The Power of Intercessory Prayer

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Can you change God's mind? We'll see in a moment. In today's Gospel reading from John 5, Jesus talks about accepting praise from people, but not seeking "the praise that comes from the only God."

In today's first reading from Exodus 32, we see a story of the power of intercessory prayer. Moses had come down from Mt. Sinai to find the people worshiping a golden calf. God was so displeased that he intended to destroy the people and start over again with just Moses. But Moses interceded for the people, asking God to be merciful. "So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people."

As Christians, we believe in a personal God, a God who listens to us and responds. It's one of the reasons we pray. Why would Jesus tell us to pray if it was all for naught? It's clear that Moses changed God's mind. And so can we. Share with him your deepest desires. But always be prepared to accept his will, whatever that may be.

Father, we thank you for hearing our prayers and answering them in your perfect way and time. May your will be done. Amen.

Today's Readings

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  • Carl: March 31, 2022

    Two comments today that stood out: "Why would Jesus tell us to pray if it was all for naught? " and “But always be prepared to accept his will, whatever that may be.”

    It seems to me that combining these two is what our faith is all about. As Russell said, we do not change God, but, as you said, through faith and prayer, we might change the outcome.

    It certainly made a difference to the Ninevites (and countless others)!

  • Russell White: March 31, 2022

    I’m going to disagree with your statement that “it is clear that Moses changed God’s mind.” God was testing Moses to see if he was up to the task and willing to offer intercessory prayers for the stiff-necked people. We cannot and do not change God’s mind. We are invited by offering intercessory prayers to participate in the unfolding of God’s plan. Nothing we do “changes” God… He is unchangeable according to our faith Tradition.

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