Q. Would you tell me if there is any biblical basis for my belief that prayers for the softening of a person’s heart who has already died will be heard from God and accepted? My understanding and view is that God is Lord of the Past, Present and Future; that he exists beyond my comprehension, over and above any time constraints. Because I view him thus, I believe that my prayers for a softening of my late grandmother’s heart that will lead to her salvation combined with the belief that God desires all to be saved can lead to an intervention in her life by the Lord such that her belief will turn towards him. I’ve asked other Christians what they think about praying for dead loved one’s salvation and have been told by some that ‘what’s done is done and you can’t pray for someone who is already dead’ , but others have agreed with my view and think anything is possible with God. Biblically, which view is correct?
A. It pains me to have to say this because I can tell you loved your grand mother very much. But it appears from the Bible that the over riding purpose of our life is to choose whether to accept the Lord’s death as payment for our sins or not. When we die the time for making that choice expires and if we haven’t chosen the Lord by then it’s too late. The thought that anything is possible with God doesn’t account for the fact that He has made the issue of salvation a matter of our choice. Hebrews 9:27 says that man is destined to die but once and after that to face judgment.
But you can take heart in knowing that no one knows what might have taken place in your grand mother’s mind in the last moments of her life. If with her dying breath she asked the Lord to forgive her sins and accepted Him as her Savior then you’ll see her in Heaven.