Does Prayer Change God’s Mind?

Click to read: Does Prayer Change God's Mind? Isaiah 37:21 via


“. . .  Because you have prayed to Me . . . “

Have you ever had an incident where you felt led to pray for someone or something, and then when you did, He actually did it? 

I have.

My youngest daughter needed 20 more points on her SAT score to win the top state scholarship.

I prayed and asked God to give her what she needed.

To make it obvious that it was by His power, I asked Him to give her exactly 20 more points. Or, if He preferred — because I preferred — He could give her 120 more points.

I prayed, and she took the test.

She got exactly 20 points!


I’m thankful God answered out of the abundance of His kindness rather than out of the weakness of my faith. 

“. . .  Because you have prayed to Me . . . “

Because I prayed to God, did I successfully convince God to do something He hadn’t planned on doing?
Does prayer actually change God’s mind?

Let’s see what the Bible shows us. 

In 2 Kings 18-19, the king of Assyria sent his commander to threaten Hezekiah, the king of Judah. If Hezekiah didn’t surrender, he’d simply destroy Hezekiah and Jerusalem.

He boldly asserted that Hezekiah’s God was completely unable to rescue him. (2 Kings 18:13 – 2 Kings 19:37)

Hezekiah prayed, and God boldly asserted His power over Assyria.

Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. (2 Kings 19:35 NASB)

“. . .  Because you have prayed to Me . . . ” (2 Kings 19:20)

Later God gave Hezekiah some bad news. He needed to set his house in order. His number was up. He was going to die. (2 Kings 20:1-7)

Again Hezekiah prayed.

Again God did what he wanted. He healed Hezekiah.

Did Hezekiah change God’s mind both times?

If he did, I’ve got some things I want to change God’s mind about, too.

Let’s think about this.

If I can change God’s mind, then you can, too.

What if you and I want different things? Uh oh!

I certainly don’t want you changing God’s mind.

In fact, do we really want a God who can be man-handled into changing His mind at all? 


If God has to change His mind:

  • He was either unsure about what He should do, 
  • or He was about to make a mistake and fortunately man was there to correct Him.

We know neither is true. Scripture and history make that clear.

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. (I Samuel 15:29 NIV)


But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. (Psalm 33:11 NIV) 


He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4 NIV)

Throughout Scripture we see that God asks questions and brings matters up to individuals for the purpose of working out His will, not because He needs help or more information. 

God presents these situations to His people to give them the opportunity to line their hearts up with His heart — not the other way around.

“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a NASB)

In this situation in 2 Chronicles 16, God presented King Asa of Judah an opportunity to trust in Him to protect Judah when Israel came against them.

Unlike Hezekiah, Asa chose to trust in the power of the king of Syria instead. (2 Chronicles 16)

God lets Asa know that He wanted to support him, but Asa had acted foolishly, choosing an earthly king over the sovereign God.

“You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9b NASB)


Did God not get what He wanted in this situation because Asa didn’t pray?

God is fully able to get exactly what He wants every time.

He chooses to let man have his own way at times so that they — and we, thousands of years later — will understand the consequences of trusting in man instead of Him.

God got what He wanted here. He wanted to expose Asa’s heart. 

Asa’s heart was to trust in a self-centered, sinful man of limited strength rather than in the all-powerful, all-loving God who never fails. 

His heart refused to line up with God’s heart. That was now exposed.

In fact, when God sent his prophet Hanani to Asa to confront him and give him a chance to repent and trust, Asa threw Hanani into jail. 

Asa’s actions declared his independence from God. So God withdrew His protection, and Asa suffered for it, of course.

Tragic. He only needed to humble himself and pray, and then stand back and watch the power of God at work.

Sometimes the greatest work isn't the defeat of an army; it's a changed heart. #Prayer Click To Tweet


Prayer Releases God’s Power

Prayer is like the starting gun of a race.

The runners on the starting blocks represent God’s power, ready to be released.

When someone prays, BANG! The power is released.

Fortunately everyone in this race wins, because God’s power never fails to do exactly what He sends it out to do.

God’s looking for men and women who are willing to be pray-ers — vessels through which He can pour out His blessings and power onto earth. 

When God finds willing vessels, He acts through their prayers to do what was already in His heart to do. 

Now back to Hezekiah.


Did Hezekiah change God’s mind?

No. God changed Hezekiah’s.

God sent His prophet Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that he’d soon die to elicit a response of faith from Hezekiah. 

God gave him the chance to trust God for his future, or not.

Remember, Asa chose not to trust God when Hanani came to him. 

How did Hezekiah respond? Did he throw Isaiah into jail?

No, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to God. (2 Kings 20:2)

He didn’t fire off at God, telling Him He didn’t have the right to let him die.

He prayed from the depth of his soul to the One he knew could change his future. 

Hezekiah became a willing vessel for God to display His power. 

God did miraculous things in response to Hezekiah’s prayers.

” . . . Because you have prayed to Me . . .”

Unfortunately, later in Hezekiah’s life, he stopped being a willing vessel. Pride took over his heart. Being a willing vessel is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment choice. 

The Final Answer: Four Points & A Conclusion

So what’s the final answer to whether prayer changes God’s mind? 

Of course I can’t begin to explain all the workings of God’s mind — my mind is too infinitesimally small to comprehend it all.

But I have an opinion based on what I see in God’s Word.

Click to read: Does Prayer Change God's Mind? via

#Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the Spirit of God. ~ Edwin Keith Click To Tweet

Because . . . 

1. God is sovereign.

If God isn’t sovereign over all, then He’s not sovereign at all. But He is.

Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; (Isaiah 46:10 NASB)

He’s sovereign over all the affairs of the world from the beginning of time through forever.

No one has power over God. He never makes a mistake or changes his mind. 


2. God uses prayer to change events on earth.

Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the Spirit of God. (Edwin Keith)

The spirit of man is limited in strength, but the Spirit of God is all-powerful.

God has chosen to use prayer as a powerful, primary means to release His power on earth. 

“. . .  Because you have prayed to Me . . . ” (Isaiah 37:21)

That’s not to say that God only releases His power through prayer. He’s not at our mercy. (See Isaiah 59:16 below.)


3. God raises up specific people to pray.

Because God’s all-knowing, He knows who He should alert about certain situations, so they’ll pray. 

He knows who He can trust to pray.

He also knows who will not pray, but would rather throw someone in jail for suggesting it. 

And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. (Isaiah 59:16, NASB)

He presents us with a need, and leaves the choice up to us — but He already knows what the outcome will be, and has a plan on how to use our response to His glory.

The willing vessels of prayer glorify God through their faith and His powerful work through their prayers.

The unwilling vessels unwittingly glorify God through the unfortunate and often tragic consequences that come from not trusting in Him. 


4. Prayer changes our hearts, not God’s. 

The prayer of faith changes our hearts from self-centered hearts to God-centered hearts. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 NASB)

God can work through even a little faith — the faith of a mustard seed. (Luke 17:6)

He works astoundingly through pure faith. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20)

Everything Jesus ever prayed for was accomplished on earth because His heart was in perfect alignment with God’s heart at all times. Pure faith.


What About Unanswered Prayers?

No one else but Jesus has had all their prayers answered as they prayed them, because no one else has ever had such a perfect alignment of hearts with God.

Sometimes it actually is God’s perfect will that someone we love dies.

Jesus didn’t pray for John the Baptist to be saved from prison or death. Only God knows why that was not His perfect will, but I have my thoughts, and they come from John’s own words: He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)

But that’s another post for another day.

If we knew all things as God does, we'd do all things as He does. #Prayer #GodIsSovereign Click To Tweet




Prayer does not change God’s mind. It changes ours. It exhales our spirit and inhales God’s.

Prayer transforms our minds, and molds us into willing vessels of faith through whom God can do the powerful work on earth that was already in His mind to do.  


In view of all this, let’s humble ourselves before God and give Him our hearts. Let’s ask Him to mold and shape our hearts into a shining reflection of His own Son (Romans 8:29).

Then our hearts will be in line with God’s, and our prayers will move mountains. (Mark 11:23)


Edie Melson's Book "While My Soldier Serves"If you know a soldier
or are a soldier,
you want this book of prayers.



You’ll be blessed by this powerful book of prayers. 

What about you? Do you have a story of how God has used prayer in your life?

Has God used your prayers in other’s lives?

I love to hear the stories that display the greatness of our God.

#Prayer doesn't change God's mind. It changes ours. Click To Tweet

Does #Prayer Change God's Mind? Click To Tweet

A Prayer For When Your Loved One is in Harm’s Way: Help Me Hang On

Click to read prayer: "Help Me Hang On" by Edie Melson


Fear strikes all of us who love someone in harm’s way, but sitting around wallowing in fear doesn’t help.

I don’t think anyone but God could raise me up out of fear if my loved one were serving or living anywhere dangerous. But thankfully He’s not only able, He wants to remove fear and replace it with faith and peace.

Below is a prayer written by Edie Melson, the author of While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military.

Edie wrote this prayer when her son was serving in the Middle East.

It’s a prayer for the brokenhearted whether your loved one is a soldier, policeman, fireman, or a missionary serving in a dangerous area.  

Dear Lord,

I’m trying to stay positive for my loved one’s sake, but inside I’m slipping. I can feel myself tumbling into a pit of depression.

Replace my negative thoughts with faith. Help me turn off the litany of what can go wrong and replace those images with Your promises. Lord, I know You can bring her home safely, and I know that when I rely on You, I’m strong. But at times I don’t want to be strong. I just want to bury my head and cry. 

I want to lash out at a world filled with other loved ones who aren’t in harm’s way. I want to scream that it’s not fair. It’s not that I want other young men and women in danger. I just want my loved one to be safe at home.

Show me how to guard my thoughts and to process all the things I’m feeling. Let me accept help from my friends instead of hiding away and feeling sorry for myself. Most of all, wrap my loved one and me in Your loving arms and carry us safely through this difficult time.

– Amen. 

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18 NIV


If your loved one is serving someplace dangerous, I highly recommend getting this book.

Or maybe you’re the one serving someplace dangerous. You may want to give this book to your loved ones as a gift.

Prayer works. Prayer matters.

It’s not too late to enter to win a free signed copy of the book.

Follow the link below by clicking on the picture to register. Today’s the last day to register! I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Click to view music video "Letters from War" by Mark Schultz and read about "While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military" by Edie Melson via

Click to enter to win “While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military” by Edie Melson 


Click to Tweet:

A Prayer for My Soldier from “While My Soldier Serves” (by Edie Melson)

Click to read A Prayer for My Soldier taken from "While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military" by Edie Melson via

Click to read A Prayer for My Soldier taken from “While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military” by Edie Melson via


Dear Lord,

I’m asking You to protect my loved on by helping him make wise decisions. I know at times he has to make split-second decisions — life-and-death decisions. Please give him the information he needs to choose wisely. I know he’s exhausted and tired of the situation he’s in. Don’t let him make decisions that will harm him or those around him.

I also know he’s far from home, and there are many temptations surrounding him. I ask that You give him the strength to resist the things that would harm him. Show him clearly the consequences of poor choices. Make his path clear, and put people around him to make choosing wisely easier.

Surround him with buddies who will support his good choices and point out his poor ones. Give him the friends he needs for this specific situation. No one knows what can happen when we choose one thing over another, but You do know. Let him hear You clearly as he decides what actions to take. Most of all protect him, even when he chooses poorly. Keep him in Your perfect care.

– Amen.


It’s not always easy to know what to pray for our soldiers, especially when our emotions have our thoughts going in a million different directions.

Edie Melson has written a powerful book of prayers, “While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military” that gives us numerous powerful and specific prayers we can all pray for our soldiers.

(See the book in the photo below. Better yet, click the picture below and read more about it and enter to win a free copy.)

There’s still time to win a free signed copy of this book of prayers. Check out this post and enter to win by clicking on the picture: 

Click to view music video "Letters from War" by Mark Schultz and read about "While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military" by Edie Melson via


I hope you’ll share this post with others, especially with those who have loved ones in the military. Our soldiers need our prayer support, and so do their families. 

Click to Tweet:

While My Soldier Serves: Memorial Day Encouragement & Monday Music

Click to view music video "Letters from War" by Mark Schultz and read about "While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military" by Edie Melson via

While my soldier serves.

That doesn’t apply to me. But wait, actually it does.

Neither my husband nor children serve in the military, but my soldier does.  

Your soldier is my soldier.

I owe my freedom to every American soldier who’s served so that I can live free.

Every soldier is our soldier.

We should pray for them as if they were our very own son, daughter, husband or wife. 

I can’t begin to match the tremendous sacrifice our soldiers have made, but I do have three gifts to offer: Encouragement, a Giveaway, & Monday Music.



Edie Melson, author of While My Soldier ServesAuthor Edie Melson understands the sacrifice our soldiers have made. Her son served in the Middle East.

Edie prayed, battled fear, and clung to God while her son served.

God met her in those hard times and brought her a harvest of joy.

I asked Edie to share some Memorial Day Encouragement and introduce her book, While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those With Loved Ones in the Military.  

Sowing Faith in the Hard Times Brings a Harvest of Joy

by Edie Melson

There are times when life is lived in the dark. The days are long and hard, and the rewards nonexistent. Everywhere we turn—inside and out—the landscape is bleak and barren. It’s times like these that only faith will get us through. There’s no proof we’re on the right path, no confirmation that God is at work. Often, even God Himself seems distant and unreachable.

I’ve been through those times—and come out on the other side. My time of darkness came when our oldest son was deployed to Iraq as a frontline infantry Marine. We don’t come from a military family, so everything about his choice to enlist was an opportunity for growth. Every step in his journey was a time of stretching for our family. Oh, don’t make the mistake of thinking we were disappointed in his choice. We were button-busting proud of our son’s willingness to serve.

But as his mother, I didn’t want to face the prospect of my son going off to war.

I’d always assumed I’d have a grace period between childhood and adulthood, a time of transition. College would have fit the bill, instead, he graduated high school and immediately entered the Marines.

Marine Corps boot camp doesn’t provide that grace period. One minute I was hugging goodbye to my child, my oldest son. The next time I saw him, he was a fully formed man—still a son, but without any trace of the child I’d said goodbye to.

And before that year was out, he’d be half a world away, fighting an enemy whose main focus was on killing him. It was during those deployments that I learned about darkness of the heart. I wanted to protect him. I ached to shield him from what I knew he was experiencing, but I could not. So I did the one thing I could do. It became my course of last resort because I was at the end of my own strength.

I prayed.

And I prayed.

And I prayed some more.

I learned to take my overwhelming fear to the only One who could protect him. And I left my son in God’s hands. The prayers weren’t pretty. Often times they weren’t even words. They truly were the groanings we read about it Romans 8:26-27.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was like a seed, planted deep in the ground. I was surrounded by darkness, by rough, rocky soil, pressing in on all sides crushing the life from me. But through that incredible pressure, the shell of my own strength fell away, and I slowly began to push toward the light that I knew was just beyond the darkness

Then my course of last resort became my strength, and the first place I turned. Instead of praying in desperation, I began to pray in confidence. I learned to lean into God, instead of turning in on myself.

The final harvest of that time of darkness came to fruition just after Mother’s Day. It’s a book of prayers for those with loved ones in the military, While My Soldier Serves. How I longed for just such a book during my dark time. Now God has taken my time of darkness and is shining it as a light for those who are also facing the incredible stress of having a loved one at war.

Never doubt that God will bring a harvest of joy, no matter how dark the days you’re facing now. Lean into him. Cry out to him. And know that the light is coming.


Edie Melson's Book "While My Soldier Serves"

Edie’s powerful new book While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military is out, and you’re going to want to buy it (click link above to purchase a copy or two).

While My Soldier Serves:
Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military 

By Edie Melson

Thousands of families send loved ones off to fight on a daily basis. These families spend a lot of time living in a world out of control. This kind of stress can take an incredible toll, but there is hope. When we feel helpless, we can take our fears to the One who loves us more than anything and holds the universe in His hands.

In this book you’ll find the words to usher you into His presence. These prayers are a place to visit again and again as you take your own fears to God. They’re just a starting point, written to help you find your own voice as you call out on behalf of the one you love.

While our soldiers serve, we’ll appreciate the numerous detailed prayers for our soldiers in Edie’s book — prayers for wisdom, strength, faith, protection, peace, and for those close to our soldiers.

You’ll love that Edie not only includes powerful prayers for our soldiers, but also for ourselves — prayers for fighting fear and anger and gaining peace, patience, faith, and strength, and for reaching out to others. 

Edie told me that after her son left to serve, she realized how desperately she needed prayers to help herself. God helped her pray prayers that battled her thoughts and fears which gave her the strength to pray with confidence for her son. 

I want us to pray for your soldiers, so enter the name of any soldier you’d like us to pray for. If you don’t personally know a soldier serving, just enter “any soldier,” and we’ll pray for our soldiers as a whole. I’ll post the first names of the soldiers when I announce the winner so we can all be praying for our soldiers. 



“Letters From War” by Mark Schultz

Before you click the play button, grab the tissues. Even you men.

This is a beautiful story of a mother and son who write letters to each other while he’s off at war.

I won’t spoil the video by telling you anymore other than to say this powerful song will pull at your heartstrings and make you appreciate the tremendous sacrifice our soldiers make. 


Edie Melson, author of While My Soldier ServesAs the mother of a frontline infantry Marine, Edie Melson lived her book before she wrote it. Edie understands what it is to face adversity and come out triumphant on the other side. Her years as a wife, mother, and ministry leader have given her a unique perspective to reach out
 to others facing the same struggles.

She’s the Military Family Blogger for, social media director for several writing websites, and a popular ministry and conference speaker.

Connect with her on her blog, The Write Conversation, Twitter, and Facebook.

Join the Journey – Let’s Work Through This Maze Called Life Together

Psalm 34:3 - Let us exalt His name together. Join the Journey

Psalm 34:3 – Let us exalt His name together. Join the Journey

Join the Journey!

No, seriously. Join it.

Eons ago, I traveled Europe alone for a month. It was a marvelous experience, but I came to appreciate any random stranger who wanted to join me on my journey. 

Except that one guy in Antibes, France who caused me to discover a deeper level of praying. Thankfully I managed to lose him. God had to have been involved.

I don’t believe we were meant to travel through life alone.

Just think about solitary confinement. In a place where just about everyone around you is literally a criminal, solitary confinement is still considered a punishment rather than a welcome break.

We weren’t meant to walk the walk of faith alone either.

I tried that once as well. I’ll spare us both the grimy details. It was easier to maneuver Europe alone than it was — and is — my journey of faith.

I’m discovering another impossible path to navigate alone. The path to publication.

At times I feel like I’m in a hedge maze and the joke’s on me because the bushes have grown up around me, sealing me in.

Go this way. No, go this way.

I’m perplexed but not discouraged for two reasons.

1.  I’m not alone.

I know it’s cliche to say that God has been with me, but He has.

I feel sorry for the rest of you wherever you are because God has been with me.

Actually, of course, I know He’s big enough to go around. He has no limit.

And He’s not perplexed. 

Apparently He’s fine if I’m perplexed, though. Maybe it’s because I listen more intently to Him when I have no clue what to do next.

The other reason I’m not discouraged is because:

2. I’m not alone.

Yes, I know I already said that.

You’re starting to think you may know why I haven’t had a book published yet, aren’t you.

This is actually a different kind of “not alone.”

I’m surrounded by a cloud of witnesses who believe in me.

But more importantly, they believe in the One who is able to guide and direct our paths and the timing of our journey. 

This week I attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference surrounded by the most beautiful sight — Christian love and community at its finest.

The mountains and wild flowers weren’t bad either.

Lori encouraged me with the perfection of God’s timing. It was scribbled on her hand.

Jan greeted all of us with her gentle laugh and eagerness, celebrating even the hint of someone achieving success.

Jana exuded quiet confidence that spilled over onto me. 

Heather’s warm smile and bright eyes shone wide with wonder. God didn’t just pour out blessings on her this week. He gushed them out, and she turned them all into praise. That’s a beautiful sight.

La-Tan instilled vision and hope into anyone with a pulse around her. 

Edie has walked beside me from the beginning of this blog, helping it become an award winning blog. What?!

Michelle cheered me on and charted a path for me out of the maze, helping me see beyond the hedge.

Eva opened doors I didn’t even know were there.

All the conference faculty amazed me with their wisdom and careers, which they lavishly shared with everyone.  

I met Beckie, Lisa, Julianne, Naomi, Krista, Rhett, Kay, Janelle, and Sheryl and countless others, and I now count them all as friends. 

And on the final evening, Leigh Ann, Shelley, Deandrea and I rocked into the night under a perfect Blue Ridge Mountain sky. 

No one should ever choose to be alone when there are people like this in the world who will stand beside you and lift you up when you’re weak. 

I want you to meet some of these people — and you will, right here on Join the Journey.

I’ll be featuring other journeymen who’ve joined me on this adventure of faith. You need to hear from them. 

This blog isn’t Join My Journey. It’s Join The Journey. We’re all in this together.

Will you join the journey with us?

Grab your hedge clippers (otherwise known as the Bible) and let’s work through this maze called life together.

Jesus didn’t send the disciples out alone, and He’s not sending us out alone either.

Why not start today by sharing in the comment section what God’s been doing in your life.

You’ve found a safe place to share your highs and lows, your victories and challenges, and to ask your questions.

If I don’t know the answer, I’ve got people who’ve got people who just may. 

Together we’ll look to the One Who is the answer to it all. 

Join the journey!



Click to tweet: Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together! ~ Psalm 34:3