on_a_mission
05-03-2007, 09:22 PM
This question has plagued me for a long time. I completely understand prayer as it relates to seeking guidance, praising god, and being thankful. What confuses me more is "Intercessory Prayer", or praying for god to help or heal others. I understand that if we pray according to god's will, it will be done.

So, lets say someone is hurt and we pray for them to get better. Does the act of us praying alter the chances for them to get better? IE, does praying influnce god's will and can in effect change his mind?

Secondarily, does having more people praying have a greater chance of influencing the situation? Is 100 people praying for that person more or less effective than 1 person?

skynes
05-04-2007, 12:59 AM
This makes me think of the book "this present darkness" it was fictional, but it had an interesting viewpoint on prayer.

Small, lots of demonic activity. God sent a group of angels into the town to deal with this. These angels strength was directly connected to the amount of prayer the Saints across the world put into this town. With little prayer they were virtually on their own. With lots their swords burst into flame.


As for what scripture says on the issue. I'll need to get back to you on that.

DarkestRose
05-04-2007, 01:00 AM
I've read that book about halfway. It was interesting the way prayer worked for the angels.

Derek, I have wondered along the same lines as you. If we pray is God's will, does that mean we're just praying for what God was going to do anyway? Or do our prayers persuade God? I suppose it boils down to wondering about the "mechanics" of prayer, how it all works out.

The Lamma
05-04-2007, 08:10 AM
This Present Darkness is a good theory. I also know of a verse saying something about that if we pray according to his will, he will answer it. I have no idea where to look for that verse, or what to search in Bible Gateway...

Reeper
05-04-2007, 09:35 AM
As for what scripture says on the issue. I'll need to get back to you on that.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God is not fickle. What He does is not dependent on us at all. Sorry for the quick, blunt post. In a hurry, at work.

Peace

Tromos
05-04-2007, 09:37 AM
Scripture would certainly tend to support that prayer does have an affect on God's Will.

God relented from destroying everyone in Sodom because of the constant badgering from Abraham. "What if there are fifty righteous? How about forty? Thirty? Twenty? Ten? One?" God still destroyed Sodom and Gemorrah, but the righteousness of the one man (Lot) allowed Lot to escape with his life - because of the pleadings of Abraham. (Gen 18-19)

There are others, if you want to find them.

The Lamma
05-04-2007, 11:29 AM
Actually, Abraham went to 5 people. Thats why God still destroyed the city, but let Lot live. In that case, His will wasn't necessarily influenced. He simply knew that there was only one, not five or more.

Reeper
05-04-2007, 11:53 AM
Sorry but this is the verse I wanted for my last post but couldn't find before.

Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Pretty cut and dry. I'll try and address Tromos' post later when I have more time.

Peace

skynes
05-04-2007, 02:16 PM
Exodus 32: 11-14

11 Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: "Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people.

13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.' "

14 So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.


Yep it's cut n dry alright.

The Lamma
05-04-2007, 03:13 PM
But you must consider what they are saying as being in his will. There are times that he says 'no'.

NightCrawler
05-05-2007, 10:57 AM
:D

...Or does God's will influence when we pray?

Reeper
05-05-2007, 11:19 AM
Alright here we go. So, the bible clearly states that God does not change His mind (see my earlier post). So we have to ask ourselves in the cases that Tromos and Skynes are talking about, what is going on? It certainly does look like God is changing His mind, but His word says He doesn't. So what is going on?

Well, our God is a merciful God. His mercy surpasses our understanding. In fact just about everything about Him surpasses our understanding. We only barely know the entirety that is our God. That understood, let's look at the passage.

Exodus 32:11-14

"11 Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: "Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?"

K. So God's wrath is apparently burning against Israel. They are enduring great hardship. So Moses goes to God in prayer. Exactly what we should do in times of hardship.


"12 Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people."

So apparently the Egyptians, Israel's former captors, are making fun of Israel, because of the hardships they face. Moses does not want God's people to go down like that.


"13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.' "

Ah, now here's the rub. Moses reminds God of the covenant He made with Moses' descendants. Question: Does God need Moses to remind Him of this? Anybody, anybody, Bueller... NO, of course He doesn't. God is omniscient. Is God really so forgetful and persuaded by anger that He so readily forgets His promises. I certainly hope not, otherwise I'm in big trouble. The entire purpose of this incident is not to have Moses overpower God's will and change His mind. The purpose is, one to show Moses the nature of God. God is merciful. Even though his people deserve death for what they have done, something that God knew they would do from the beginning of time, He is still merciful to them. Not only merciful, it goes beyond that, it is grace, unwarranted mercy. God is showing Moses his nature one, and two, he is showing us his nature and what we should do in times of trouble... pray.


14 So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people

Not because Moses out reasoned God. God is the author of reason. He relented because He is grace. That is His nature. He can't be otherwise. He even extended his grace outside his people. For it is by his grace we are saved. God is not changing His mind, He is helping us and Moses better understand His nature through this passage. Helping us better understand how He is and we should be.

Hope that made since and helped.

Peace

skynes
05-05-2007, 01:05 PM
So in other words... God lied when He said He was going to destroy them, because God had no intentions of destroying them.


Exodus 32: 9-10

9 And the Lord said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!

10 Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation."

The Lamma
05-05-2007, 01:09 PM
Also, we should pray so that we put our full trust in God. If we didn't, and God still did everything, we could sit back and not care.

Skynes, if you put it that way, God lies like crazy, and he changes like crazy. That would be blasphemy...

Tromos
05-05-2007, 03:48 PM
Sorry but this is the verse I wanted for my last post but couldn't find before.

Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.

Pretty cut and dry. I'll try and address Tromos' post later when I have more time.

Peace

And another counter-example. Prior to the flood, God regretted making man.

"The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain." - Gen 6:6

If God does not change His mind, how can He regret something He has done?

The Lamma
05-05-2007, 03:51 PM
Can you not make a sandwhich and then decide that it wasn't as good as you wanted? I know, that wasn't a great example...

DarkestRose
05-06-2007, 11:12 AM
I would think that God would already know the turn-out.

Reeper
05-06-2007, 12:40 PM
O.K. we'll try a different approach here. First off, Skynes I would just like to point out that God also lied in your example, he said I'm gonna destroy Israel, then after Moses, who according to your interpretation of the text clearly knew better than God, out reasoned God He decided, "You know what, I don't think I'm gonna do that after all." In one place he is lieing, unless, like I said, he is simply using it as a teaching tool.

Anyway, time for the new approach. I would like to hear how those of you who believe that God changes His mind have any reason to be sure of your salvation? How can you be sure that since God so readily changes His mind, I mean he listens to idiots like us and takes our advice on things, He won't change His mind come the day of judgment? And if that be the case what is the point of our faith to begin with?

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

How can we be sure of anything if our God is so fickle? Does God really need our help? Trust me if the great and awesome maker of the universe has an intellect so small that he needs my help in making decisions, y'all are in a world of hurt.

Finally just to take care of this argument before it is presented. I have heard that saying that God doesn't change his mind places God in a box and limits him. In response to that I want to say, which is harder, doing something wrong and then changing your mind about it, or knowing how to do something right from the beginning and not needing to change your mind about it? The second one right. I do things wrong all the time and change my mind about them, rarely am I ever right about everything from the beginning. God however is right about everything. He made everything and therefore knows it inside and out. He is never wrong, and therefore never has to change His mind. That is hard. And that makes him worthy of worship.

The purpose of prayer is to have a relationship with God. You can't get to know anybody without having conversations with them. God cares about us and wants us to care about him and have a relationship with him. That is what prayer is, it is simply talking to God. Its like when you come home from school and your parents want to talk about what you did at school. God simply just wants us to know him. He doesn't need us at all. He is all powerful. But he wants us. He wants to hear about our worries and joys, and the desires of our hearts, but he is not influenced by them. His will is greater than ours. He knows better than we do. He knows that, and you definitely should know that. Therefore his will is not influenced by us, He knows that what he has planned for us is better than any suggestions we could give. He doesn't need to change his mind. He got it right from the beginning.

Peace

skynes
05-07-2007, 03:32 AM
Reeper, let me make this clear now. Do NOT put words in my mouth. It irritates the hell out of me. I said nothing of the sort about God being fickle and untrustworthy.

First off, Skynes I would just like to point out that God also lied in your example, he said I'm gonna destroy Israel, then after Moses, who according to your interpretation of the text clearly knew better than God, out reasoned God He decided

This is exactly what I mean. Where in my post did I say Moses knew better than God? I didn't. All I have done up till now is show scripture that disagrees with your position.

Now onto the topic:

If Moses' intercessory prayer changed God's mind, then God did not lie. If God had full intention of destroying Israel, then decided against it, that is not a lie. If He never had intention of destroying them, yet said He did, THAT is a lie.

I would like to hear how those of you who believe that God changes His mind have any reason to be sure of your salvation?

Romans 11:29 "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. "

How can we be sure of anything if our God is so fickle?

The only one who suggested God being fickle was you. A God who wants to destroy a people, then decides against it, is not fickle. It shows a God that reasons and logically thinks out a situation even in the midst of emotions.

Does God really need our help?

Only one who suggested that is you.

I have heard that saying that God doesn't change his mind places God in a box and limits him.

Which is a dumb argument. If God made mistakes and didn't know what was to come, THAT would be limiting Him.

Therefore his will is not influenced by us, He knows that what he has planned for us is better than any suggestions we could give.

How many places in scripture does God act differently because of the intercession of a righteous man?

Abraham when interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah reasoned with God to not destroy the place for 10 righteous people. God agreed to these terms.

Moses at least twice I think, reasoned with God to not destroy the people of Israel.

1 Samuel:

10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,

11 "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.

God regretted making Saul king of Israel.


There was another king, whose name I forget. That God told He was going to kill Him. He then turned round and repented in sackcloth and ashes. God instead of destroying Him, told Him the kingdom would be taken from one of His descendents. (sorry I don't have a reference for this).

Jonah 3:4 "And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" "

Jonah 3:10 "Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. "

-----------

Our God is a covenental God. He is always faithful, but we are not. With all these people, God made a covenant with them, whether clearly stated or not. That if they walked righteously, God would bless them, if they walked sinfully, God took His blessing away.

This applied to Israel, that God took them as a separate people, yet they sinned in the wilderness by acting like pagans, so God wished to destroy them. Moses interceded in prayer, and God relented from His destruction.

The scriptures say God intended to destroy them, so I won't doubt that He fully intended to do that.

Yet God relented from the destruction by the prayers of Moses.

Did god always intend to back down upon Moses prayer? Was it to reinforce to Moses how much he meant to Him? To show how much He valued their friendship? To show that He is faithful regardless of our sin?

beats me *shrug* I'll strive to only say what it says there. That God wanted to blow em up, Moses prayed, God backed off.

But if you'll read further, Moses took the Levites, marched through the camp killing everyone they encountered. Afterward the golden calf was melted down and the Israelites were forced to drink it. So judgement was still done.

To all the Kings, God had a promise. Worship Him only and He will give them a vast kingdom. Walk in sin and it'll be removed.

The new covenant is different. This new covenant doesn't take into consideration OUR actions, so that we must live a certain way or do so much good works to meet the covenant. Instead it looks at Christ's actions and Him crucified. So that our salvation is not dependant on what we do, but on what Christ did.


Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together..."

Tromos
05-07-2007, 04:35 AM
Scottie's got his mojo goin' today ;D

someoneudontkno
05-07-2007, 07:08 AM
i cant believe i cant think of the exact wording, but another scripture to throw in one in the sense of "if two or more pray and agree in my name it shall be done." that is a really big thing in most of the churches ive been privileged to be a part of. that when we pray in agreement there is more power to our prayer. i really wish i knew where the scripture was.. but basically the way i interpreted it was that God is a God of relationships, and when we come to Him sincerely and with a righteous heart then His will is invoked in the situation. this is most apparent as ive seen it at mass student prayer meetings. when the students are sincere about change in their school and work towards change, God answers them. i know it is happining in my school. we pray, God answers. when we come with a heart towards God and a desire of relationship, purity and for the best of a situation our prayers invoke the will of God. just my thoughts.

The Lamma
05-07-2007, 11:30 AM
I agree with Paul. I think its teaching and learning to depend on him. And if he changed his mind easily, wouldn't sinners, who don't have faith, be able to influence him? I dunno. And God doesn't need us, but he created us to have companionship or something like that. And God DOES NOT need us to make his decisions. Like said before, he is all knowing, and listening to us idiots would be stupid.
To all the Kings, God had a promise. Worship Him only and He will give them a vast kingdom. Walk in sin and it'll be removed.
Uhh...Whats your point here?
"if two or more pray and agree in my name it shall be done."
Its "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20) And the verses saying that if you pray, he will do it, you have to have faith. Without faith, you won't know if he will do it, and if you don't know if he is going to do it, you can't have faith. If it was the other way around, we could ask for a ferrari and it would appear. But thats a different subject...

skynes
05-07-2007, 11:59 AM
Uhh...Whats your point here?

God's decisions and actions toward them being dependent on their actions.

And the verses saying that if you pray, he will do it, you have to have faith. Without faith, you won't know if he will do it, and if you don't know if he is going to do it, you can't have faith. If it was the other way around, we could ask for a ferrari and it would appear. But thats a different subject...

What's your point here? Lol.

Reeper
05-07-2007, 03:49 PM
Reeper, let me make this clear now. Do NOT put words in my mouth. It irritates the hell out of me. I said nothing of the sort about God being fickle and untrustworthy.

Me too. And I am sorry.

I was carrying the ideas you presented out to their logical conclusion.


This is exactly what I mean. Where in my post did I say Moses knew better than God?

Again just carrying your ideas out to their logical conclusion. If God originally meant to kill Israel, but then had His mind changed by Moses, because Moses pointed out that that is not what God promised, then Moses clearly knew better than God.

I didn't. All I have done up till now is show scripture that disagrees with your position.

I disagree you have shown scripture that if interpreted your way disagrees with my position. The actual verses do not say "then God changed His mind." They say things like he relented or so forth. Big difference.


If Moses' intercessory prayer changed God's mind, then God did not lie. If God had full intention of destroying Israel, then decided against it, that is not a lie. If He never had intention of destroying them, yet said He did, THAT is a lie.

This one I'm not sure what to do with. Is God omniscient? I certainly hope you say yes. So, given God is omniscient that means he knows everything that happened, that is happening, and that will happen. That means that God knew he was not going to kill Israel. Now if you say you are going to do one thing, all along knowing that you are going to do something else, that is called lieing. Since God knew that he was not going to kill Israel there is no way he could have full intentions of doing so. The only way that could work is if he didn't know what He was going to end up doing, i.e. his mercy is dependent on us.

Romans 11:29 "For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. "

Yeah, that's what scripture says, but how do you know he won't decide to change his mind, after all he's done it before right?

The only one who suggested God being fickle was you. A God who wants to destroy a people, then decides against it, is not fickle. It shows a God that reasons and logically thinks out a situation even in the midst of emotions.

Sorry but I disagree again. It shows a God who didn't know how to do it right from the start. A weak, and impotent God, who doesn't even know what he himself is going to do.

Only one who suggested that is you.
Again I have to disagree. I may be the only one who came right out and said it in that many words, but to suggest that the infinite, God of the universe is some how dependent on our prayers to sway his decision is also suggesting that.

Which is a dumb argument. If God made mistakes and didn't know what was to come, THAT would be limiting Him.
Exactly my point. Did you switch sides on me here? That is exactly what I am saying. If God had full intentions of killing Israel yet then repented because of what Moses reminded him of, then he made a mistake.

How many places in scripture does God act differently because of the intercession of a righteous man?

Define differently, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is always merciful.

Abraham when interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah reasoned with God to not destroy the place for 10 righteous people. God agreed to these terms.


Moses at least twice I think, reasoned with God to not destroy the people of Israel.

So again, Moses and Abraham are out reasoning God?

1 Samuel:

10 Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying,

11 "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the Lord all night.

God regretted making Saul king of Israel.

Yeah? Just like he is disappointed in me when I sin. Remember before Saul was crowned king God told Israel that the wouldn't like having a king. God was against Israel having a king from the start. However he allowed it because he is merciful.

There was another king, whose name I forget. That God told He was going to kill Him. He then turned round and repented in sackcloth and ashes. God instead of destroying Him, told Him the kingdom would be taken from one of His descendents. (sorry I don't have a reference for this).

My guess would be you are talking about Hezekiah. That actually is a very interesting story if you read it very carefully. However that is a long story and this is already a long post, maybe I'll post on it later. Suffice to say, God wasn't changing his mind, trust me.;)

Jonah 3:4 "And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day's walk. Then he cried out and said, "Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!" "

Jonah 3:10 "Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. "

Again a prime example of God acting as he always acts, mercifully. And again a prime example of God teaching somebody a lesson about how He is and how that person should be. Jonah was an idiot. Relenting and changing His mind are too very different things.
-----------

Our God is a covenental God. He is always faithful, but we are not. With all these people, God made a covenant with them, whether clearly stated or not. That if they walked righteously, God would bless them, if they walked sinfully, God took His blessing away.

Yeah? God did take his blessing away. God's blessings are always conditional and are always laid out in the covenant. However His mercy is not. God clearly states that He extends His mercy to whom he wishes, many times in the Bible (sorry at work again can't get to a Bible right now to find specific verses)

This applied to Israel, that God took them as a separate people, yet they sinned in the wilderness by acting like pagans, so God wished to destroy them. Moses interceded in prayer, and God relented from His destruction.


The scriptures say God intended to destroy them, so I won't doubt that He fully intended to do that.

Yet God relented from the destruction by the prayers of Moses.

Sorry I disagree again. He did not relent because of the prayers of Moses. He relented because of his merciful nature, and to teach Moses along with the rest of Israel, who he is.

Did god always intend to back down upon Moses prayer? Was it to reinforce to Moses how much he meant to Him? To show how much He valued their friendship? To show that He is faithful regardless of our sin?


beats me *shrug* I'll strive to only say what it says there. That God wanted to blow em up, Moses prayed, God backed off.


But if you'll read further, Moses took the Levites, marched through the camp killing everyone they encountered. Afterward the golden calf was melted down and the Israelites were forced to drink it. So judgement was still done.

To all the Kings, God had a promise. Worship Him only and He will give them a vast kingdom. Walk in sin and it'll be removed.

Again a conditional covenant with conditional blessing, not conditional mercy.

The new covenant is different. This new covenant doesn't take into consideration OUR actions, so that we must live a certain way or do so much good works to meet the covenant. Instead it looks at Christ's actions and Him crucified. So that our salvation is not dependant on what we do, but on what Christ did.


Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, and let us reason together..."

Amen, that I can agree with. Are we straining at gnats here? *shrugs leaves it up to the others to decide*.

Love ya Skynes good discussion.

Peace

The Lamma
05-08-2007, 01:16 PM
What's your point here? Lol.
I was talking about that verse he had, and saying it didn't quite work in this context.
So, given God is omniscient that means he knows everything that happened, that is happening, and that will happen.
And, aslo, God is outside of time.
My guess would be you are talking about Hezekiah.
Yeah, I think it was. Hezekiah was actually one of the most Godly kings. And in repenting, he did the same as we do now.

unshakeable15
05-08-2007, 01:40 PM
i cant believe i cant think of the exact wording, but another scripture to throw in one in the sense of "if two or more pray and agree in my name it shall be done." that is a really big thing in most of the churches ive been privileged to be a part of. that when we pray in agreement there is more power to our prayer. i really wish i knew where the scripture was.. but basically the way i interpreted it was that God is a God of relationships, and when we come to Him sincerely and with a righteous heart then His will is invoked in the situation. this is most apparent as ive seen it at mass student prayer meetings. when the students are sincere about change in their school and work towards change, God answers them. i know it is happining in my school. we pray, God answers. when we come with a heart towards God and a desire of relationship, purity and for the best of a situation our prayers invoke the will of God. just my thoughts.
Here is the full passage: Matthew 18:15-20 "If your brother sins against you,go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Notice the beginning of that passage that has the single quote marks around a section? Good, 'cause that's quoting from the Old Testament, specifically Deut 19:15. It is speaking of things of this world, things that have to do with how we run 'government' and a court of law. Jesus is still talking about that when he reiterates the "two or three."

He is talking about attempting to bring about a reconciliation between yourself and a friend who has sinned against you. If you can't do it alone, go with two or three and attempt to correct him. If he refuses, basically, kick him out of the church, and in so doing, because you have the two or three witnesses, it is as if in God's name ("where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them").

Also, logically, it doesn't follow using the verse in the 'usual' context (that is, the wrong context). God is with us where at least two are gathering together? Wait, isn't God with us always? If so, why does He need to say specifically when two or more are meeting together, He shows up? Shouldn't He show up wherever we are? Yup. So, either that verse is redundant (in the 'usual' context) or we really don't have the Spirit with us every moment (that is, unless we are with a fellow believer).

I went to the trouble to type this all out because i'm tired of people misusing this verse. It is one of the most misused verses of the Bible. Basically, it doesn't work with your argument.

(Hint of the Week: Paragraphs make reading easier on the eyes.)

The Lamma
05-09-2007, 02:03 PM
I went to the trouble to type this all out because i'm tired of people misusing this verse. It is one of the most misused verses of the Bible. Basically, it doesn't work with your argument.

(Hint of the Week: Paragraphs make reading easier on the eyes.)

There is a web site, biblegateway.com, where its easy to cut and paste from. :) And nice hint. :P

planet_kosmos
05-16-2007, 02:20 AM
Just a note, the verse Numbers 23: 19, In KJV it reads :

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good ?

Also the word lie can be translated from hebrew as disappoint, fail.

Hope this helps a bit.

theelectric3
05-22-2007, 07:39 PM
(i love this present darkness and piercing the darkness... and i often think of them too Scott.)

yes, prayer is a powerful tool God has given us and does effect lives and circumstances around us.

God said IF My people will humble themselves and pray, I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.

a result of Christians submitting to God (repentence and loyalty to the Father) and praying.

Look at the life of King Hezekiah in 2 Chronicles 30. Hezekiah's prayer life and obedience to God caused change throughout the entire land. (vs. 20 - And the Lord listened to Hezekiah and healed the people.)
--

as far the number of people praying.

Jesus said when two or more agree in prayer, He is in our midst (Matthew 18:18-20). that does not mean that if you are praying by yourself that your prayers don't count - that is NOT TRUE.

what it DOES show is that there is power in agreement. one can put a thousand to flight and two can put ten thousand to flight. others agreeing with you in prayer, encouraging you... is a strength and comfort. a physical and tangible reminder that the Lord is with you and you are not alone in whatever it is you are going through.


and something for all of us to remember. God doesn't want us to pray (talk) to Him in only bad times. He wants a relationship. never hesitate to talk to Him, listen to what He is saying and being honest with Him. He loves each one of us. :)

skynes
05-23-2007, 03:24 AM
Jesus said when two or more agree in prayer, He is in our midst (Matthew 18:18-20). that does not mean that if you are praying by yourself that your prayers don't count - that is NOT TRUE.


Lol, it seems you missed Mike's rant on how out of context that passage is, heh heh.

unshakeable15
05-29-2007, 04:14 PM
I guess she did. :) Maybe i should post it on my LJ. ;)

theelectric3
05-30-2007, 09:27 PM
Lol, it seems you missed Mike's rant on how out of context that passage is, heh heh.

you are right, my apologies. it is still a very valid point. once you forgive one whom you are upset with (and apologize to one who is upset at you, whether you think they are justified in their emotions or not) THEN... you can ask. because if we do not forgive then the Father won't forgive us..


so i am not negating what mike said. i do agree that it is important and i am glad he brought it up (even if i did notice it late).

lamb_servant72
06-02-2007, 06:35 PM
Remember before Saul was crowned king God told Israel that the wouldn't like having a king. God was against Israel having a king from the start. However he allowed it because he is merciful.

Actually, God listened to the people and allowed them a king as punishment for them rejecting Him as king, I don't think it had anything to do with mercy. It still looks like to me He made a decision based on what they asked Him for. What if the people had never asked God for a king? Seems like prayer influenced God's decision. Wasn't that the original question?

I am trying to let what you are saying sink in...this example you gave stumped me because it seems to go against your thought process on this matter.

I know the example of Moses has been around and around, but Exodus 14:20 says (after a lengthy begging from Moses) "So the Lord said, "I have pardoned them according to your word;" and again in Exodus 32:14 God says in v 10 that He wants to destroy them, Moses begs for a few verses, then v 14, "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people."

When I read the first post, Luke 18:2-5 came to mind. Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray. I've discussed this scripture before, where the widow goes to the judge for protection. V 4, "And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even thught I do not fear God nor respect man, V5, "yet becuse this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out."

It seems to me that Jesus is saying in this parable that we influence God's decisions by praying continually.

The Lamma
06-03-2007, 06:34 PM
Yet, God knows all lives outside of time. Wouldn't that affect it greatly?

Reeper
06-04-2007, 10:27 AM
Actually, God listened to the people and allowed them a king as punishment for them rejecting Him as king, I don't think it had anything to do with mercy. It still looks like to me He made a decision based on what they asked Him for. What if the people had never asked God for a king? Seems like prayer influenced God's decision. Wasn't that the original question?

It was merciful because truthfully their punishment should have been death, instead he allowed them to have a king. Get back to the rest of this later.
I am trying to let what you are saying sink in...this example you gave stumped me because it seems to go against your thought process on this matter.

Which example?
I know the example of Moses has been around and around, but Exodus 14:20 says (after a lengthy begging from Moses) "So the Lord said, "I have pardoned them according to your word;" and again in Exodus 32:14 God says in v 10 that He wants to destroy them, Moses begs for a few verses, then v 14, "So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people."

I think you have the wrong location for that first verse. As far as the second one, what translation are you using? My bible (KJV) does not say "changed his mind" and neither does my NIV. They both say relented. Very different.

When I read the first post, Luke 18:2-5 came to mind. Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray. I've discussed this scripture before, where the widow goes to the judge for protection. V 4, "And for a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even thught I do not fear God nor respect man, V5, "yet becuse this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out."

It seems to me that Jesus is saying in this parable that we influence God's decisions by praying continually.

Sorry gonna have to disagree. Jesus is saying that God answers prayer. In fact I think Jesus is saying the exact opposite hear. He is not placing special importance on how many times you pray to God, he is saying no matter how many times you pray, God will answer "and quickly". Go beyond verse 5 to verse 8 and you find that.

I don't feel like reposting all the other things we've said before so I'll try and summarize, no there is too much let me try and sum up.

1. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
2. This means God knows everything, including what he is going to do, what we are going to do, etc.
3. If he knows all these things then when he was saying he was going to kill the Israelites there are two/three possibilities.
a. He was lieing
b. He was teaching Moses about himself (God)
c. He was teaching Moses about Moses
4. Since we know God does not lie or "change his mind" see verse posted before, cause if he did then there would be no point in our faith, then it must be one of the other two or both.

To really understand this you have to think outside of yourself. We are constricted by time and lack of knowledge. God is not. Your above example with Israel having a king is a good example. You said what if Israel had never asked for a king. You are assuming that I think that that means that God's actions would not have changed because I think God does not change his mind. Well, if one of my other examples confused, get ready for this one.

K. So would God's actions have changed had Israel never asked for a king. Maybe. Israel might have gotten a king anyway as part of God's plan or maybe not. The reason why Israel did get a king is not because they asked for it. It is because it was part of God's plan, as was their asking for it. See, this is what I meant by thinking outside of yourself. See, most people see Israel asking for a king and God allowing them to have a king and they say "ah, cause and effect." Cause: they asked God for a king, Effect: they got a king. However that is the wrong way to think about it. It is a cause and effect process but you have to start with God. Cause: God's plan for Israel was for them to learn lessons about both themselves and God by having a king so they and future generations could learn from them Effect: Israel asked for a king. I don't no if that helps at all or not, but I hope it does.

To be honest I would like to see someone who does think that God changes his mind try and explain Numbers 23:19.

Peace

The Lamma
06-04-2007, 11:30 AM
Very good points, Paul. I was thinking just now about the judge, but correct me if I'm wrong, does the passage say that the judge represents God? And if so, does it represent him 100%? It could be saying that persistence in general can bring what you want. I don't know for sure, though. I was also thinking, when you pray over and over about the same thing, it doesn't make God more likely to do it, it just shows how much you want/need it, and how you want God to hear it. It could be a symbolic action, as much as anything else.

lamb_servant72
06-04-2007, 03:48 PM
I think you have the wrong location for that first verse.

Sorry, I was unsuccessfully multitasking at the time. That should have been Numbers 14:20. I'm glad you take references seriously.


As far as the second one, what translation are you using? My bible (KJV) does not say "changed his mind" and neither does my NIV. They both say relented. Very different.



I use NAS most of the time. I want to do a word study on that as soon as I get a chance.




Sorry gonna have to disagree. Jesus is saying that God answers prayer. In fact I think Jesus is saying the exact opposite hear. He is not placing special importance on how many times you pray to God, he is saying no matter how many times you pray, God will answer "and quickly". Go beyond verse 5 to verse 8 and you find that.


I agree that Jesus is saying that God answers prayer, but don't forget verse 7, "now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?"
Yes, it says "will He delay long over them", but it also says that they are crying out to Him day and night. Verse 1 says, "Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart." Why would someone lose heart? (This for me is a retoracle question, but you may see it another way...so I'm interested in what you have to say.)






2. This means God knows everything, including what he is going to do, what we are going to do, etc.



Do you believe in predestination? Do you believe that God could put self limitations on Himself in order to give us free will?

Okay, I realize that's another thread...


K. So would God's actions have changed had Israel never asked for a king. Maybe. Israel might have gotten a king anyway as part of God's plan or maybe not. The reason why Israel did get a king is not because they asked for it. It is because it was part of God's plan, as was their asking for it. See, this is what I meant by thinking outside of yourself

I do understand that God is outside of time and space. But, if I were to believe your view, would that mean that God caused Joel and Abijah to not walk in Samuel's ways and to turn aside to dishonest gain, bribes, and perverted justice, so that the people would ask for a king?

Nevermind, you also said they might have gotten one wether they asked for it or not. Sorry, I'm extremely ADD, and these discussions where I have to focus on one thing for long periods of time hurt my brain.


. See, most people see Israel asking for a king and God allowing them to have a king and they say "ah, cause and effect." Cause: they asked God for a king, Effect: they got a king. However that is the wrong way to think about it. It is a cause and effect process but you have to start with God. Cause: God's plan for Israel was for them to learn lessons about both themselves and God by having a king so they and future generations could learn from them Effect: Israel asked for a king. I don't no if that helps at all or not, but I hope it does.


It does.



To be honest I would like to see someone who does think that God changes his mind try and explain Numbers 23:19.



Samuel says the same thing in 1 Samuel 15:29.

Now, back to Luke 18. Yes, Lamma, if you read the entire parable, Jesus is using the judge to represent God...unless Jesus is suggesting we pray to someone else. Ha Ha.

I was thinking that perhaps it was in the realm of God's will to assist this woman, so He wasn't changing His mind...yet, at the same time, He did it because she was persistant in asking.

Would that fit in to what you are saying, Reeper, yet also answer the question that we can infact influece God's actions through prayer?

Oooh, but it says that at first He was unwilling. So, does that mean that it was against His will at first, so He changed His mind because of her prayer? Hmmm...another word study (on the "unwilling").

Reeper
06-05-2007, 07:51 AM
Sorry, I was unsuccessfully multitasking at the time. That should have been Numbers 14:20. I'm glad you take references seriously.

No prob. My NIV says "I've have forgiven them, as you asked." Not because you asked. Again in this passage we see Moses reasoning with God that He is slow to anger and so forth and that is why God shouldn't kill Israel. Does God really need to be reminded of this, or does Moses?

I use NAS most of the time. I want to do a word study on that as soon as I get a chance.

Might I suggest KJV. I know it tends to be kind of hard to read, but I find that it tends to stay truer to the actual Hebrew or Greek. It also doesn't have the translation errors that other versions do (i.e. alexandrian documents).


I agree that Jesus is saying that God answers prayer, but don't forget verse 7, "now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?"
Yes, it says "will He delay long over them", but it also says that they are crying out to Him day and night. Verse 1 says, "Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart." Why would someone lose heart? (This for me is a retoracle question, but you may see it another way...so I'm interested in what you have to say.)

First I'll say that I don't think that it says crying out day and night is placing any importance on how many times one prays. I think it is simply describing the people. I know I cry out day and night, as did and does Israel. Again it is just saying he will answer all their prayers.

Secondly, one would lose heart because we are human. We don't understand slowness as God understands slowness. We want what we want and when we don't get it we despair. God is our father and wants a relationship with us. So, he wants to hear about our trials. When we get upset cause we aren't getting what we want he wants to hear about it, and of course would like to know what we want. That doesn't mean we will get it, especially not if it isn't part of his will. He will still grant and deny request as he sees fit, not according to us.




Do you believe in predestination? Do you believe that God could put self limitations on Himself in order to give us free will?

Get back to this later.

Okay, I realize that's another thread...

Pretty much, but I'll try and answer it.

I do understand that God is outside of time and space. But, if I were to believe your view, would that mean that God caused Joel and Abijah to not walk in Samuel's ways and to turn aside to dishonest gain, bribes, and perverted justice, so that the people would ask for a king?

Nevermind, you also said they might have gotten one wether they asked for it or not. Sorry, I'm extremely ADD, and these discussions where I have to focus on one thing for long periods of time hurt my brain.

This is complicated and kind of hard to explain. And I think I made it harder to explain now by using the cause and effect model, but here it goes. It isn't that God caused them to turn aside. Get's complicated here so try and follow me. While we do have free will, our choices are ultimately part of God's plan. So, those two turning aside was not caused by God that was caused by their sin, but their turning aside was part of God's plan. Some find it hard to believe that God could work through bad circumstances but throughout the scripture he constantly does. So the cause and effect would look like this. Cause: God's plan for Israel, and the world, required that Israel turn away from Him. Obviously not what God would like but necessary for His plan to come to fruition. Effect: Joel and Abijah and so forth turn away from God due to their selfish desires and sin.

So, I don't know if you can see it. It is rather complicated and confusing for us. Which is usually the case when trying to understand the entirety of God. Really cause and effect is not the best way to look at it, but it comes the closest to achieving what we want to convey.


Samuel says the same thing in 1 Samuel 15:29.

Now, back to Luke 18. Yes, Lamma, if you read the entire parable, Jesus is using the judge to represent God...unless Jesus is suggesting we pray to someone else. Ha Ha.

I was thinking that perhaps it was in the realm of God's will to assist this woman, so He wasn't changing His mind...yet, at the same time, He did it because she was persistant in asking.

Would that fit in to what you are saying, Reeper, yet also answer the question that we can infact influece God's actions through prayer?

Oooh, but it says that at first He was unwilling. So, does that mean that it was against His will at first, so He changed His mind because of her prayer? Hmmm...another word study (on the "unwilling").

You are very close to what I am trying to say you just need to take one more step. The judge helped this woman because she begged and pleaded with Him so much he got annoyed and gave in. That's the problem with saying that the judge in the story is God. Jesus is comparing the "unjust judge" to the one and true just judge. He is saying that the judge in the story got fed up and finally passed a sentence that apparently was not just. God does not tire and every judgement he makes is just according to his will. No matter how many times we pray or what we ask for his will will be done and quickly,and it will be just. The reason why God tells us to constantly pray is because he wants to talk to us. He wants to know us and in turn for us to know him. Not because if we pray enough he'll answer our prayers. He will answer our prayers whether we pray one time or twelve million and one times. And the answer will always be the same no matter how many times we pray.

This goes hand in hand with your question of predestination. Do I believe in predestination? I would say no. Those who disagree with my arguments would probably say yes. It is another complicated circumstance. I do believe we have free will. However, I also believe that God knows everything including the decisions I am going to make for my whole life, and these decisions are part of his plan for me. It really is a beautiful and mind-boggling thing. Will I always make the right choices, that is the choices God would prefer I make? No. But God already knows what circumstances I am going to stay steadfast in and which I'm going to stray during. And what's more those decisions have been a part of his plan for me from the beginning of time. That is why we can't change God's mind or influence him while we pray. He already has it planned out. We still have free choice, but God knows the choices we will make. So, keep praying so that you may know your creator. Constantly and with steadfast heart seek to know God. Pray continually. Not because if you do God will give in, but so that you can understand Him.


It's kind of hard to comprehend. Hope that helped.

Peace

The Lamma
06-05-2007, 10:45 AM
Oooh, but it says that at first He was unwilling. So, does that mean that it was against His will at first, so He changed His mind because of her prayer? Hmmm...another word study (on the "unwilling").
If God's will changed, I would think that would contradict the fact that he never changes, would it not?
Might I suggest KJV. I know it tends to be kind of hard to read, but I find that it tends to stay truer to the actual Hebrew or Greek. It also doesn't have the translation errors that other versions do (i.e. alexandrian documents).
I have heard that the KJV is missing a certain type of manuscript, so it isn't as accurate as some...I don't know what type of manuscript, though. It might be something to consider looking into. And there is the NKJV, which is easier to read. I don't know how much it has been messed up from the original KJV, though. ;D:P

One reason we are to pray without ceasing is not to necessarily to pray about one thing a billion times, but to pray about every single little thing that pops up in your life!! Whether it be that spider that just scared the crap out of you, a tornado is heading toward your house, if you're in love, or just being thankful for that choco bar in your hand!

skynes
06-07-2007, 12:07 AM
If God's will changed, I would think that would contradict the fact that he never changes, would it not?

His NATURE never changes. That doesn't mean His attitude or His actions never change. Otherwise we're still all destined to hell as God never changed how He sees us.

I have heard that the KJV is missing a certain type of manuscript, so it isn't as accurate as some...I don't know what type of manuscript, though. It might be something to consider looking into. And there is the NKJV, which is easier to read. I don't know how much it has been messed up from the original KJV, though.

The whole manuscript thing is a long, dreary, complicated and death defyingly BORING subject.

If anyone has a source that lays it out straight in plain English I'd be very happy to read it.

NightCrawler
06-07-2007, 05:49 AM
The whole manuscript thing is a long, dreary, complicated and death defyingly BORING subject.
Poor skynes.

----

If God changes His actions, but His nature doesn't change, then what effect does that have on this verse?:

Psalm 33
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

skynes
06-07-2007, 06:51 AM
Psalm 33
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

To Moses, God spoke through a burning bush.

To Samuel, He just spoke.

To Adam, He walked and talked with Him.

To Joseph, His message was given through angels in a dream.


God's plan and purpose have always been the same, but He doesn't always communicate to people the same way.

Some in dreams, some in visions, some face to face, some through prophets, some through scriptures.

The Lamma
06-07-2007, 03:11 PM
How would talking in person to one person, use the phone for another, and then email for one other change the person?

Reeper
06-08-2007, 05:52 AM
I don't think Skynes was saying that God himself changes, he just used different methods.

Peace

skynes
06-08-2007, 06:06 AM
I don't think Skynes was saying that God himself changes, he just used different methods.

Yep.

How would talking in person to one person, use the phone for another, and then email for one other change the person?

As Reeper said.

But what I was saying was:

When I first meet a person, I am indifferent to them (well no, in honesty when I first meet someone I don't trust them. But back to point.)

I am indifferent. As I spend more time with that person I become less indifferent and more friendly and open.

I did not change. My attitude toward that person changed and thus my actions toward them changed.


God loves all of us. But He doesn't have a relationship with all of us. There are some who are children of wrath. They are destined to bear the fury of God and the punishment of hell.

When we accept Christ, we are no longer children of wrath, but children of God.

God's actions toward us have now changed. He is now a caring Father who chastises His children for their benefit.

Did His nature change? Nope. What changed was how He responds to us.

I don't think God never changing includes His behaviour and actions. His nature is solid, His plans are solid. How He responds to people will vary.

The Lamma
06-09-2007, 10:33 AM
I think we should find a verse that talks about his never changing, lol. It could help a bit. I'll go check, though I usually type in the wrong combo of words. :P

EDIT: Hmm...This is all I found.

Malachi 3:6
"For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."

skynes
06-09-2007, 12:52 PM
^ I checked out the passage, God was telling the sons of Jacob, pretty much that they had sinned badly. They had robbed God and He wasn't happy about it.

After hearing this, there were some who feared God because of what was said, and those people God spared.

The Lamma
06-09-2007, 08:43 PM
I was just trying to find anything in the Bible relating to how God never changes in any way. And you have seen my luck in searching... Lol.

lamb_servant72
06-10-2007, 03:40 AM
James 1:17

I think we may have already mentioned James 1:17 on here.

The Lamma
06-11-2007, 09:45 AM
Hmm...I thought I memorized that whole verse, but I must've only memorized part A, since I don't remember the second part. But these verses don't necessarily tell us what of Him doesn't change. Its just generalized, I guess?

someoneudontkno
06-26-2007, 07:08 PM
another thing to throw into the mix is that maybe we are looking at this from the wrong angle. God knows every decision we make, but who's to say that he doesn't see every decision we could make and where they could lead? An argument against this would be,"Then if this is true, then it is possible for mankind to mess up God's plans?" Look at the Tower of Babel. Mankind had gone away from everything God had planned for.. and he divided them. But God set in His plans through Jesus and the effect he had on mankind, among many other things he has done. regardless of what we do now, his plans will be reached, but does that mean that we cant live with our own decisions. and i personally thought that free will meant free will. not free will to an extent of what God has already set into place. didn't God create us for the propose that that wasn't true?