Grace and peace be unto you.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people (1 Timothy 2:1).
Do you pray for government officials who used their office for illegitimate private gains? Do you pray for mass murderers and serial rapists? We have a mandate to pray for everyone. This includes believers, unbelievers, and evil doers. Prayer inspires God to act, ensuring that his will is done. Scripture says that while Jesus was on the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him (Luke 23:34). In another instance, Jesus spent the night praying before he chose the twelve disciples whom he called apostles (Luke 6:12-13).
After Jesus invested so much time in prayer, seeking God’s will regarding the apostles, one of them (Peter) denied him while another (Judas) betrayed him (Matthew 26:69-75; Matthew 26:47-49). Sometimes, disappointment occurs when we are led by the Holy Spirit to make decisions. The reality is that people exercise their free will and act according to their selfish desires for a variety of reasons, even so, we should still pray for them. Scripture says, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
God knows everything (1 John 3:20). It is interesting to note that Jesus prophesied about the denial and betrayal. The Holy Spirit who inspired him to designate Peter and Judas as apostles, also revealed their future actions. When we continue to pray for others in love, the Holy Spirit reveals relevant information to us. But we must receive the information and keep on loving them unconditionally. Jesus has set the example, despite the revelations, he did not ostracize Peter and Judas, he still loved and prayed for them. How would you respond if you receive divine revelation that one member of your trusted inner circle was a traitor?
Perhaps you were caught off guard by the harmful action of a trusted friend or family member and it has caused you much pain. It is possible that the Holy Spirit did not reveal the information in advance because he knows that you do not love this person unconditionally. As such, your response would not glorify God. Well, you have the opportunity to ask God to help you love everyone unconditionally, including the person in whom you are disappointed. The apostle John wrote, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). Loving others unconditionally involves praying for their success. When we practice unconditional love, God trusts us with sensitive information.
Did you know that there is a direct connection between praying for others and God’s blessings? Scripture says, “And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). If you have been hurt by loved ones or enemies, God is waiting on you to pray for them so he can bless you.
Heavenly Father, please grant us the desire and strength to pray for everyone consistently. In Jesus Name, Amen.