A dilemma on the ability prayer has

Now I am aware God cannot change nor change his mind, so I was wondering how exactly things take place due to prayer and asking God to alter something physically.

For example I will use a made up story to demonstrate my question.

Let us say you have uncovered a plot to murder or harm your friend. You cannot get the message to them so would it therefore be possible to pray to God and the saints in order to have them intervene and allow the person to be unharmed by the plot.

Now let us say, if I did not pray, the person would have been harmed wrongfully, and the evil would have been done by the devils and the plotters, and God would have let it happen.

Is this possible, that my prayers can influence God to make something else happen or rather to allow a different course of events to take place that normally wouldn’t have, or would the outcome be the same whether I prayed or did not pray.

1 Like

Gets deeper if you consider, if God is free to intercede in the matter you’re praying about (without affecting free will or similar), interceding most likely creates either a more or less ‘just’ outcome. Would God intercede in a way that creates a less just world? And if it would create a more just outcome then was interceding part of his plan all along?

I believe God answers prayers in a way that help us find eternal salvation. If you prayed and the man was not shot, would you repent and turn back to God or just carry on as normal?

Yes and no. Your prayers definitely can influence God. However, I think we’re you are getting confused is assuming that God views time as we do - that he waits for your prayer, foreseeing that it’ll happen in the future, and then waits to act on it until then. But God exists in eternity - in an unbounded now. He doesn’t foresee your prayer - he sees you praying. Your act of prayer was known to him at the Big Bang. Therefore, he could influence the Big Bang so that it produces the results needed to answer your prayer. In a sense, your future act can effect the past, because to God their is no past or future - only the present.

I recently heard a man’s story who had been on the 12 step programme; he had come through a lifetime of addiction with drink and drugs. His life was in such a mess; that one night he ended up sitting on a high bridge, with his legs over the edge. He said, God you have thirty seconds to reveal yourself, or I am jumping.

Ten seconds later his phone rang; the lady on the other end said, I have just woken up it’s 2 am; and I had this strong feeling that I should phone you, but I don’t know why. We haven’t spoken for years. The man said, I know why you have phoned.

The man gave up his addictions and turned his life round from that moment, and he is now on fire for our Lord.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.