Q. I always thought that God knows from beginning to end and knows all the choices we would make for our lives so how does prayer change things? Are there scriptures that support this idea? I want to pray effectively for my family and friends in need.
A. If God knows the end from the beginning then He also knows what prayers we’ll pray before we pray them. None of them surprise Him or catch Him off guard because He doesn’t just see things as they happen but knew in advance how and when they would happen and has already taken them into consideration.
Evidence that prayer changes things appears through out the Bible. Moses prayed and the Red sea parted (Exodus 14:15-16). Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven (1 Kings 18:36-38). The disciples prayed and people were healed (Acts 4:12-16). The people prayed and the disciples were released from prison (Acts 12:1-17). Each of us prayed and the Lord saved us from the penalty of our sins and gave us eternal life with Him.
As for promises, Jesus said that if we remain in Him, we can ask whatever we want and it will be given to us (John 15:7). Paul said we shouldn’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present our requests to God (Phil 4:6). James said the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16). Peter said the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer (1 Peter 3:12).
Prayer is the most basic action of our faith. It is the means by which we communicate with God.