Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:1
Prayer changes things. This has appeared on t-shirts and sweatshirts, on plaques and posters. Throughout history, the sick have been healed, the dying have been restored, and the lame have walked. Most Christians would affirm this as true, even up to our prayers redirecting God. Fortunately for us, however, God does not change in His essence, His attributes, nor in His Plans.
God’s eternality assumes His immutability. Thus, He alone can offer eternal life. His attributes are also immutable. He is eternally just, eternally holy, eternally loving and can be eternally forgiving. Were God to be capable of changing, our eternal salvation would always be in doubt.
God is also immutable in His decrees. Malachi 3:6 states, “For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore, you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.” Were God to change, His promises would be forever suspect and we would continually in limbo, hoping that we not set Him off. We could not have assurance of the efficacy of Christ’s death, the certitude of His forgiveness, and the hope of eternal life.
We can have confidence praying to God because we are assured that the rules will not change. Yet the God who has written names into the Book of Life before the foundation of the World calls us to prayer. Instead of stripping our prayers of any meaning or significance, God’s immutability serves as prayer’s very basis.