The Hand of God

/ posted in: Religion

I went to a wedding last weekend and one phrase in the ceremony smacked me upside the head. I wrote it down on my checkbook to make sure I remembered it. That got me some weird looks since it is not really normal behavior to take notes at a wedding.

The pastor said, “With your prayers you move the hand of God.”

That perfectly expresses a theological conundrum that I could never figure out about Christianity. If their God is all knowing then he knows the future. If he knows the future then he knows what he is going to do in the future. If the prayers of people convince him to change his mind, wouldn’t he have already foreseen that? If there is a perfect divine plan and will how can it be changed and still be perfect?

For the pastor’s statement to be true you either have to believe that you are powerful enough to bully God into doing what you want instead of what he planned or you have to believe that God is making it up as he goes along and is willing to go along with what people want. Neither of those are consistent with the other teachings of the church.

Am I totally missing something? Is there a way to make that statement logically fit with evangelical Christian teaching?