So here is what I am thinking, obviously we can influence Gods decisions, i.e. Jonah, King David, and many others instances where God was going to do something, but due to our prayers and or our sacrifices He changed His mind or modified the outcome.
So the question is why, why do our prayers have such an influence on Gods will? We can literally get God to change His judgement as to how long a soul stays in purgatory, we can influence (through the Chaplet of Divine Mercy) if a soul is saved from the fires of hell. Why?
How is it that a prayer, a simple conversation, is so powerful before God?
Pax et Bonum! We are not “controlling” Him by any means…our prayers and supplications when offered with purity of intention, are accepted by God to complete His work/mission - and to save souls. We are working WITH God to save souls and build up the Body of Christ/Church. God has given you the grace to pray; it is not something you acquire on your own. The fact you accepted the grace and use it for His good and not yours, is the humbling part. God wants us to come to Him as part of our free will and choosing - not by force - neither side “controlling.” angeltime:gopray2:
Not sure this is on point but it is such a great quote:
God created us in His image and we return the favor.
We don’t control God so much as help him out a little here and there with applying his mercy and/or doctrine, as needed. We all do it, I do it too. Fill in the gaps so to speak. Give the basics a little more polish, politesse.
As God’s creatures we must pray.
God wants us to love Him. We can entrust ourselves entirely into His loving hands.
God is our treasure. We obtain what we ask for when we give ourselves to Him.
The faithful profess and live out their relationship with Christ through prayer. Prayer comes from the loving commitment of the human heart to the mystery of the will of God. It is living in His presence.
When the heart is separated from God, there cannot be prayer. We must persevere in our faith in prayer. We ask for His mercy, pray with patience without ceasing, and keep knocking at His door.
Scriptures provide us with the food for prayer, especially the passion, death, and resurrection of Our Lord and King.
Christ’s voice is in us and our’s in Him especially in the Holy Eucharist. Through our priests offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Calvary and Heaven are open to plead our cause. After the second consecration, we offer to the glory of God the Father the precious body, blood, soul, and divinity of His dearly beloved Son to pay the price of all sins and offenses satisfying justice in the way that is pleasing to God. The King of Kings conquers evil and makes it possible for us with the Saints and Angels to approach the throne of grace with courage.
Prayful mediation is a powerful source of God’s grace. Since Christ assumed His humanity from Mary, she is the Mother of all the living and an integral part of our life of prayer.
In Heaven, they pray all the time. They know God, love Him, and serve Him. And now they are happy with Him forever.
Theology deals with the nature of God and economy (the Divine Economy) deals with the works of God.
God does not (and cannot) literally change his mind, since the prayers of the faithful are foreknown from eternity, but they are incorporated into his Divine Economy, so that creation may participate in the works of God through spiritual & corporal acts.
If our prayers are foreknown from eternity, maybe I shouldn’t bother with prayer since God knows my intentions?
Is that really cooperating with His grace?
This doesn’t seem to encourage much of a prayer life.
As if the mysterious power of prayer has no effect except that the faithful can feel they are valuable.
That’s like saying our good works don’t produce any fruit that God would have otherwise permitted.
Then what’s the point of prayer if it has no influence?
Don’t let this stop you from praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
God does answer persevering prayer. God does grant miracles.
Christ is quoted several times in the Gospels to petition God.
After Jesus taught them a definite formula of prayer, The Our Father, He told them the parable of the Persistent Friend, teaching us to persevere in our prayers of petition.
Much more then will God who in His goodness bids us make known our requests to Him, and is displeased with those who seek Him not, grant our requests.
LUKE - Chapter 11
 Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him.  And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.  Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth.  And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.  For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
For persistent prayer is “violence pleasing to God.”
God is omniscient and prayer, like everything else, is foreknown from eternity. God changing his mind in the literal sense would mean he is still in the process of perfecting himself, and he has always been perfect. Morever, the first actor in prayer is not the person, but the Holy Spirit, who prompts the person to value & desire the prayer. Without the Holy Spirit, a sinner could never be moved to pray for forgiveness in the first place. Or the adoration of a saint. Or an angel. So we don’t call God, but rather God calls us. Before we choose God, God has already chosen us. So God is involved in both the cause of prayer as well as the effect of prayer.
If a person decides not to pray, because they figure their desires are already known, then they will suffer the deleterious affects from not praying, and their petition may not be granted. We shouldn’t allow God’s omniscience to psych us out from not doing anything. We are still using our faculties of free will every time we say a prayer or do anything else in life. We have the capacity to receive or to reject the stirrings of the Holy Spirit hat enable people to pray.
…knowing this we can speculate about the outcome of man’s intercession… is it a power man has over God or is it part of God’s Plan?
…the first Revelation we have about man’s intercession in God’s Plan is the story of Cain and Abel… in both brothers the need to make offerings to God is awaken (clearly, a sign that God’s Spirit is Guiding man from the get go); both make their own determination on *what *to offer God–yet, God accepts one Sacrifice over the other… clearly, man cannot manipulate God… man can only work within God’s Design or choose to work his own design…
God rejects Cain’s revamping of His Design…
…many people get a little confused here; they weigh the two offerings and conclude that Cain’s is wrong because it is not a blood Sacrifice… though there is merit to this, it falls short of what it is that is transpiring: Abel offers God the Best of his flock while Cain throws together whatever he finds… even when he notices how Abel’s Sacrifice is pleasing to God while his is not, he reasons that if he were to remove the competition God would have to accept *his *Sacrifice just as *he chooses *to make it.
Needless to say that God did not accept Cain’s Sacrifice.
…yet, as a testimony to his fulfillment of God’s Plan, Abel’s Gift is alluded to in Scriptures thousands of years after the fact:
[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]50 Therefore this generation will be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets that has been shed since the beginning of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible for it all.
(St. Luke 11:50-51)
4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. (Hebrews 11:4)
…the first intercession that we find in Scriptures comes from a sinner who pleads to God for Mercy… and God acquiesces:
13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”
God is not rewarding Cain for killing his brother Abel; God is Responding to His Plan: Cain recognizes that he has lost the right to be in God’s Presence and that without God’s Protection he will surely die, and he appeals to God’s Mercy.
It is within God’s Salvific Plan to allow man to intercede on behalf of man for God’s Mercy. Our prayers have strength when they are made on behalf of mankind and within God’s Will. Jesus alludes to this:
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
…God knows the outcome but He does not: a) bet on the game, and b) force a different outcome.
…the prophet said that God knew him from his mother’s womb… that there, in that secret space, God taught him… yet, God allows the prophet to choose to serve Him… even though God knew that David would disappoint Him, He still chose David to succeed Saul… and God’s Salvific Plan was made whole even though both David and Salomon failed Him!
…Eve’s recklessness was corrected through the Virgin’s Fiat… God’s Plan stays the course even when man fails to fulfill his part!
…our prayer are known to God… as it is our frailties and errors… in spite of it all God still Sent His Only Begotten Son at the Appointed Time and He Rescued us from damnation even when the Light would rejected and darkness chosen over God!
God is Faithful to both His Plan and to man… and while He chooses that all be Saved, He allows man to determine if he wants to Be in Eternity with Him or away from Him.
Yet all that proves is that God’s will be done and that man is gifted with a free will.
And of course, it is absurd to think man has any power over his Creator.
I think it needs to be clear that the efficacy of prayer is real.
I take Christ’s words in the Gospels as commands not suggestions.
And I think the key here is cooperation with God’s grace. His will is for us to act. First we ask in confidence then we work with His grace.
We must ask. We must pray. We must do our part. We must prove our Faith.
We can ask to become great Saints, and God grace is always available, but we must start living as Saints or it won’t happen. Surrendering to God’s providence involves cooperation and mega-Faith.
PRAYER, CONSTANT. The Christian practice, advocated by St. Paul, “Pray constantly” (I Thessalonians 5:17), by which a person always remains united with God. Also called the prayer of the heart, it need not be conscious awareness of God’s presence. It implies that a person is constantly ready to do the will of God.
~Modern Catholic Dictionary
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
And Mary Christmas to all members of the Body of Christ, wishing you a Catholic supernatural peace. And may it be conserved in you throughout the year to come.
Scripture tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Heb 11:6
As we approach and seek God in faith we’re aligning our wills with His. This is what He wants for us! This is His whole purpose, to draw creation into freely embracing justice or righteousness as it begins to seek it through Him. And so He responds.