Prayer is a lifeline for everyone who needs it. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving* let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 NASB). God is all knowing. He is omniscient. He is all knowing from the beginning to the end. Then why do we need to pray since He knows everything? It is because prayer is a relational thing between the Creator and ourselves. Even God knows before we ask, let our requests be made know to God on our own behalf.
Can prayer change God’s heart?** Since God is all knowing, He knows best. This is one of the reasons it seems for us that God won’t answer our prayer because the outcome of our prayer would not be the best for both its consequences and its timing in the sight of God. Another reason is our prayer may not be well rooted on the circumstances without being fully understood in the context behind the prayer. It could be a wrong motivation of the prayer. It might be a lack of faith or a little faith.
We know some prayer is answered immediately while the other takes longer even after many years and even after some generations or more. Here is a prayer principle: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14, 15 NASB). Again it says, “…ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
Now you may know the powerful parable of the unjust judge and the widow:
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’
And the Lord said, ‘Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?’” (Luke 18:1-8 NIV).
*Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving (1 Samuel 2) is one of the excellent examples. **Daniel’s Prayer (Daniel 9:4-19) can change God’s heart. – T