Prayer and Free Will

The Bible declares that human beings are given free will so that we can choose to either accept or reject God (“whosoever will, may come”).


Christian doctrine decrees that God can at least sometimes answer prayers.


If a Christian were to pray that a person were to accept God, and that prayer is answered then that person’s free will is violated.


Conclusion: Prayers answered with regards to the actions/decisions of others would mean that this person’s free will is violated. This creates logical problems, and shows that free will and a God that answers prayers are not entirely compatible.



Filed under Philosophy, Religion

4 responses to “Prayer and Free Will

  1. I disagree with your logic. You are right, God can’t go beyond someone’s free will choice, but He looks on the heart. If another person is praying for the salvation of their friend, God can see the heart of the friend. If the friend is receptive to the idea of salvation, then God can place His seed within that friend.

    There have been times when prayers have gone out to individuals and it’s taken years before they got to the place they believed, sometimes even decades. If you don’t believe me you can read George Mueller’s book Delighted in God. He prayed his whole lifetime and there were a few that didn’t believe until after George had died.

    If God was going to violate someone’s free will, everyone would believe and always do what was right. There would not be the idiocy in the world that we see today.

    Hope you have a great day and God Bless You

  2. Doctor Bad Sign

    Well if it depends on the heart then why pray?

    Another problem would be a prayer for safety. If one were to pray each day that they are safe, would this mean that God must curtail the free will of anyone who would otherwise have mugged you on that day?

    If God cannot curtail the free will of someone who might wish to cause me harm, then what use is a prayer for safety?

    Thanks for your comment. Have a good day too.

    • You are right in that God can’t curtail the free will of the person that may cause us harm, but on the other hand God can instruct us to be in a different place-not where a mugging might happen, or He can instruct us to take a different route home from work rather than getting hit in an accident. There are many things that God can do to help us along the way, many times the problem is that we aren’t listening to His still small voice when He speaks to us.

  3. Pingback: Prayer for Atheists

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