Prayer and the Character of God

God’s ultimate will cannot be changed. The provisional will can be altered by prayer based on God’s character.

It is always permissible to pray that God complete His purposes. It is also permissible to ask God not to destroy those who fail in their walk with God. There were times in biblical history in which “God changed His mind.”

When Jonah preached to Nineveh that they were about to be destroyed because of their great sins, they repented and God “changed His mind.” He didn’t destroy them (see the book of Jonah). The reality was that God didn’t want to destroy them in the first place. He wanted them to live lives acceptable to Him—and the coming judgment led to their changing their ways— and God had no choice except to change His mind based on His very own nature—they became what pleased God in the first place.

The ultimate will was done—lives that pleased Him. The provisional will—take them out because they were so awful—was averted by repentance as they changed the way they lived.

–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka (Click on the title for more information on this resource).

Father, complete Your purposes through my life, and hear my prayers on behalf of those who struggle to walk closely with You.  Thank You for loving us so much that You are willing to forgive our sins when we confess and repent!  We deserve death, but You have life for us on Your heart through Jesus!

Prayer Points

Praise God that he knows everything in every age. Give thanks that he knows you by name and that you matter to him. Confess any attempt to conceal things from God. Commit yourself to openness and honesty before God. Invite him to search your heart and life (Ps. 139:23-24). Ask to be protected from the evil one and kept from a spirit of worldliness.

Since faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:15-17), pray that your unsaved friends, neighbors, and relatives will hear the Word and respond in faith.

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend  (Click on title for more information about this resource).