What if they don't want you to?
God is pretty smart and would know how or whether to bless someone. Also, I don't think God needs our permission to give us a gift.
I do believe prayer helps. I've seen what I believe to be prayer helping others and helping me.
When I find someone in trouble often I ask them quietly and gently if they would like me to pray with them. No one has ever said NO!
Those I have asked have always said YES!!!
I have seen many answers to prayer and there are many times when I still wait and watch to see if there is an answer I did not expect.
I believe it is all in the asking and showing you value prayer and believe a change could happen. I also ask in a non-prostelizing way. I totally dislike someone who gets all preachy with others. I would not want that person praying for me because sometimes I think people pray to make themselves look good.
That is never my intent!!!
I find this is generally the case.
It's not a show. It is a respectful private prayer.
I never knew that prayer really helped until I was the recipient of other people's prayers, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. Before then, I thought those words written on get well cards, "we'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers" were just platitudes. But during my recovery from a mastectomy and life-threatening complications, I felt uplifted and peaceful, when I should have been anxious and fearful. I experienced those feelings too, but not often. There was an overwhelming sense that I would be fine, whether I lived or died. I attribute the peacefulness to the prayers of others and grace. Both enabled me to "let go and let God" heal me.
Regarding your other question, I agree with Jan's suggestion that you ask the person, and honor their response. I've also done that and even my agnostic friends have welcomed prayer when they are in a crisis. Most times when a thoughtful gesture, like offering to pray, comes from a place of love and compassion, it is appreciated. But I do think one should ask, unless you are certain it would be welcomed. Then just let them know of your prayers.
I think it's also okay to pray for someone without asking as long as you don't tell them you're doing it. Some people might not want to be prayed-for because they feel it's as if you're preaching at them. So they might feel prayer is a waste of time if you do it, but they also don't want to have to feign gratitude for something they never asked for in the first place.
Hi there again Mary!
Then you don't pray. We don't infringe--God loves them & us anyway.
I believe God hears and answers prayer, and sometimes I pray under our breath for others that I see might be hurting, even if they don't know Him yet. I remember sitting next to a gal at Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y. who was snickering at the speaker as he shared his experience of praying for folks in a foreign country who were being slaughtered for their faith. I remembered at the time that I had no money to give to this missionary or his work. So, I did the next best thing, I asked the Lord to soften the girl's heart next to me, and by the time the collection plate came around she was tearful and wrote out a check for this same missionary. I felt like I was able to give but through her. Blessings, Don
I have been praying for you every day for almost 20 years. Have you not noticed the effects? It seems like you are much better off now than before I started praying for you.
Would you really want me to stop?
Think about it man.