I have said before that one of the hardest prayers to pray is for other people. As much as we want to see the person change, there is nothing we can to do make it happen – not even prayer. But, that doesn’t mean not to prayer. The problem is that we want to see them change in the time and way that we want them to change. It doesn’t always happen that way. I have seen people pray for years that their spouse or family member would become a believer only to see that it becomes a routine request on their list. Can prayer change things and people? Yes, absolutely. With God anything is possible but as I have said many times, even God won’t impose His will on people by force.
For me, I have prayed for people in my life and believed in my prayers only to see them die and the prayer never answered. Is it frustrating? Yes. Honestly, some people are so stubborn that they resist our prayers or God moving in their lives to a better change. Even with the unanswered prayer, I continue to pray for people. No, I don’t lay hands on them or try to preach to them. I pick my spots and try to use wisdom on what to say and what to do when the opportunity presents itself.
Things to remember when praying for people:
Be Patient – It takes incredible patience to pray for people. It can take years before anything happens or it may never happen. You have to prepared to stick with it for a long time.
Don’t try to fix it yourself – This is what happens when you are impatient. Doing your own thing could really mess it up. Pray and leave it to God. Don’t impose your will.
Remember it is according to God’s Will not yours – As painful as it is, you have to understand that God sees more into people than we can. Sometimes we don’t have all of the information.
Always be open to forgive – If the person finally opens their heart, don’t put conditions on it. If you prayed and they are changing, don’t try to get your “say” or feel that you’re owed some kind of compensation for all of your prayers.
Realize that some people will never respond to your prayers – This is the hardest of all. You can pray, fast and do all the things you know to do and the person may never respond. Just remember that praying for someone is never a waste of time.
Remember the story of Pharaoh and Moses? Pharaoh’s heart was hardened. It took plagues to finally break him down to let Israel go but he still changed his mind back and pursued them. Even when God convinces someone to open up, they can still give into their own will.
Continue praying for people in your lives and keep believing in God’s ability to work in their lives. Whether it is for salvation or to restore a relationship, people are worth it.