Jesus said: “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. ” (Mark 9:23)
Does God change His purposes or His plans because we pray? Is anything at all changed because we, a praying people desire to have them changed? These are serious questions for all of us Christian, and they demand a serious answer.
It cannot be conceived that God, who from eternity has had a plan to which He is working, should change that plan or purpose because man wants it changed. If God orders that which He see is best; if His purposes know no haste or delay, man can no more change God’s purposes than he can change the stars in their appointed path.
Therefore, what is the use of praying?
It is clear that God would not encourage us to pray and promise to answer, if nothing was accomplished by prayer. The statement is clear: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16). Just what does it avail?
The Bible has lots of stories of miracles that happened because of prayers. The lame were healed; the blind had their sight restored; the lepers were cleansed; the paralytics had use of 家庭輔導. their limbs restored; even the dead were raised. (Acts 3:1-8; Matthew 9:27-31; Luke 7:22, 12-15). In view of God’s readiness to help us in answer to prayer, we are exhorted to seek the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6); to ask, seek, and know (Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:90; to watch and pray (Matthew 26:41); always to pray (Luke 18:1); to pray that we may be accounted worthy to escape (Luke 21:36); to pray with all prayer, and supplication, and thanksgiving (Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6); to continue in prayer (Colossians 4:2); to pray for all men (1 Timothy 2:1); to pray everywhere (verse 8).
If we therefore were asked if prayer changes God, we would answer that prayer does not and is not intended to cause any change in God. His purpose is not changed. There are times when He may have alternate ways of working or may permit a certain choice of procedure, as in the case of David where He gave him a choice of three kinds of punishment because of his transgression: seven years of famine; three months of defeat in battle; three days of pestilence. (2 Samuel 24:12-14); God’s purpose was not changed though David repented; but the king did have a choice of punishment.
Men Are Changed
If we were asked if prayer does not change anything we would definitely assert that prayer changes things, that prayer moves the arm of Omnipotence, that prayer can move mountains, clear away difficulties, heal the sick, change the entire course of a man’s life, and even change history.
There are those who believe that prayer is primarily a means of getting something out of God, which He may hesitate to give, but which persistent prayer will effect. In support of this view they cite the account of the unfortunate widow who wearied the judge to the extent that he at last gave her what she desired, for no other reason that that she annoyed him. (Luke 18:1-8). In like manner, they believe that if they pray long enough, God will grant their request. They forgot that the parable was given not to show what God is like, but what God is not like. God does not give men what they ask because they pray long.