Praying for people is awesome. I have felt great the few times I have prayed for people. But as I grew in the faith, I found myself being reluctant to pray for people.
The Bible explicitly asks us to pray for one another and I have every intention of fulfilling that scripture but a number of reasons have made it difficult for me.
Reasons that make me reluctant to pray for people
1. Nobody Asks for Prayer
I feel sorry for people who don’t ask for prayer. I don’t claim to be any special than other believers but I have spent considerable time in prayer and learned a number of things.
When I make prayers, they are informed and I have enjoyed a good rate of answers to my requests. Having cultivated my prayer life, it is my desire that I may also pray for others.
But as it is, people barely ask me to pray for them especially those who are born again. I thought maybe I was not offering myself or making it clear that I could pray for people and that was why they were not asking but I realized that was not the case.
It is true that I am a closed off person but I usually make sure that people around me know that I am prayerful. If someone knows that I am prayerful, what excuse do they have not to ask for prayer when they need it?
Several times I went asking for prayer myself even when I didn’t really need to. I know the importance of prayer and getting someone to pray for me is a privilege I wouldn’t want to forego.
Even if the prayers are not anything special, it just feels good to have someone pray for you.
Given my success in prayer, I expected more people to ask me to pray for them but that has not been the case. I don’t necessarily want people to flock to me asking for prayer but I feel a bit sad that I have such great success in prayer but I benefit alone.
It has been a sad realization and I’m usually afraid to talk about it lest people think I am bragging. I’m pretty sure if I told people ‘Ask me to pray for you’ they will see me as a proud person.
One time, I decided to be praying for a friend of mine whenever I could. After many months of mentioning my friend in prayer, we had a disagreement and the reaction of my friend annoyed me.
From that time, I found it hard to continue praying for her. I then decided to tell her that I was praying for her but I had stopped.
Her reply was even more annoying. She later told me that I was thinking too highly of myself and I just kept quiet.
2. Wrong Prayer Requests
The times people have asked me to pray for them, a good number of them wanted me to pray for them for requests I considered to be wrong. I consider myself an expert in prayer and I know a bit more about prayer than most people.
When someone asks me to pray for them for something I know is not right, I will politely decline and offer to pray for the right thing. Other times I just keep quiet and never pray.
Someone may say “Augustine, just pray for them” but considering the wisdom God has given me, heaven doesn’t expect me to make foolish requests.
One time, a friend of mine asked me to pray for him to know his wife. That was a worthwhile request but from the wisdom I had, I figured out the person needed to be more mature.
Actually, the reason why God had not answered the person previously was because of his immaturity.
So I tried to get the person to understand that praying to know his wife was not the problem but rather it was his immaturity. But the harder I tried to steer him in the right direction, the more he insisted I make the prayer for him to know his wife.
I knew if he allowed me to pray for God to help him mature, God would eventually reveal to him his wife. Eventually, I went silent and never spoke to the person again after many attempts to get him to understand the right approach.
The same happens with other people who ask me to pray for them; they ask for wrong things and when I try to steer them to the right prayer, they protest.
My blood sister used to ask me to pray for her finances. Several times I prayed but then I realized that the problem was deeper than her finances.
What is the point of praying for financial breakthrough for someone who doesn’t know how to manage money? I then decided to teach her some basic financial management but she was uninterested.
Her disinterest in learning financial management killed my interest in praying for her finances. I am wise enough not to waste my time praying for financial breakthrough for someone who has refused to learn basic financial management.
Most of the wrong prayer requests are actually irresponsibility on the side of the person requesting the prayer. If someone cooperates and works on his irresponsibility, I will be motivated to pray for the person.
3. I pray in Tongues
Most of the prayers I make are usually in tongues. And prayers made in tongues are usually for self-edification.
Because I am used to this type of praying, it makes it hard for me to spare time to pray for people in understanding.
I have prayed for some people in tongues and the prayers were effective. But not many people are okay with someone praying for them in tongues.
Therefore, if someone is not okay with being prayed for in tongues, it is very likely that they will turn down my offer to pray for them.
Also, my belief is that when I pray in tongues, the Holy Spirit uses me to intercede for whoever needs to be interceded for. For this reason, I don’t bother much about praying for specific people believing that the Holy Spirit will automatically use my mouth to intercede for them when necessary.
Successful Times I have prayed for People
There have been notable situations where I prayed for people and they had testimonies from the prayers.
One such situation was on a day I went out for evangelism. I was taking a casual walk then I came across a number of girls who were doing prostitution. I felt moved in my heart to talk to them.
When I spoke to them, they were very open and honest about their struggles. Their openness moved me to pray for them that God may restore them.
A week later, one of them called me to thank me because she had been reconciled with her husband after the prayers I made for her.
Another time, a girl asked to see me because God revealed to her to do so while praying concerning her deliverance. I led her through deliverance prayers and she was super grateful afterwards.
That sums up my reasons for being reluctant to pray for people and some of the good experiences I have had while praying for people.
Until next time…Peace!