As you pray for someone else, you know, for God to do some work in their heart, have you checked your motives? Better yet have you ever got your motives checked for you by your creator God.
I found myself praying for a person unnamed. For God to remove the resistance to His will from their heart through His grace. Then two days ago as I once again prayed for this person, I asked God if I should be praying some other way. Immediately the word "conviction" came to mind. Now conviction from God is a good thing. It is much different from condemnation. Conviction has as it's motive restored fellowship with God. It has as it's target a very specific sin of commission or omission.
As I prayed this way I was suddenly faced with the reality that my motive for their change of heart was not pure. You see their change of heart will have a direct affect on me and I want that affect very much. God showed me I needed my motive purified - to pray for them to be obedient to God, not for what I gain from their obedience, but for their good and their good alone.
The change may seem subtle or even insignificant to some, but it is most important. And I found that as I started to pray in this new way my heart began to break for this person. I wept and prayed more fervently than before. The realization of what they are missing by not being obedient to His instruction became clear. And the urgency for change - that they would not become calloused to the prompting of His Spirit kept me on my knees pleading for the conviction to become stronger and from whatever source that would effect change.
I fully expect God to answer my prayer. Not because of me, but because it is in line with His will for this person. It will be great to sit with them and compare stories when the opportunity arises.
So, are your motives pure? Have you asked God to check them? What do you think of my story?