One of my favorite Christian authors is W.T. Purkiser. The following article was inspired by a portion of his book, Give me an Answer.
There are two ways we can interpret this question. The first would be asking if prayer can cause God to do something He has no intention of doing. In that case, the answer would be "No."
However, if we are asking if its possible for things to happen in answer to prayer which would not occur any other way, then the answer is a resounding "Yes!"
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Things can happen, as an answer to prayer, that would not happen if someone didn't pray. Consider Abraham and the impending destruction of Sodom. If Abraham had not prayed, Lot would have perished with the rest of Sodom, plain and simple. That's a sobering thought, isn't it?
W.T. Purkiser expands on this by pointing out that God has chosen to make us partners in his work, and our obedience and prayers make a real difference. Our failure to pray can have a negative impact on the kingdom of God. That's why it is so vital that God's people pray!
So, can prayer change God's mind? It can cause things to take place that would never have taken place if we hadn't prayed.
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.