Posts Tagged ‘free will’

As I continue to sort through old devotionals, I found this one from 2009.


How does intercessory prayer overcome free will?


I spent the morning praying for a friend’s child and their struggles. I prayed that “today” would be a good day, because I know (from long personal experience) that that is how you survive the struggle. You pray for “today” and then tomorrow you pray for “today” as well… and you keep on praying for “today” until that particular battle becomes a skirmish, and that skirmish becomes something that you talk about in the past tense, while praying for the conflict that the new day brings (because every day brings one of its own, as Matthew 6:34 teaches.)

I prayed this morning for a loved one with a struggle, and for a friend whose husband has cancer – very serious cancer… I prayed for her strength and courage “today.”

I prayed for some I know who have made poor choices, that are now being covered by lies and deception, and for others who are overwhelmed by their responsibilities, and for those who are just plain afraid.

But, I kept coming back to “how does intercessory prayer overcome free will?” If my friend’s child chooses to turn away; if my own loved one chooses to react; if my friend chooses to give in, or allows fear to take control of her life… how does my intercessory prayer change anything?

How does intercessory prayer “make” someone tell the truth or give someone a way out, or keep someone from fear?

And the answer is – I don’t really know. All I know for sure is – there have been times in my own life when the only way I made it through was in knowing that someone was praying for me. I remember distinctly driving down the interstate (I can picture it in my mind, even today) and thinking, “Georgia and Ruby said that they were praying for me… that will get me through today…”

So, maybe I should let them know that they are being prayed for… Maybe that’s where intercessory prayer gets its power. Maybe just being reminded that even if you’re powerless; even if you’re the one on “the stretcher” that you still have friends that are willing to carry you to Jesus, tear off the rooftop, and lower you down to Him… Maybe that’s where the power really is.

We just need to allow Him to deal with the sin or the heartache or the pain or the fear. I don’t have to (and in fact, can’t) “fix it.” But He can, and will… I only have to pray.

I still don’t know how intercessory prayer overcomes free will. But then, I don’t have to understand – I only have to pray.


And Father, I do pray, today… and leave it in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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