How often have I heard someone say, “pray for me”? At the start of my journey, what a boost to my ego for someone to ask me this question. It felt like I was held in high regard with God and played right into my pride. How often have I seen this tactic employed in the workplace, dousing the employee with praise, boosting their ego for the sole purpose of getting them self-absorbed and controllable?
Pride and ego
My question is, why don’t these people who always request prayers, pray for themselves? While some requests do not fall in the following classifications, the answer in my eyes is threefold why they are making the request.
- A mere manipulation tactic to cause the person to fall from grace by sinking in their ego and self-delusion of grandeur.
- The person has no faith in God.
- A deliberate action to cause the ignorant to sin.
All of these reasons are significant enough to ignore their prayer requests. The question these folks should be asking is that of the rich ruler (Matthew 19:16-22), “what do I need to do to receive eternal life?”; with the answer being to fully commit to God and disconnect your mind and ambitions from the things of this world. Just as the ruler would not do it, the people who ask this question will also not do.
This disconnection from the world is what everyone avoids; instead, they invest in the world and design doctrines that fit their desires in this world. The example of all the prophets and Jesus was clear.
Abraham prayed for Abimelech (Genesis 20:7+17), and Job prayed for his friends because God would not hear their prayers (Job 42:8-10). Indeed you bring a blessing upon yourself when you pray for others. But there is a caveat—those people must be seeking God.
Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.1 Timothy 5:22
Laying hands means to pray for someone which is seen in Matthew 19:13-15 where Jesus laid hands on the children and prayed for them.
When Jesus performed healings or miracles for others, he always in some form says, “by your faith you are” or “be it according to your faith” (Mark 5:34, Luke 17:19, Matthew 9:29). God is not giving out candy to everyone, but for the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24) which even the gentiles can be a part of (Matthew 15:22-28, Galatians 3:29) by their faith—who they put their trust in and serve (Romans 14:7-8, 1 Corinthians 3:23, 2 Corinthians 10:7).
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.John 14:14
We are not simply to pray for those people who are not searching for God and who do not have the doctrine of Christ which is to worship God (Revelation 19:10, Revelation 14:6-7) by keeping his commandments.
9. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.2 John 1:9-11
Bidding someone God speed when they do not have the doctrine of Christ is participating in their evil works. Praying for someone who does not have the doctrine of Christ, is participating in their sins. Only those with faith in God receive the bread of God. Don’t waste your time praying for those sinners who only want the benefits of the kingdom of heaven without serving God.