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OK to Pray?


Is it OK to pray for a person to like you?

Steve Answers:

By all means–yes! In fact, that’s probably the first and best place to start! Note the first five words of your question: "Is it OK to pray?"

Some people might suggest that there are certain things we shouldn’t pray for, such as praying for something bad to happen to someone when you’re angry with that person. Others would say that praying for something you want for potentially selfish reasons isn’t the correct way to pray either.

When I read Psalms, I find all kinds of prayers that seem to be incorrect. For example, notice these lines from Psalm 109, with my comments in parentheses:

"Wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me" (verse 2). (I’ve got some bad dudes out to get me.)

"When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him" (verse 7). (Lord, get him instead of letting him get me, and twist his prayers so they work against him instead of for him!)

"May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow" (verse 9). (Kill him!)

"May his descendants be cut off" (verse 13). (Go ahead and kill his children, too!)

"May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord" (verse 14). (Don’t get just the family members after him; get the ones before him, too.)

"May a creditor seize all he has" (verse 11). (A total wipeout is needed, including his reputation.)

Read the entire psalm, and you’ll find the prayer of a person who is angry and probably very hurt, too. Is this kind of prayer OK?

My initial reaction is "No, because David isn’t being very nice." But I heard a sermon one time titled "I’m So Mad I Could Pray" that changed my mind.

The preacher described how some people hold in their anger and it eats away at them. Others decide to let it out, so they target their anger at the person who’s made them angry, even though that usually makes things worse.

The preacher pointed out that instead of holding it in or spewing it out, the place to go with your anger is to God, because God can handle it. Now, that’s quite a friend to have!

The same is true about other intense feelings, such as wanting a person to like you. God already knows what you’d like, so it’s not a matter of exposing a secret. You can trust Him.

I’m guessing that your question is about someone of the opposite sex liking you. I’d certainly make that part of my prayer life if I were you.

But the Bible speaks more about your loving other people than it speaks about other people loving you. Check this out: "Love one another.

As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34, 35).

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43, 44).

Yes, I think it’s fine to pray that another person will like you. But then trust God with the results.

You must realize that God isn’t a magical genie who merely grants wishes and then disappears. God likes you, but just because you ask Him to help someone like you doesn’t mean He will manipulate that person into doing it.

God is more interested in your becoming someone likable than He is in getting somebody to like you. So pray for that special someone to like you, and then be open for God to change you into a person like Him. 

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