The Bible is replete with monergistic teachings. Sometimes we can glean these teachings from events (i.e. God opened Lydia’s heart to accept the Gospel, Acts 16:14). Other times, the Bible just explicitly teaches it (i.e. There are none who seek for God, Rom 3:11). However, today let’s talk about prayer.

Note: This article was written before the author’s conversion to Orthodoxy.

If you pray for family members to repent and be saved, guess what–you just implicitly denied autonomous free will. Ever pray for wisdom? Just denied free will! Pray for leaders? Again, free will!

Augustine pointed out that prayer is an obvious example of how free will is trumped by grace:

What, indeed, affords clearer evidence of the grace of God than the acceptance of prayer in any petition? If our Saviour had only said, Watch that you enter not into temptation, He would appear to have done nothing further than admonish man’s will; but since He added the words, and pray, He showed that God helps us not to enter into temptation (On Grace and Free Will, Chap 9).

So, for fun, let’s go over all of the monergistic petitions to God in Ps 119:



1. Oh that my ways may be established to keep Your statutes (v. 5)!

We can’t do God’s will apart from His grace.


2. Do not let me wander from Your commandments (v. 10)! Teach me Your statutes (v. 12).

We wander from doing His will apart from His grace. Apart from His grace, we cannot understand God’s will.


3. Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law…Do not hide Your commandments from me. (v. 18-19).

Apart from His grace, we cannot understand God’s will.


4. “Teach me Your statutes. Make me understand the way of Your precepts, so I will meditate on Your wonders” (v. 26-27).

Apart from His grace, we cannot understand God’s will and glorify Him in our inward man.


5. “Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law And keep it with all my heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments…Incline my heart to Your testimonies…Turn away my eyes from looking at vanity” (v. 35-37).

God gives understanding, He establishes our way and not ourselves, He affects the inclinations of our hearts, and He turns our eyes away from sin.


6. “And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth” (v. 43).

God may remove our ability to understand the truth.


7. “Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments” (v. 66).

God can give us wisdom.


8. “Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments…May my heart be blameless in Your statutes” (v. 73, 80).

Apart from His grace, we cannot understand God’s will nor do it.


9. “O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,  and teach me Your ordinances” (v. 108).

God can give us wisdom.


10. “Establish my footsteps in Your wordMake Your face shine upon Your servant and teach me Your statutes” (v. 133, 135).

God can give us wisdom.


11. “Give me understanding that I may live” (v. 144).

God can give us wisdom.


12.”Let my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word…For You teach me Your statutes” (v. 169, 171).

God can give us wisdom.