How does prayer work, exactly?


Let’s say I pray that my son is healed from his illness. And voila, he’s healed. I may have asked for it, but it was certainly also God’s will. God’s will was done. And if my son had not healed from his illness, God’s will was also done.
What difference would asking God make? If it’s God’s will that my son be healed, then he will be, whether I ask it or not.
Right? And if it’s God’s will that he NOT be healed, would God change His will based on my petitions?
I know I’m missing something here, but I just can’t put my finger on it.
If someone can help me on this, or point me to a church document or another thread even, I would be very grateful.
Thanks in advance!


Yes, God does answer prayers some times mircarcuously. For me, my prayers benifit mostly me, by giving me hope, curing my anxiety, and uniting me to the persom I’m praying to, Jesus, His Mother and some of the saints. I feel that I have real conversations and they will respond, sometimes. When you consider that we are here to love honor and serve God and our neighbors, then our heavenly destination becomes clear to us.
I have received more by prayer than by not praying.
I beieive that nature has a free will also, God does interveen sometimes. but some times its for their best good and not always for ours.


It helps me to remember that prayer doesn’t change God’s mind; prayer changes us.


I’m of another thought than another poster.

Blessed Mother has been said (at mejigorie) that her son’s mind can be changed through prayer.

I approach prayer for difficult things with the acceptance that what I ask for may not be what I get, but that I am going to ask anyway… I think that’s an attitude that’s important to have. Praying and asking, but being open to working with another answer. That type of attitude is much healthier than going in with being disappointed if you don’t get what you want.

I have reassurance that God does hear and answer prayers, so I have acceptance when I don’t get what I ask for. I accept that the answer is NO right now. I’ve had more than several instances where the answer to a prayer effort came on a specific, meaningful day. This has happened so many times to me that I can’t help but know that only God can line this stuff up like this.

So in that way, when I do pray I will know God’s will by the virtue of the answer I get, because I do know in my heart that he listens and answers.

What is the benefit of asking God AND God changing His mind? It brings YOU closer to God in your faith. So many of those that witnessed Jesus’ miracles became faithful believers. We have the same opportunity when we pray and ask for something. We get our own miracle and a chance to deepen in faith and believe.


Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened.

What you do is part of His will, and matters as to the final result. Just because He sees in advance, or all at once, doesn’t mean what you do doesn’t matter because He has said that it does and shown it.

Don’t think you can get away with doing nothing. :slight_smile:


my prayers are always about school, work, and my love life… i always recited to God
that i hope that he builds me strength to do what i have to do… asking God to please
be there for me in my time of need…


So, is the point of prayer to change God’s mind or to change yourself or is it both?
Isn’t God always doing what’s best for us anyway?
So, why would He change His mind if his original plan was what was best for us anyway?
And, let’s say I pray for peace. Always, always pray for peace. And I never ask God to change anything in my life. Would he have helped me in my life if I had just prayed for it, instead of praying for peace? In other words, can you ever pray for the ‘wrong’ thing?
Thanks for your responses so far - gives me alot to chew on.
Again, I’m just trying to figure all of this out and I appreciate the help of everyone on CAF!


Our Blessed Mother didn’t speak these words.

As I posted in another thread recently:

The big M might be the biggest fraud that has ever been perpetrated upon the Catholic Church.

It’s not just suspect, it’s condemned: Both local bishops in charge of the diocese have thoroughly and repeatedly condemned the events and the ‘seers’.

The ‘seers’ have been caught lying, especially in the early days of the events, many times. They, and their Franciscan handlers, have been completely disobedient to the bishop and the Church for decades.

Most of the priests there in fact have no legitimate faculties, having had them removed!

The ‘messages’ are very often ridiculous and on many occasions have promoted heretical, un-Catholic doctrines (such as the teaching that all religions are equal!).

The ‘lady’ of M vigorously defended a now-disgraced priest who fathered a child with a nun and was instrumental in the ‘apparition ramp-up’. She’s also condemned the bishops as ‘bad’ and threatened them, for doing nothing but using the Church’s standards of discernment in private revelations. These are things that Our Lady would never do!

I realize many of these things have been hidden from the fans, but they are all documented and easily verifiable. (And, disturbingly, some of the fans are aware of one or more of these things, any of one of which disqualifies the authenticity of the events, but don’t care.)

M has been called ‘the anti-Fatima’ for very good reason.

Anyway, any unapproved apparition is a forbidden topic here. Posting messages from an unapproved (much less condemned) apparition is against the rules.


Prayer cannot ‘change God’s Mind’ but that does not mean it does not ‘influence’ Him.

God exists apart from our notion of time, of course, which is merely an artifact of the physical creation. All of time is stretched out before Him to see. The merits we offer, or those offered on our behalf (such as through the intercession of a saint), can indeed produce results, but such is not a ‘change’ in God.

It is important to realize that not getting something we have prayed for is not a sign of ‘failure’ of prayer. Some things are simply not the Creator’s will to grant and we are not to know ‘why’. Some crosses must be born as they are and that is that. All suffering offered in obedience bears fruit, of course.

On the other hand, the answering of prayers, specific prayers, is one way God strengthens faith and brings glory to Himself.


The real importance of prayer is talking to God and listening to Him. If we really want to be with God and part of His own Body for all eternity, we probably ought to socialize a bit with Him now. :slight_smile:

God wants us to tell Him our needs. He does this not so that He will know, but so that we will know, deep down, that He listens and loves us. This helps us love God more and become more like Him – just as babies learn language by interacting with their parents and other people. Parents don’t learn new info from babies, much; and an omniscient Father certainly wouldn’t learn anything new from us. But we learn to speak His language by ga-ga-ing our prayers and petitions and cooing our love and praise for Him, and start to grow up, to become a little more in His image and likeness.

That’s just an analogy. I’m sure there’s a ton more going on. But what’s definite is that we are commanded to pray.


God uses our prayers to teach us to imitate Him. They are not necessary for Him but for us.


Could you expound on this a little bit? I think I understand what you are saying but I don’t want to put words in someone else’s mouth. You are differentiating between changing God’s mind and influencing HIm. But, what could I possibly tell Him that he doesn’t already know that would influence Him?
I guess I’m still confused - is the point of prayer to change yourself or your circumstances (which are controlled by God)? Ugh. So confused! :confused:


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