Do our prayers really matter?
If we believe that God never changes, that He is the same yesterday, today and forever, then do our prayers really matter (Hebrews 13:8)? Can they really change the mind of God?
I Will Destroy Them
When the children of Israel made it to Mount Sinai, the LORD called Moses to Himself and delivered to him the Law. After forty days on the Mount, Moses descended holding the commandements on stone tablets. When he reached the lower parts of the mountain, laid before him was a scene that sent Moses into a rage.
The people had compelled Aaron to craft a golden calf. They were worshiping this idol as many had done back in Egypt. When Moses saw this scene, he threw the stones and chastised the people.
The response of God to this scene was even more severe. God tells Moses to leave him alone for He is angry at the people. He declares that He will destroy them and Moses will be the new father of His people (Exodus 32:10).
The decree of God has been made. His Will is declared. His plan and purpose revealed. The people will be destroyed and He will begin again with Moses.
Moses prayed before the LORD. He reminded God of His promise. Moses prayed to God to change his mind. . . and He did (Exodus 32:12 – 14). The scripture says that God changed His mind.
So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people – Exodus 32:14
King Hezekiah is About to Die
King Hezekiah was a good king of Judah. He introduced religious reforms and brought back the Law of Moses to the land. He destroyed the high places and the idol worship from the land. He helped return Israel to following the LORD.
Hezekiah became sick to the point of death (Isaiah 38) and Isaiah the prophet went to him and declared the message of the LORD. Hezekiah would die.
This news struck the heart of Hezekiah. He prayed to the LORD. He asked God to remember him and to spare his life. Hezekiah prayed earnestly with bitter weaping (Isaiah 38:2-3).
The LORD heard the prayers of Hezekiah the king and sent Isaiah the prophet back to him with a message. God said that he heard his prayer, that he saw his tears and that He would add fifteen years to his life (Isaiah 38:4-5).
The plan for Hezekiahs life was changed because of prayer. If the prophet of God delivers a message to you that your life is over, your life is over. The prophet Isaiah is not going to Hezekiah on his own volition, but as the mouthpiece of God.
God’s will was for Hezekiah to die. His prayer changed the mind of God.
The Power of Prayer
The balance that exist between the Will of God and the Prayer of Man is one of time.
When we look at the two examples above, we must continue to the end of the stories and note that the decree or will of God was not changed. The change was with the timeline.
When God declared that He would destroy the people, that decree was unchanging. What Moses’ pray did was alter the timeline. If you remember from you Bible lessons, every one of those worshiping the golden calf were destroyed through wondering in the wilderness. It took 40 years for the destruction to occur, but God’s decree was unchanged.
When God told Hezekiah that he was going to die and not live, his prayer did not change that decree. It did, however, add 15 years to his life. The will of God was not changed.
Its Really About Time
Because God is, he has no past or future. He is! This means that the will or purpose of God is! It is not going to happen, it is. This is a very important distinction.
God’s Will is NOT changed. It cannot change. Because that would indicate a past and a future and God does not exist in that space-time continuum. Our prayer’s can effect our linear timeline, but the plan of God is.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments below.