Is it really effective to pray for God to change people's hearts? If God gives the individual the choice of whether to be slaves to the spirit or slaves to the sinful nature, does praying for someone's relationship with God change anything? If you could direct me to some scriptures, I would be extremely grateful. -- Ben Owen

2 Timothy 2:23-26 comes to mind. It says "Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, and that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will" (NAB).

And yet of course, you are right, we cannot force anyone to change his or her heart. But God will work with the person who is willing to make changes.

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