not a hindrance to what He wants to do in someone's life.

That is so wonderful that you have been able to forgive your friend. And I pray for you, for God's wisdom to guide you as you seek the best for your friend so that you will know what your part should be in helping her.

Blessings,

Lynn

PS. Here are some scriptures that have helped guide me regarding intercession:

I pray for the Lord to direct a person's heart to the love of God (2 Thess. 3:5).

I also pray often for someone, as Paul did for the Colossians, so that they would be filled with the knowledge of the Lord's will in spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9-10).

I pray for an awakening in the hearts of those I love (Eph. 3:14-20).

And should the Lord direct me to speak to a person regarding their sin, I try to do so with love and gentleness, heeding the advice of Paul and of our Lord Jesus (Eph. 4:15; Gal. 6:1; Matt. 18:15-17).

I believe that God uses means

I believe that God uses means to bring about His purpose in the lives of man. I have often said that prayer is the change of things, not, "Prayer changes things...".

If we are truly a "new creation", that change in us causes us to rely on our God, trusting His wisdom in His purpose for us. Prayer should be the expression of our bowing the knee before Him. Changes in our Heart, mind, passions, and soul, result in a submission to the great God of our salvation.

roman2819@ymail.com's picture

Understanding Prayer, Faith and God's Will [EDITED]

Roman,

Your post was about prayer and might have remained, but as an advertisement for your book, it had to go. Please see posting guidelines at http://www.ccel.org/node/546. If you wish to advertise, please contact CCEL staff (note the choice "Advertise with Us" at the bottom of the page.

We would gladly welcome your shared knowledge if you wish to share it as a poster rather than attempting to be an advertiser in the forums.