Holiness/ Jonah Study

Can We Change God’s Will?

Can people really change God's will? How can we do such a thing, if its even possible? Check out what the Bible has to say as we take a closer look at this thought.

Can people really change God’s will? How can we do such a thing, if it’s even possible? Maybe you’re skeptical or wondering how to actually do it.

We discussed how Jonah ran from God, how he got to the end of his rope, and now we are going to see how God recommissions Jonah right back to Nineveh.

What’s the difference this time?

Jonah got his heart right. This time when God sends him he quickly obeys. Think his lesson is learned?

I think he learned that lesson but that God has more in store for him as we finish out the series.

Jonah prophesied the destruction of Nineveh.

  And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Jonah 3:4

The shocking part of this story to everyone, especially to Jonah, was that the people immediately believed him. The repented and fasted for God to change His plan.

Their works changed God’s will.

And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. Jonah 3:10  

They had no sure way of knowing that God would change His mind. Yet they humbly cried out to Him. They even had all their animals fast as well!

God is moved when He sees our sincerity, our faith, and our humble spirit.


He knows who is being sincere and who isn’t because He sees our hearts. We aren’t going to trick Him, that’s for sure!

Can people really change God's will? How can we do such a thing, if its even possible? Check out what the Bible has to say as we take a closer look at this thought.

Another amazing example of people changing God’s will is King Hezekiah on his death bed. Isaiah came to him and prophesied that it was time for him to put his house in order because he wouldn’t survive. I could not imagine being told this! Hezekiah wept and cried out to God to change His will.

Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; 2 Kings 20:2-6a 

Hezekiah’s prayer changed God’s will.

Like the people of Nineveh and Hezekiah, we have no guarantee that God will change His mind.

Yet, they came to Him with a broken and contrite heart and God was merciful to them.

We can have the same effect today. We can entreat the same God of the universe with our humble spirit and actions.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51:17  

Never underestimate the power of God. Faith without works is dead we are told in James 2. God wants to see us showing our sincerity to Him by our actions. Never underestimate the power of your prayers.

Let us boldly cast ourselves down at the footstool of free grace, and God will look upon us with compassion.  – Matthew Henry

I love this quote! We need to humble ourselves to move the heart of God!


Your turn! Do you believe that God can change His will by our prayers and actions?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    August 31, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you for this post! I have been thinking on this subject a lot lately and what our prayers should be.

    You are right, whether it is changing the Father’s mind or more commonly, begging Him to change the circumstances, we can do much (as long as we are connected to the Father’s will, not our own)!

    Sometimes the change is quick like a bolt of lightning. In other situations, it takes time and lessons to be learned before we can enter into the blessing.

    My sister has prayed for years that we could find a better place to live. It was only after giving up her will and coming to a place of peace with the Father’s, that He miraculously provided a place so much better than we could have gotten for ourselves (we teased her that she should have given up a long time ago:).

    Anyway, our God is mighty and if we belong to Him, we are mighty too!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 1, 2015 at 1:05 am

      There is so much learning in the waiting period. What a great story about your sister, its amazing what happens when we give up our will! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Nannette and the Sweetheart
    August 31, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    So glad you stopped by Hope in the Healing so I could read this! I love your examples too. Jonah gets me every time. I can almost see him with hands folded and lips pouting, much like a child because he didn’t get his way. But God!! God is so merciful to the city of Nineveh and to Jonah…and He extends that mercy to us every single day. Blessings!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 1, 2015 at 1:03 am

      I have the exact same vision of Jonah! The way God deals with him is so similar to how we would deal with our child. He is so merciful!

  • Reply
    Mary Dolan Flaherty
    September 2, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Well researched, Anastasia. I love digging into God’s word and finding something I read twenty times and one little nugget I missed all those times. The animals fasting–I never saw that before, or else just didn’t pay attention to it. We are so rebellious, yet God is so gracious. I read a line in a commentary on Isaiah 30, which is what my two posts near yours are based on–and the commentator said that if God seems slow in his graciousness, it’s only because He is giving us time to repent. He’s merciful and gracious in even that. Thanks for putting this into simple and understandable terms.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 3, 2015 at 1:47 am

      That is so true, Mary. God gave the people in the Old Testament so many chances and time to repent. I’m amazed when others try to fault God by saying he isn’t merciful in the OT. I do not see that in what I’m reading! Thanks for commenting today-it was a blessing!

  • Reply
    Judy Turnbull
    September 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    I love this line: “God is moved when He sees our sincerity, our faith, and our humble spirit.” Today, this speaks to me. Thanks for sharing your post!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 3, 2015 at 1:39 am

      So glad it could be a blessing today for you, Judy! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Christi Gee
    October 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Never underestimate the power of prayer. Amen. We are neighbors at Tell His Story. This is my first time here. Lovely space. Looking forward to more.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 7, 2015 at 1:17 am

      God is so gracious to His children! Thank you for the encouragement this evening, Christi!

  • Reply
    September 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Awesome post! This is so true, and something we don’t often realize…sometimes we are actually standing in God’s way! Read closely about Lot in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. When the Angel of the Lord comes to rescue Lot and his family before destroying the cities, He tells him: “Now hurry and go to this place that you are fleeing to, because I cannot do anything until you get there.” Wow. Maybe the Lord wants to do something great in someone close to us…maybe we are standing in the way because we are not where God wants US to be. And on the flip side, if we hurry up and get where He wants us, great things may happen much sooner than if we just stand idle. Thanks for posting this!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      September 8, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      Good point. Makes me think of the wife who wants her husband to change and begs God to do so but she’s in the way – nagging and bossing her man around. If only she’d kneel down in submission then God can get to her husband. I love that insight, thanks for chiming in!

    Leave a Reply