Interesting thoughts: Can God change his mind? Is our life planned out, as to when we are born, and when we leave this world? If God knows all, and he has planned out our life, and he does not change his mind about when we live or die, but it is pretty much cast in stone……..Why is it necessary to pray?
Why do we pray to our heavenly father who knows all, and why do we pray for great health, and long life, if God already knows when we are leaving this earth? So, does God change his mind about things sometimes based on prayer? Just a few thoughts……My wife is deep in thought about this…….
A. Jim, I fear any answer I give will be inadequate, for the questions you’ve asked have been asked for thousands of years, as far back as Job, who prayed and prayed about his situation until finally reaching a point of immense frustration. When he finally questioned God, the answer he received may seem inadequate to you and I.
God said to Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare to me if you understand.”
Job didn’t understand. No human could understand the reason that God allowed Job to endure such affliction. Yet the answer that God gave Job reinforces your point: God knew from the beginning of time that Job would be tested in this manner.
That leads to the second part of your question. If God knows our destiny, why should we pray to change it?
First, I think the concept of God’s omniscience is the most difficult of all his attributes to understand. While he knows our destinies, he does not create our destinies. He created the parameters by which we create our own destinies, and he leads us to situations through which we may be guided into His perfect will.
Does God know when and how we will die? Of course. He knows who we will marry, who we will parent, who we will love, who we will hurt, and even the numbers of hairs on our heads (recently an easy task, in my case, as I finished chemotherapy, lol).
While God put in place the processes of life and death, and he knows when we will be born and when we will die, the choices that we make of our own free will lead us to our ultimate end.
It was certainly not God’s perfect will for a late friend of mine to drink himself to death at the age of 29. Mike’s choice of lifestyle led to that untimely death. Nor did God create the short in the fan that burnt down the home of another friend, taking three lives. I don’t understand either situation, but I must have faith that God would work for the good in spite of those incidents, as he promises in Romans 8.
Death is the natural consequence of sin, inherent sin of mankind (gee, thanks, Adam and Eve), certainly, but sometimes the direct result of personal sin (I’m a worse sinner than either Adam or Eve). In either case, death is the consequence of our choices, our choice to sin.
Why did God allow my friends to die so young? Why did he take my mother through tortuous cancer at an early age? Why did he afflict my sister with a bad heart and, later in life, cancer? Why am I suffering with sarcoma?
Where was I when God laid out the foundations of the world? Who sinned, me or my parents (John 9:2)? Who knows? Perhaps I am afflicted to be a witness to others. I have learned to be content in sickness and in health, facing life or death, in richness or poverty; I am in all circumstances showered by the blessings of HIS love.
Why pray? Because prayer does indeed change things, and yes, can even change God’s mind. The biblical accounts of God changing his mind are many.
The most obvious example is when God extended King Hesekiah’s life because of the king’s prayers. Another example may be Lazarus, whom Jesus resurrected from the dead.
I have found several places in the Bible where God changed his mind (Exodus 32:12-14; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalm 106:45; Jeremiah 4:28; 18:8; 26:3, 13, 19; 42:10; Joel 2:13-14; Amos 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9-10; 4:2).
I have seen answered prayers usually after much weeping and prayer, and some fasting (not enough fasting… I’m still way too fat, lol), people changed, people healed, jobs found, groceries delivered.
I’ve seen many prayers seemingly unanswered. I knew a woman who prayed until the day she died for the salvation of her son who was in prison. I have prayed for healing for many people who died, even after many tears. Yet, I have witnessed too many miraculous answers to prayer to deny it.
Still, I cannot explain God’s omniscience, predestination, or why bad things happen to good people, or why bad people prosper. I can say this, though, I thank God that he has not removed his hand from my life, because if I received the rewards I deserved, I would already be dead and in hell, for without God’s grace, I am the chief among sinners.
We all are sinners.
– Sincerely, Steve
Q. From Kim
What do you mean by “Christian Holiness?”
A. Kim, those are good questions. First, Christian holiness is simply this: yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to deal with the sin in your life. You see, everyone has sin in their life, and if anyone says otherwise, he is lying. The only man to ever live a sinless life was the God who became man, Jesus Christ. For the Holy Spirit to begin that work within you, you must first come to the end of yourself. For some, that means reaching rock bottom, finding oneself without hope; it is a dramatic and emotional time. For others, reaching the end of oneself may be a simple and logical decision to surrender one’s entire life to Jesus Christ. Surrendering means admitting that you are powerless to change yourself, and allowing the Holy Spirit to change you instead. Whether your decision to surrender involves a crisis or is logical, you must surrender your life to Christ. This means replacing your passions with a passion for God’s word. Spending time daily talking to God and listening to His voice. This means studying the Bible and growing in knowledge and wisdom.
Because we are human, holiness is a never-ending journey. One of the most well-known holiness evangelists of the early twentieth century, Uncle Bud Robinson, likened holiness to boiling liquid and skimming of the impurities from the top. That boiling and skimming must be done at God’s speed. God will deal with your impurities – your sins – in His own time and in His own way… so long as you allow him. The Apostle Paul said that he “dies daily.” This is so very true. The holiness journey is day-by-day and minute-by-minute. Breath by breath. We must surrender our every thought to the Holy Spirit. We must “pray continuously.” That is why I named this blog Christian Holiness Daily.