Our prayers can change God’s mind?

God’s will is like a circle. The circle’s circumference is fixed, but inside the circle it’s a free-for-all!

Think of the request that Jesus’ Mother made to him at the wedding in Cana. The wine was running out, so Jesus’ Mother decides this is a great opportunity for Jesus to demonstrate his power – and in a loving way too – by coming up with a miracle to produce more wine.

Jesus’ first reaction is, “No, Mother, my hour is not yet come” – it was much too soon to be going public with miracles, but then he grants her wish. He changes his mind! He made room in his plans for what his Mother desired. And since Jesus only does what he sees his Father do, then clearly the Father can change his plans on our behalf too, when our request is still within the circumference of his fixed will and it spoils nothing.

This is the God who calls himself “Father.” He loves us so much our requests move him to adjust his plans, especially when our request is within the circle of his will or we wouldn’t be asking in the first place. Or, if we’re not quite sure it IS within his will, we readily admit it to him and pray anyway, because this is the Father we’re coming to see. He’s given us all kinds of wiggle-room to reason with him, speak our mind freely to him, babble on about things we probably have no real clue about, but he loves every bit of it. What father wouldn’t? When we were Dads with young children, it didn’t matter what they babbled on about. They were our kids and that’s all that mattered.

And they were always pleading with us – begging, bargaining, coming up with every persuasive reason they could think of – to get us to rethink a situation and agree to their idea instead. And think what it did to the relationship when Dad relented and even praised his child for a really great idea, especially when the idea made a situation better for everyone involved. This isn’t selfish whining we’re talking about, it’s about a child thinking things through – on behalf of others too – because he knows his Dad loves it when he does that. And any good idea the child comes up with Dad’s onto it immediately, or as quickly as he can.

And if Dad CAN’T change his plans, he’ll try and do something – anything – to keep the door wide open, and the child’s ideas flowing. So does God, because HIS children come up with great ideas too – so good, in fact, they can change HIS mind as well!

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