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Do My Prayers Change God’s Mind?

Do we affect the mind of God through our prayers? Does God change His mind because of our prayers? Does praying bring about a change in God’s plans?

 This week on the Straight Truth Podcast, Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot discuss the often misunderstood topic of prayers changing God’s mind and that of God Himself, changing His mind. Throughout the Old Testament, there are instances where it seems or appears that God had a change of mind. A specific incident can be found in the book of Jonah, which often stirs up questions like these. Dr. Caldwell says the simple answer is no. Prayer doesn’t change God, it doesn’t change His mind, and it doesn’t convince God to do anything, but prayer does change things.

 In the Scriptures, God has revealed Himself as omniscient. This means that there is nothing He needs to learn and nothing that He doesn’t already know; God knows everything. He is sovereign over everything and has determined all things. There is nothing that is ever going to take place in this world that doesn’t fit within God's plan. Our prayers do not change God's mind as if He has learned something new as we are going along.

Nor do our prayers influence Him in something that He would not otherwise want to do. That is not the function of prayer. Every text that might seem to speak that way or teach this is not as it seems. God often speaks to us in His Word in ways, in our limitedness, that we're able to understand. This is often called anthropomorphic language, God communicating to us in a way we can make sense of it. So, in reality, we do not change the mind of God.

 God Does Not Lie or Change His Mind

Dr. Caldwell shares 1 Samuel 15:29 which says, “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.” He goes on to say that for every text that seems to indicate that God does change His mind, there are clear statements in Scripture that say He doesn’t (like this one from 1 Samuel). Dr. Caldwell shares the need for us to put all this in perspective and look at the bigger picture. The truth we arrive at is that sovereign God who has determined all things, has determined to work through prayer.

So then when we're exhorted to pray and we're told in His Word that prayer changes things, it does, really. God works through prayer to bring about and accomplish what He has already determined to do. Therefore it is true to say that if we don’t pray, certain things will not happen, but if we do pray, God has already determined to work through those prayers.

Dr. Caldwell stresses the importance of our prayers and how we approach them. We are commanded to pray and because of this, we need to pray in faith, believing God. We should pray with intentionality, determination, persistence, and endurance. We should know the will of God and pray for the will of God to be done, for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus our Savior and Lord. We are to ask all things according to His Word. As we come before God we can come praying the very Scriptures He has given us. Praying this way is a good way to know we are praying according to His will. This applies to all areas of life, including the work of evangelism.

Pray For the Salvation of Lost Souls

We are to share the gospel and we are to pray for the salvation of lost souls. We do not convince people to be saved and we don't pray them into the Kingdom of God either. It is the gospel that is the power of God for salvation to everyone who will believe. In sharing and praying for lost souls, we are trusting God for those He has predetermined to be saved, will hear and be saved. In light of this, we can humbly bring our requests, offering them up to God. We then can wait, watch, and trust, knowing that He does all things well. Lastly, we rest in what our sovereign God determines to do.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 8 Credits

Produced by
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Joshua Philpot
David Anders

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