I struggle with the logic of

Praying for the souls of loves ones or friends who are living a life contrary to the faith.
We believe our prayers will not go unanswered. We believe (or at least hope) God will intervene in some manner or another for those of who we pray for. Possibly with an infusion of grace or by some other means.

The logic of this, that I struggle with has to do with those who may have no one to pray for them.

So I pray for Johnny, who is an atheist and living totally contrary to our faith. I do this because I believe my prayers will help Johnny. But Joanny who has no one to pray for her is living the same lifestyle.

Does this give Johnny more hope then Joanny? If so, isn’t this an intrinsic evil in itself? Being that nothing that Johnny has done has helped Johnny and Joanny is (or may be) damned?

Does this not discourage the concept of praying for anything? It seems like the analogy of the kid with the richest parent can get out trouble and the kid without a parent, or with the parent who does not care, spends the time behind bars. Which I think we can all agree, is wrong.

Prayer, is troubling to me. It seems to contradict our intelligence. I have yet to find a good answer to this.

Understand my dilemma?

No I don’t understand your dilemma. You should be praying for both of them.

There’s nothing wrong with a kid spending time behind bars. Maybe he’ll rethink his lifestyle and stop being a criminal.

Mijoy, that’s like saying it is wrong to buy a sandwich for a poor man in your hometown, but not one for a child in Africa.

Prayer is not intrinsically evil.

From the August 19, 1917 message of Our Lady to the children of Fatima:

“The children were also told to pray for sinners and to make many sacrifices for them as many souls go to hell because there is nobody to sacrifice and pray for them.”
(Source: catholicmissionleaflets.org/fatima.htm

We can collectively pray for all sinners, as well as praying specifically for people we know. Therefore, we can ask God’s blessings upon those we know (i.e., Johnny, to use the OP’s example) and those we don’t (so we are interceding for Joanny as well).

Those who are baptized are members of the Royal Priesthood of Christ, and are especially empowered to pray on behalf of others, for one of the primary duties of a priest is to act as a mediator between God and people, sharing in the mission of Christ the One Mediator. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church #1268, 1273 & 1546)

Therefore, we should be especially mindful to pray for those we come across who, by choice or ignorance, we feel are not properly praying for themselves. Such prayers demonstrate a great work of charity on behalf of the spiritually weak.

“The intercession of Christians recognizes no boundaries: for all men, for kings and all who are in high places, for persecutors, for the salvation of those who reject the Gospel” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2636)

Please also see this blog article, “Christians are to Act as Mediators”:

Check your Catholic Calendar and listen closely to the Easter prayers and the offered prayers at every Mass you attend. You will find, EVERY SOUL ‘gets’ a prayer, throughout the Catholic year, more times than you think!

“**Our **Father, Who art in Heaven…” is also not limited to ‘Christians’…or only to those who believe!


Hopefully you’re praying for them to have a change of heart and for God to take away their heart of stone and create in them a pure heart.

Jesus redeemed all mankind, however, we must individually as sinners accept that redemption. How do we do that? Well. we are taught by the Church that God is standing by with the “actual grace” that convicts us of our sin and draws us to him. We are to pray for the redemption of all sinners,and for them to recognize their sin and to reach out and grab ahold of that grace God offers to us all. He won’t force us , he waits patiently for the sinner.
How often do we pray Ave’s…‘Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.’:)Peace, Carlan

Every time we pray the Rosary, at the end of each decade, we pray, O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

If you pray five decades of the Rosary every day, then you are already praying for all of the poor souls, including people you have never met or heard of, five times a day. :slight_smile:

How do you know for a fact that Joanny doesn’t have anyone praying for her? I pray for random strangers throughout my day. I may not ever seen any results, but I pray none the less. Just because I may not see the result I’m praying for, doesn’t mean God still isn’t working in that person’s life. His timing and ways are not mine to guess.

This is the way I understand it. When you pray for another person, you are actually communicating to God that you Love this person. Expressing God’s Love toward another person is never wrong.

And your thoughts of how your prayers may give another person some form of unfair advantage. All I can say is that I cannot imagine God being unfair. In the end, we will all be judged given the gifts and graces that we have received. God is the perfect judge. We need to Trust Him completely.

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