Is it licit to pray that someone be filled with fear and unrest?


So, this is a sort of an odd question. I have added a prayer to my evening set which in which I essentially pray that all those involved in pornography (production or viewing) be filled with fear and unrest, not to be cruel but to drive them away from this evil. As I am a part of the group I am praying for, I am also praying that I will be filled with fear and unrest whenever I feel the urge to stray so that I will reminded of what it is I am working towards in my life.

My question is, is this moral? I’m not wishing them ill, but I am praying for their discomfort, so I’m a little confused about it.


I don’t really know. I don’t think it’s inherently wrong, but I think your intention is what is going to really determine it. “Who spares his son the rod hates him” Punishment and guilt can be good for us.

Above all things you ought to pray that “nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done,” after such intentions, to recall that not your advice for what will benefit others, but the Lord’s, is the more sound and sure. Given this regard I tend to think it is less important to formulate specific intentions, unless they aid in granting you fervor in your prayer, and more important to entrust the issues to the Father.


Maybe it would be better to pray that those with pornography issues repent, at whatever discretion the Holy Father deems best? But I do agree with SighGuy that, if you do include specifics, just make sure to include that you only wish it if your line of prayer is in line with God’s judgment. I certainly don’t think it’s immoral, though, unless you are doing so with malintent towards those with pornography addictions, which it does not sound like you are doing.


If I were, I’d be directing that same maliciousness at myself.

Thank you both for your thoughts, they make a good deal of sense ^^


It appears the GOAL of your prayer is that these people be open to conversion.

Perhaps that should be the intention of your prayer and let the “how” up to God. After all, he knows the inner workings of each individual more than you or I ever will.


Are we not advised to remove the branch from our own eye before seeking to remove the mote from the eye of another. (sorry exact quotation eludes me but others will remember its origin.)
Respectfully suggest that if we focus upon the way in which Jesus asked us to live e.g in The Beatitudes, it may be more positive than to constantly question every aspect of sin.
Never lose sight of Our Blessed Lord who loves us and has told us clearly to “Love one another as I have loved you…”
God bless you and grant you joy in your life.


Hi Prodgl,

I understand your intent and what you are trying to do. :slight_smile:

When I pray for someone else, I may pray for “whatever they need,” because like someone else said, God knows better than I do, what that particular need happens to be.

Also, I might also ask for healing in all ways for someone too–meaning I will ask for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing–if I think that someone may have that kind of need, when they have a particular prayer request, too.


If it is a sin, then I am guilty of the sin too. I have prayed for others to be fearful of doing something in the past. The prayer was intended as a request for God to guide them to a better choice, say not shop-lifting, or stealing. I also simply pray that He will intercede in their life in such a way as to prevent them from harming others or themselves.

When praying that way I don’t think of it as wrong. If I am I am sure to find out from others here, as you will.


the better focus is to pray that they are set free from their sin or desire to. I am not sure if what you prayed qualifies as sin but there are better ways to pray for others that are caught or trapped by sin than to wish or pray for bad things and feelings to happen to them. The fact is that they are involved with porn (or any other moral sin) will in it of themselves will result in bad things and feelings. They will reap what they so soon enough, we don’t need to add to it by our prayers. Look at how Jesus dealt with the women caught in adultry, He told her go and sin no more. The best prayer is asking God to convert someone to go and sin no more and let the rest be.


OP: It is completely IL-licit IMHO, and I can’t believe some posters are sanctioning this sort of so-called “prayer.”

“Fear and Unrest” equals “emotional pain” to me. So, we’re OK with praying for others to be in pain? I didn’t think so.

We are all sinners. Would you like it, or feel comforted, if I prayed that “all uncharitable posters on this board were filled with fear and anxiety?” I didn’t think so.

If outsiders/non-Catholics saw this thread, would we be models of Christ’s love, and/or convince them of the moral righteousness of Catholic Christianity, by praying that others endure anxiety and fear? I didn’t think so.

Did Stephen the martyr pray for fear and unrest in those who stoned him? No, he prayed that they be forgiven.

Before we “pray” as OP suggests, we should pray for forgiveness and genuine change in the hearts of those referenced…including our own.


depends, the fear and unrest means to you, that they open their eyes to what they do and what expects them if they don’t change their ways? or is it that kind of fear that turns people insane?


Every time we pray for the conversion of the world, we are praying for its temporary discomfort and unrest. Sin never lets go without a fight.

It’s not immoral, but it is unusual and could be easily misunderstood. For praying in a group. personally, I would rather just pray that their consciences’ convict them to turn away and that they seek God’s graces. Everything else involved with that is implicit: the struggle, the unrest, the humbling, the yearning.


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