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Chapter 1: God
   The Nature of God
      1. Divine Interference?

{1.1} Q. My husband asks this question: Does God interfere in each person's daily life? I know it's an old question, but I really have trouble satisfying his inquiry. For example, he mentioned that he had never heard me proclaim the Word [as a lector] at Mass quite so well as I did last Sunday. I was hesitant to say that actually the Spirit helped me because I was praying for inspiration.

{1.2} Please explain the theory of God's plan to me. When does he interfere? Does praying affect outcomes? If I don't know God's plan and I exercise free will, can't I alter the plan?

{1.3} A. First, let's think about the matter of God's "interference" in our lives. Try this analogy. Suppose on a long hike you were about to cross a field that you did not know was filled with land mines. If a person who knew the location of all the mines tried to guide you safely through them, would you regard that as "interference" with your journey? Wouldn't you welcome that guidance?

{1.4} With each one of us, God is always at work to lead us past the land mines of life to our eternal home with him. You and I cannot alter God's plan for our lives, but we have the freedom temporarily to frustrate that plan. We are free to walk where the land mines are waiting to explode. Yet even our working against God's plan is somehow included in his overall plan.

{1.5} Prayer does affect outcomes. Prayer can open channels through which God's purposes can unfold. But prayer never changes anything within God. God always knows how things will turn out.

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