by Darcy West
reprinted by permission
Darcy West: Do Christians believe
in "answered prayer"?
Fred: Yes, Darcy.
Darcy West: Fred, do you believe that
God's actions/decisions can be affected by the prayers of humans?
Fred: ABSOLUTELY! That's why we pray.
Darcy West: Fred, if you fail to pray,
will God's will be carried out anyway?
Fred: Yes, because He will have someone
Darcy West: God would fail to carry
out his will because a human failed to pray?
Fred: No. God's will will be done no
matter what He will use who ever He wants
Darcy West: Fred, if God's will will
be done no matter what, then prayers do not bring about a change in God's
actions/decisions. Thus, there really is no such thing as answered prayer---if
what is going to happen will happen whether you pray or not, yes?
Fred: Yes, you can change God's hearts
with your prayers. I have personal experience of it.
Darcy West: So you believe prayers can
sometimes cause God to change his plan and to do something he wasn't going
Fred: No - If you don't pray for it
God will use someone
Darcy West: Fred, is God omniscient?
i.e. knows all things?
Darcy West: And if God knows all things,
can he experience uncertainty?
Darcy West: How can a God who experiences
no uncertainty change his mind?
Fred: God is never uncertain, but because
of what you feel in your heart for a particular person or situation and
because of God's great love for you he can change his mind.
Darcy West: If God is never uncertain,
he never changes his mind, right? Because in order to change one's mind,
one must have had limited knowledge or uncertainty.
Fred: God can change his mind.
Darcy West: What causes someone to change
Fred: What causes you to change your
mind? Say your child wants to go spend the night with a friend and you
say no. The child travails before you and begs and begs and begs and because
of your love for that child you change your mind and say ok
Darcy West: If I am omniscient, I knew
before the child begged that he was going to, didn't I?
Darcy West: And if I am omniscient,
I also knew that I was going to let him go. Right?
Darcy West: So I did not change my mind.
I knew all along what I was going to do, right?
Fred: You were waiting.
Darcy West: Waiting for what, Fred?
Waiting to see what the child would do?
Fred: Waiting to see how much it meant
to the child.
Darcy West: If I am omniscient, I already
know how much it means to him, don't I?
Fred: Yep, but you want your child to
show his faith in you believing that you will do it and acknowledging
you in all things.
Darcy West: Okay. But in this case,
it's not a matter of me changing my mind though, is it? It's a matter
of me already knowing what I am going to do but simply wanting my child
to beg me anyway. I want the child to beg me because it pleases me to
see him beg.
Fred: You can change God's mind. I've
Darcy West: Fred, can you give me an
example of how an omniscient God can change his mind?
Fred: Ok - listen I am a holy ghost
filled, speaking in tongues christian
Darcy West: Okay.
Fred: My marriage fell apart, my 20
year old son left and I was lonely. I thought my world was ending.
Darcy West: I'm sorry, Fred.
Fred: I couldn't pray, didn't want to
pray. But God wanted me to come up in Him and I didn't want to. I was
upset and my best friend called me and was telling me that I knew better
and not to let the enemy deceive me and I didn't want to listen. I was
determined not to pray anymore And God told my two best friends that are
saved that I would bust hell wide open .
Darcy West: Fred....so when he told
your friends that you were going to bust hell wide open if they didn't
pray---he knew all along that you weren't really going to do that, right?
Fred: God had them pray for me so that
my heart and mind would be touched and I would get back to being a soldier
for the Lord.
Darcy West: Fred, did he know all along
that you were going to return to being a soldier for him?
Fred: He knew how to get me going. Because
no matter what - I was NOT going to hell for anyone.
Darcy West: But did he know all along
what was going to happen, since he is all-knowing?
Darcy West: Then he lied to you and
Darcy West: Fred, if what you say is
true, God lied to your friends in order to manipulate them into doing
something that gave him pleasure. He told them you were going to bust
hell wide open---and you said he knew that wasn't true.
Fred: No, he told them what I needed
Darcy West: Fred, if he told them you
were going to bust hell wide open when he knew that wasn't true, how is
that not a lie?
Fred: He touched their hearts and minds
to pray for me.
Darcy West: Fred, you said he told them
that you were going to bust hell wide open, right?
Fred: That's right and that upset them
because of their love for me.
Darcy West: Fred, but how can God lie?
Fred: Darcy - He did not lie.
Darcy West: Fred, lying is saying something
you know is not true. You said that God knew you weren't going to bust
hell wide open, but he told them that you were.
Fred: I would have busted hell wide
open but because of their prayer God had mercy. God cannot lie.
Darcy West: So now you are saying that
for awhile, God thought you MIGHT bust hell wide open but then when your
friends prayed, he decided to have mercy on you and change your heart
so that you would not go to hell?
Fred: I hear what you're saying And
you're trying to put God in a pinhole.
Darcy West: He couldn't have mercy on
you without their prayers?
Fred: Someone's got to pray
Darcy West: Why?
Fred: To show faith in God and know
that He can do all things
Darcy West: So if they had failed to
pray for you...would God have failed to have turned you back into a soldier
Fred: But what you are failing to realize
is God put me on people's hearts that He Knew would pray.
Darcy West: If God had told them to
pray and they failed, what would he have done then?
Fred: He would have found someone else
to pray OR he would have given me dreams.
Darcy West: So if one thing didn't work,
he could find another thing to do until finally he was able to get through
Fred: He wasn't going to stop trying.
God doesn't give up on people.
Darcy West: He does give up on people
when he puts them in his eternal torture chamber though, doesn't he? If
God knows all along what will work and what won't work, why not just start
with the alternative that will work to begin with?
Fred: I don't think you want the answers
Darcy West: Fred, I assure you. If there
are answers to these questions, I'd really like to hear them. By the way,
can you tell me how you hear God? What is the difference between hearing
God's voice and hearing what your mind wants to believe is God's voice?
Fred: There are ways to know that, Darcy.
But you aren't ready to hear them yet. I will pray for you.
Darcy West: Thank you, Fred.