When you say you will pray for someone, are you really doing that,or are you just talking ABOUT them?
Perhaps your prayers sound like this:
“Lord God, hear my cries. Be swift to answer me regarding my children. My children don’t listen, they are disobedient and are not doing well in school. Help them to listen to their teachers and to me. Make them more obedient and not so lazy! Thank you, Father for hearing me. AMEN”
“My wife is lazy and is really getting on my nerves. She only talks and never listens. She is not interested in me physically and only seems interested in the children. She doesn’t care for herself or the house like she used to and wants to spend the money I spend all day making, on herself. Make her more attentive to me and my needs. Help her to be less demanding and more understanding. I pray these things in Jesus’ name. AMEN”
That is not praying, that is sending up a list of concerns and complaints. Don’t misunderstand, it is not wrong to be concerned for people, but praying for someone ought not be a festival of whining. It is similar to praying for oneself. All the things you want for yourself, pray for others also. If you say you wish someone well, then truly pray that things go well with them. You don’t know the depth of someone’s situation. Pray that all evil spirits surrounding them are destroyed. Pray that their hearts long for more of the Lord, pray the things for them that you wish for yourself.
Blessed Jesus, you are awesome and worthy to be praised. There is none like you, my Faithful, Almighty, and Everlasting Father. Search me and know me Lord, remove anything that is not of you and will prevent my prayers from being answered. Forgive me of my sins and renew a right spirit within me. I submit to you my family. Every demonic hold on them, loose in the name of Jesus! Every dedication of evil that has a hold on their lives, destroy in the name of Jesus! Surround us all with grace and peace.
Help me to be a loving, caring, supportive wife and mother. Give me the grace required to accomplish all tasks with love, patience, and good will. I want to be the wife and mother that brings pride to my husband and my children. Strengthen my heart and mind to be productive in my daily tasks and willing to perform them. Help me to structure my day to give the necessary attention to my children to help them with their school work and monitor their progress. Reveal any areas of difficulty and frustration, and provide the resources to resolve them. Give me the will to discipline appropriately and submit readily to my husband. Help me to be a good example of self-control, responsibility, and maturity and show us the benefits of living a structured and godly life.
Open doors for my husband on his job and in his ministry; introduce him to people who will help make his life easier. Bless him in ways only you can and give him a thankful heart. Fill him to overflowing. Let love, understanding, and sensitivity be gifts that flow from you through him. I pray for the salvation of all of my children and my husband. Turn their hearts toward you, that they may live victoriously for you…
I could go on and on praying but you get the point. Sometimes praying for someone else means praying for ourselves too. God hears every word we say to him, but he is not moved by demands and finger pointing. He is moved by sincere hearts. Give God glory, honor him, and worship him before you dump your troubles on him. When you start your prayers with these words…
You are the Great I AM
You are the same, yesterday, today, and forever;
You are the God who sees and hears;
Your word says you are close to the broken-hearted;
You are the Faithful God, you said in your Word that you would never fail me, or forsake me
You said your plan for me is to prosper me and not to harm me…
…you will be less likely to blurt out your list of complaints. Saying the Word of God changes us immediately, whether we realize it or not. There have been many times, even in the recent past where I sat down to pray about a particularly troubling situation fully intending to tell God what I truly thought about it, only to find myself praising him and being ushered into an atmosphere of peace. I am reminded in those moments that God already knows what is going on and he doesn’t need me to tell him what to do about it. When your hands are folded in prayer, they are not balled up ready to fight.
Pray sincerely for people and truly wish them well. Even the most hardened heart can be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. That friend or family member you vowed to never speak to again because of what they did to you, can be changed and the relationship can be restored. Stop pointing fingers and keeping records of wrongs. Pray fervently for the people you know, or used to know and are still on your mind and in your conversation, and all will be well with you.
Be good, be careful, and be a blessing to everyone today.