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When you receive a request to pray or feel impressed by God to pray for someone or some situation, how do you know when to stop praying?  Vicki

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Vicki, good question! I have wondered that myself!

Sometimes I continue praying long after the request is presented!

Sometimes my passion and memory for that particular request just kind of "fizzle out." It is during those times, that I have to trust God that if HE does not bring that request to my heart, then His purpose for using me to pray for that particular request has ceased...either for a season, or completely.

I'd love to hear how others know when to stop praying! I learn from you all! :) Love, Anne
I was about to reply pretty much the same thing as Anne! All intercession is really the work of the Holy Spirit.

It's the Holy Spirit who puts prayer burdens on our hearts to begin with, right? So, as long as we strive to be obedient in lifting up the prayer burdens that God gives us, we're partnering with him as he desires.
Sometimes, after a prayer I've had for a long time fizzles out, some time later, God shows me a way that he's answering it, and that inspires me to praise and thank him, and persevere even more as a resume praying for that situation or person.

If a prayer does fizzle out, I think it can be important to search our own hearts to make sure that the reason we no longer desire to pray for that issue isn't because of some sin or disobedience. For example, if I'm praying for someone's salvation, and then they display to me even more strongly that they are opposed to the things of God, do I stop praying for them out of despair, lack of faith that God is willing to answer my prayers, or anger at the person for rejecting God? If so, I would think that would be disobedient. How much better to bring the situation before the Lord, along with any sinful attitudes I may be struggling with! Then if, having done that, I'm still not seeing the person or thinking about the person, and I just lay them in God's hands trusting Him to take care of the situation, that even if the burden has become too heavy for me, trusting that the Holy Spirit is still interceding, and perhaps God has brought a different believer into that person's life to carry the burden, then it may be His will for me to stop, or take a break, from praying.

Heart attitude is everything, as Anne also said, we have to trust God.

I am the only one who can examine my heart to know if I'm doing something with the right motives, whether it is letting a fervent prayer fizzle out, or starting to pray fervently again, and God's word and the Holy Spirit help us to do that.
I hear noting of the Holy Spirit who guide you in your calling as a intercessor, it's not about you, have you pray for and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit who will guide in all things

Cynthia Danks said:
As an intercessor on several prayer chains and prayer leader of a fairly large church I sometimes get overwhelmed by the number of requests and have come to the conclusion that I can't diligently pray for all the requests that come my way. Some of those requests get a prayer on the spot and then I feel my duty is done.

Other requests God lays on my heart and those are the ones I feel are my responsibility to keep lifted to God. For those I have an index card system. I got tired of looking at and praying through a list. It was so monotonous to me. Instead I take a 3x5 card and print the person's name on it and include any specifics I need to remember.

My pile has become large. I sort through it and lay aside the people that I feel need the most pray and those are my main focus. The others I lift up as a group and say a quick prayer for the individual. The priority pile can be carried with me and used throughout the day.

When I feel that my call to pray for a particular person has been lifted then I file the card in a file box until it is needed again. It works well for me!
I appreciate the comments received and agree with the reminders that it is only by and through the Holy Spirit that we are able to pray. I take great comfort that the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us when we don't know what we ought to pray for (Romans 8:26). Isn't that amazing??? As we are interceding for others, the Holy Spirit is interceding for us! Bethanie, I appreciated your comment about making sure we haven't stopped praying because of some sin in our lives. Somewhere on this site (I'm still trying to get the hang of navigating it) I read that sometimes God wants us to pray once or twice about a situation and other times God keeps it on our hearts. The main thing for us is to remain open to God and to be obedient. I continue to lift this group up to God, asking that we would remain open and obedient servants.

Blessings & prayers,
Vicki

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