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Praying for others


This page is about praying for people. It is specifically about praying for someone you know well. The examples given on the page are about praying for a girlfriend and praying for a boyfriend. The lessons about prayer here though apply to all situations where you need to pray for a person you know.

At the bottom of this page you will find links to lots more information about how to pray!


A visitor to this web site wrote:

"Pastor Simon I want to talk to you about my prayers. Is it okay to pray for the same thing every day? Am I praying with faith by doing this? You see, I have been praying for reconciliation with my girlfriend whom I've just broke up with."



Yes, it is OK to pray every day for the same thing provided you are looking each day for a new leading of the Holy Spirit in prayer. Indeed, when it comes to praying for someone rather than something this Spirit-led consistency and persistency will be necessary and important.


As men and women committed to prayer, we need to realise that, at different moments in time, our petitions and intercessions will be changing in emphasis and objectives. This applies even though we are still praying for the same situation or person. As a result, we always need to look to the Holy Spirit for a knowledge and leading on how to pray.

The Holy Spirit knows exactly what needs praying for and into a given life or situation at any given moment in time. If we are sensitive and responsive to Him, He will lead us in intercession so that changes can be brought about that glorify God.

Often there are many interlinked changes needed so that a result is brought about to God's glory. The Bible therefore exhorts us to pray consistently and not to quit. Our Lord Jesus is going to be looking for the kind of persistent faith that gives rise to such prayer.


It is a matter of faith - not lack of faith - to continue praying for something or someone provided, of course, we are not just making a vain repetition of words (Mat.6:7) but are rather interceding by the Holy Spirit. (Ro.8:26-27)

Jesus refers to this faith as a special kind of faith - a faith that He is going to be looking for at His return. In Luke's Gospel we read,

"Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit."

Luke 18:1 - The Message


Jesus tells this illustrative story (parable) and then asks,

"How much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when He returns?"

Luke 18:8 - The Message


The visitor continued his email and asked:

"I want reconciliation and I have asked for it before and I do not get it. Am I asking wrong or do I not have faith?"



There is a big difference between praying for things and praying for people! God can always "zap" a thing but he can't do that to a person! A person is a free moral agent whom God created with full freedom to make choices. God always encourages people to make the best choices but He will never override their free will. (Deut.30:19-20)

I have often seen stunning turn arounds in physical circumstances literally over night through prayer. However, fundamental changes in people's long-term attitudes and life styles have always required persistent prayer over weeks or months. This is not because faith hasn't been strong enough but because God has to give people lots of time and space to go through changes gradually at the pace they choose or can handle.


I think this is why pastors usually end up becoming very mellow fellows who stick with things long term without getting ruffled by set backs. Pastors have to spend hours each week interceding for the members of their flock. Yet they usually don't see the results of that intercession until months later.

Patience - the power to see things through - is a very important factor to be reckoned in when we are praying for people. (See Hebrews 6:12)


Another essential element in prayer for people is love! Before we start praying for people we have always got to examine our love walk. This is because we want to pray in faith but faith always works by love. (Gal.5:6) We've got to make sure we're operating in love when we pray.

The best way to do this is to open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and read verses 4-8. At the end of each phrase stop to ponder whether God's love in you is being fulfilled in that way. It is very helpful to have a copy of The Amplified Bible to do this as its translation is so direct and clear.

"Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious,
It is not conceited; it is not rude and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking;
it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
it takes no account of the evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong).
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything (without weakening).
Love never fails."

1 Corinthians 13:4-5,7-8a - Amplified


By the time you've got down to 1 Corinthians 13:8, pondering each phrase, you'll realise some important conditions to meet in praying for people.

Prayer that gets results in people's lives is prayer that seeks for the good of others with no consideration of any benefit being got for oneself. Prayer for people needs to be prayer controlled, urged and propelled by the love of Christ. (2 Cor.5:14)

This sounds very self-sacrificial and it is but, nevertheless, there will come an open reward into your own life as a result. Prayer for people in the love of God fulfills the conditions of a marvellous promise Jesus gave us. We fulfill the conditions; He will fulfill the promise! He promised,

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Matthew 6:33 - NKJV


I trust this will set you praying prayers for your former girlfriend that will make a way for the fulfilment of God's plans for her to have hope and a future! (Jer.29:11)


Another visitor read my reply above and wrote in an email:

"I came across one of your replies...I'm going through the same thing. My boyfriend broke up with me almost 5 months ago and I've been praying very hard to get him back. I still love my boyfriend a great deal and would do almost anything to get him back... but I don't want to go against God's wishes too. I'm don't know what to do. Please help me."



I am sorry to read of your break up with your boyfriend and the pain this has caused you. Relationships that become very close are always very special and if they come to an end it is very sad and difficult.

Prayer for someone and prayer about your relationships with them is much different to praying for something. I have tried to explain this on my web page but I realise that when emotions are strong it is sometimes difficult to accept some of the conditions that exist in regard to praying for people that don't exist when praying for something.


In the reply I wrote that you read on my web site I put a lot of emphasis on praying in the love of God and I quoted 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You have to pray for people in the love of God and with no thought for yourself so you can't pray to have someone for yourself simply because you want them. I wrote in the reply you read,

"Prayer that gets results in people's lives is prayer that seeks for the good of others with no consideration of any benefit being got for oneself. Prayer for people needs to be prayer controlled, urged and propelled by the love of Christ. (2 Cor.5:14)"


You are right to have a mind for what God may have planned for you. The most important thing to know about His plan for you is found in Jeremiah 29:11,

"I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Jeremiah 29:11 - NKJV


There are many times in our lives when we don't know the detailed plans God has in mind for our lives but we always know His plan is good!

You are also right to have a mind for what God may have planned for your former boyfriend. This is why I wrote,

"I trust this will set you praying prayers for your former girlfriend that will make a way for the fulfilment of God's plans for her to have hope and a future! (Jer.29:11)"


This is the way to pray for your former boyfriend - that ways will be made for the fulfilment of God's plans for him to have hope and a future. The first part of this, of course, will be his eternal salvation - if he doesn't yet have it.


A visitor wrote about the Holy Spirit's leading for a relationship:

I met a Christian woman who came into my life as a result of prayer. It was wonderful, but suddenly confusion set in on her behalf. God showed me, and confirmed it, that I should stand for her and wait until He does a work in both of us. Please agree in prayer for reconciliation in the relationship between me and her. I still am confused that, if the Holy Spirit is really prompting me to stand for this relationship, I would have thought God would have put the same desire in her heart. I don't think God would speak to me and make me believe for something and then, perhaps after many years, just take the desire away and find that I may have wasted many other opportunities and many years on nothing.



The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will in no way force or pressure your friend into this. You will have to be in her sight a suitable person to marry and one whom she feels she will be able to love, respect and trust.

It sounds like there is a principle related to the prophetic that you need to come to an understanding of. Once you have you will understand better your present situation.


God by His Spirit speaks prophetically on the earth on two levels - on an individual or personal level and on the level of the grand plan of God for mankind.

On the level of the grand plan of God for mankind the Holy Spirit speaks in an absolute way. For example, the Spirit declared a Saviour would be born and the Spirit declares that Jesus Christ will return in a second coming. These prophecies are absolute in their nature because they are about the plan of God for mankind as a whole.

However, on an individual or personal level the Holy Spirit declares possibilities. The things he declares to individuals are dependent on their behaviour and walk with the Lord and on the behaviour and walk with the Lord of others connected to that possibility.


God by His Spirit shows us by His Spirit possibilities. He does not show us absolutes. In other words, the Holy Spirit doesn't say regarding the details of our lives, "This will most certainly come to pass" but rather He says, "Here is a wonderful possibility for your life".

There are many things in my life that I pray towards and work towards as a result of the Holy Spirit having encouraged me that it is very possible for these things to happen in my life. For this reason I work towards them with enthusiasm. They may not all happen for me but I am confident some will and regarding those that don't end up happening nevertheless the process I engaged in towards seeing them happen will have been extremely valuable to my life.


An example of this in scripture is found in 2 Timothy 1:6. There we read that Timothy had had a gift of God imparted to him. This gift had been received by Timothy through Paul laying his hands on him. We find from 1 Timothy 4:14 that this gift was given to Timothy by prophecy. However, evidently this gift was not having much (if any) manifestation. Why not? Because it seems Timothy was not doing much about it either in the way of prayer, preparation or action. Therefore Paul called on him to stir the gift up and not to neglect it.

In other words, Paul was saying, "There is a great potential with you Timothy because of the gift that came by prophecy but if you don't give attention to it no one - including yourself - is ever going to see it actively at work in your life."

Related pages

Use the links below to get to other pages on this site that have a similar subject to that which you've read about above.

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