Prayerfully Speaking

Hope from the Truths of God's Word

Praying for Someone Who is Making Bad Choices

It is so hard to watch people make choices that you know are leading to self-destruction. Emotions stir and range from anger, to a need to fix it, to feelings of helplessness. Prayer is always an option, but….

But sometimes my brain is so full, so tired, that I can’t think of what to pray. And when I’m tired, or overwhelmed, the one who doesn’t want me to pray is there with discouraging thoughts like:

  • so what does prayer do anyway? You’re just saying words you know.
  • nothing, I can’t think of one thing to say that seems like it would help
  • I cant’ do anything to help here

Oh, but those are lies.  Lies I sometimes fall for (do you?). But God is quick to remind me that His Word has power. His Word is His will and when I pray in agreement with His Word, my prayers have power in the spiritual realm.

It’s about my focus. When I focus on what I can do, I either make a mess or get discouraged and quit. But, when I focus on GOD, I have hope.  Jennifer Kennedy Dean writes, “But if we understand that every thought and intention in the mind of God is good and righteous, then we will enthusiastically cooperate with Him, praying His power and provision onto the earth. Prayer does not change God, but prayer does change the circumstances of earth.”

So if you, like me, want to intervene (intercede) for someone who is making self-destructive, sabotaging decisions – here are prayers written straight from God’s word (His thoughts and intentions). Thanks to my praying friend, Sundi Jo, for sharing these with me and you.


Father,_______  is walking in the dark and we pray that ______ trusts in the name of the Lord and relies on his/her God. (Isaiah 50:10).


You tell us to call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding. Show ____ truth Father. (Proverbs 2:3)


May _____ trust in the Lord with all his/her heart and lean not on his/her own understanding. In all his/her ways may he/she acknowledge You, and You will make her paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)


Every word from you proves true. You are a shield to all who come to you for protection. I pray that _______ believes that and comes to you. (Proverbs 30:5)


May ________ turn his/her ears to you. Come quickly Father to rescue _______. Be ______ rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save _______. (Psalm 31:2)


There is no discipline that seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Let ________ see through your love and discipline that it will later produce a harvest of righteousness and peace. (Hebrews 12:11)


 Do not withhold your mercy from _____, O Lord; may your love and truth always protect _____. (Psalm 40:11)


Father, you reveal deep and hidden things, just as you did to Daniel. You know what lies in the darkness. Reveal the darkness to _______ and bring it to light. (Daniel 2:22)


Lift _______ out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; set ________  feet on a rock and give ______ a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2)


These are just a few of the prayers that we can pray. Do you have a specific verse you pray for people who seem to be running into fire? Do you have an account of God’s amazing intervention to share?

About Jennifer O. White

I'm a simple wife who has discovered God's amazing gift of prayer. Here at Prayerfully Speaking I share my journey of unwrapping this gift. God invites us to ask Him, but His enemy works diligently to keep that from happening. I hope to offer you encouragement to believe God is ready to pour more into your life than you've ever imaged.

53 Replies

  1. Grace Jones

    WOW is all I can say.  I have a friend who is currently walking in darkness.  I have been praying that God will rescue her from this darkness.  But thank you for giving me more scriptures to pray over her. 

    I believe you had this Word straight from God’s heart for me.  Thank you for faithfully sharing His truth.

    1. admin

      Grace. I’m so grateful to God that He gave this to you in His perfect timing.

  2. Michelle Moye

    This is so powerful! I’m so glad a friend shared this with me knowing I’ve have someone in my life who I truly care about who is making wrong choices. What a profound way to pray for her. Thank you!

    1.  Michelle, I’m so thankful to God that He makes connections like this out of LOVE for His children. Grace and peace to you and your friend.

  3. Thank you for this post.  Sometime I just don’t how to pray for my son and his family. They keep making the same mistakes over and over and will not listen to anyone’s advice. These scriptures are a wonderful way to pray.

  4. I really needed to read this today. I find myself at a loss for words when praying over a specific situation. I’m going to put these in Evernote to use.

    Thanks Jen & Sundi Jo!

    1. jenniferowhite

       I’m so glad it is helpful to you. Bless you friend.

  5. Cherilyn

    This is just what I’ve been looking for.  I’ve been praying for someone for months and months now.  Sometimes I feel like giving up since things seem to continue to get worse  for her.  Thanks for these prayers.   Please add my friend “Jay” to your prayers.

    1. jenniferowhite

       Cherilyn – I am celebrating that you are praying for Jay. May God’s light fill Jay’s mind with Truth that overcomes every lie of the enemy.

  6. Rosalie Gallegos

    please pray for me i need all the prayers i can get this is my first time on here and i would like to make friends who can give me advice because sometimes the choices i make are totally the wrong choices! im always asking jesus christ to come into my life and change my ways but i keep making the wrong desicions i know sometimes i say i aint hurting anybody but i know i am hurting my family and myself and i know better i always say im going to do things differently but i keep doing the samething. gambling is my problem i pay all my bills and get everything in order and pay what has to be paid but i dont save anything for a rainy day and i get rainy days sometimes and i dont have nothing to fall back on because i always think this is my day im going to double my money but it never happens and i know thats insanity but i cant stop. can someone please give me some advice i searched the internet and this is the first web site that popped up so i took that as a sign. thank you my friends i know prayers really can help a person! i know this is kinda long but i have to get this out! have a wonderful and blessed night!

  7. Parker

    Please pray for myself and my now ex-girlfriend. I have made many mistakes in my relationship with her and I did not put Jesus first. I put this girl ahead of everything in my life. She was my everything for 8 months. I gave away my virginity, something I said I would keep at the beginning of the relationship but I stupidly chose to give away. She broke up with me. I do not know why. She says she no longer loved me like she did. I found out that she has slept with more than just her previous boyfriend ( which she didn’t want to tell me about). She has been talking to her ex. I feel as though if she is going down the wrong path and the two have seen each other and she didn’t want to tell me that. The day she broke up with me she said she believed in science. I thought she believed in Jesus. She said she would like to but she needs to see him to believe. Please pray for Sarah. She needs to be helped. She has dragged me into this whirlwind of emotions where one day she kisses me and a week later she says we have no future. She needs to find Jesus. I tried to talk to her about it but nothing came of it. I am still deeply in love with this girl. Today I said thank you to her family and said I would probably never see them in this lifetime. I miss her. I love her. But I know that god has the choice final choice, not myself. Please pray for her and myself . thank you.

    1. Parker, may God’s Word direct your thoughts and choices as well as your friend’s. He is the ONLY source of lasting healing for every broken place within us. God is able to penetrate the hardest of hearts with His truth. You and I can trust Him to do more than we can ask or imagine by the power of His name.

    2. MJ

      I am going through a similar situation with my best friend/ex. It’s hard because we’ve known each other longer then all of a sudden things changed and I don’t understand how he can move on so fast after everything he said to me. I feel that he’s making the wrong decisions hastily… Your prayers really put things in God’s perspective and I plan to pray His word more. Please pray for Michael. And for my healing as its been hurting me tremendously. Thank you.

      1. May God give you both wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus – who He is to you, how He loves you, and how He is the source of everything you need, how He satisfies your souls.

  8. Daren

    Please pray for my friend. As our friendship broke up last year, God have transformed me like never before but my friend chose to walk away from God. And God put a tugging in my heart to pray for her and I have been doing so for almost a year and after all the tears and late night prayers and the multiple warnings to return to God, she decided to ignore me and do the complete opposite. It feels like a slap in the face from her and from God. It’s discouraging honestly. Just pray for my friend to return to Jesus. I’ll would rather sacrifice my friendship with her just for her to return to God. That’s how much I care and how much I’ve been disappointed. So pray for my friend Gynn. Thanks

    1. Hi Daren. Thanks for the opportunity to pray for your friend Gynn. I’m so glad you have followed God’s leadership in praying for your friend. Your discouragement is understandable. Jeremiah prophesied over and over again to a nation that would NOT listen, but he was faithful to do as God led him to do. He wanted to give up at times, but he said the truth was a “fire in his bones” and he couldn’t stop. God will empower you to continue praying – he will give you fire in your bones.

      My prayer is that Gynn would receive from God the truth about Himself and who she is to Him. May He wake her up from her spiritual amnesia and surrender her life to the source of life. In Jesus name. Amen

      1. Jane

        Great advice. Thank you so much.

    1. You are welcome DC. God bless you.

  9. Jane

    Thank you. I was about to give up on someone–she causes me so much pain in her terrible, terrible choices and becomes angry when I try to stop her. She is always sad afterwards, but never learns. It breaks my heart. I was about to give her up, but I remember now that God works the impossible and the darkest time of night is before the dawn. There is a reason that Satan wanted me to give up on her, because God is about to pull her in I pray.

  10. JC

    Hi this is a place I found myself this morning. My daughter ended an engagement 17 days before the wedding, due to infidelity from him. She has had her heart ripped to shreds , crying on my shoulder for months. She is a very successful scientist. Now living in her own apartment. Never really moved on its been 10 months. Always finds an excuse not to attend church. She continues to pinne over him. And found out they are back together. We have supported her every whim, and she continues to make bad choices. No friends. Now will not see us because we can’t move past all the hurt he caused our family. I pray daily for healing and a future.

    1. JC, I believe Linda’s testimony of praying for her son will inspire you. Here’s the link:

  11. Jerane

    I’m am going through some hard times just moved back to my home town and had met a man I really care for, someone had said some stuff to him not having the whole story and deafamation who I am, I’ve worked so hard to focus on God, but it hurts when someone walks away from you and doesn’t come to you and hear you out. I never given up on this man but he had given up on me.

    1. Jerome, I encourage you to forgive both of the person who caused this and the one who listened and rejected you. Pursue a pure heart for them both and allow God to minister to your pain.

    2. Sur

      Jerane it happened to me too! My dates back away too because of someone who defamed me! I am having very hard time forgiving that person who did it. Although the guys I met were all nice but I don’t pray they realise the truth and accept me for who I really am . If these men could judge me by someone else’s fabricated stories than the are not the right for me ! The right thing for them to have done was to ask to meet and lay it all out on the table ! Once they d know the truth than if they were non judgemental but understsnding than we pursue our friendship further ! I am
      Finding it difficult to pray to God to help me forgive the person who did harm but I pray to God that there will be this one person who will love me for who I truly am and does not accept what bad spoken about me to the public

  12. Daisy Jimenez

    I know that there is power in prayer and in Jesus’ mighty name. Please add to your prayers, my boyfriend Sal. He has a heart of gold, and has always done everything to help others, but unfortunately he has fallen into the trap of the enemy. He is depressed, has fallen into drugs (meth & cocaine), he is losing his business, now his home & feels he has no reason to live. I pray for him constantly day & night and I trust that God has a plan for his life, and that he will be a testimony of Gods greatness. My request is that all prayer warriors out there lift him up in prayer for deliverance.

  13. Barb

    I have been praying for my teen son for a long time and my prayers have not been answered. Please pray for Christopher that God will reach him and that he will return to a good path. I love him so much & he has so much potential but he needs help, guidance & to be away from all of his friend’s influences. I ask that God provide a miracle to bring him back to God and me.

    1. Grace

      Praying with you Psalms 11:21 but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered

      1. agreeing with your prayer Grace!

  14. JayJay Smith

    I am really struggling right now. I have a friend who has been separated from her husband and he is divorcing her. She, before a divorce was in the works, has been saying she’s hearing “god” tell her this other man in her church is “the one” and that “god” has been telling her she will be with him. I am torn. I have cautioned her to be careful and that God would not say those things because it is adulterous. She’s known him almost a year and has hung out with him and pretty much an emotional affair. She says that she’s be separated from her husband for nearly a year and has let her husband go (which I am not against, he is very abusive physically, has had an affair more than once, and is a addict). I want to support her as her friend but I don’t know how. I’ve tried to share truth but it seems her mind is made up as to what “god” is saying to her. The person she’s looking at has some pretty big red flags that are similar to her husbands issues and I fear she is going from one abusive relationship to another….it may be great for awhile, it almost always is in the newness of it all. So how can I be a better support to her even if she does marry him?

    1. Tamela Susan Bolton McCoy

      Just pray for her, JayJay… The story you just shared could very well have been about me, with the exception of 3 years separation instead of 1… I thought that God had placed someone in my life to ease my pain and suffering affiliated with my separation from my husband of 36 years… I entered in cautiously, and was swept up in a whirlwind that soon had me recognizing that I was no where near ready for a relationship with another, and that, in fact, there were unresolved feelings about my husband. God gave me just enough lead so that I could figure out for myself that if was going to remain true to HIM, that I would not be content with another man… I realized quickly that I would only be happy if I was completely faithful to my God and whatever HIS will for my life is yet to be revealed…

      1. JayJay Smith

        thanks! It’s all I can do, other than be there for her and speak truth. thank you for your response! will pray for you as well 🙂

  15. Hv

    Please pray for my boyfriend Thinesh. We have been together for 3 years and this year he suddenly wanted to break off. He still spends time with me and talks to me but he accuses me of going after other men when I am being faithful to him. He’s confessed that he’s busy trying to find another girl to keep him company but he hasn’t found one that he can keep for long term. Everyday he accuses me of going after other men. He’s on pornography sites and dating sites talking to women who are from other countries. I’m praying that he would walk away from all of this and be committed in our relationship. I spoke to my pastor who has asked me to wait for 3 months and pray for him. But there are days I feel like giving up and can’t deal with the fact that he’s trying to go after other women. Please pray for Thinesh that he repent of his ways and come to Jesus. He accepted Jesus as his saviour many years ago and has walked away from his faith. I’m standing in the gap and praying for his breakthrough and deliverance.

  16. Leah Janzen

    Please pray for Jim, who said a prayer to receive Christ over 30 years ago, but it seems he never grew spiritually. He attended church on and off over the years, but after a divorce from his children’s mother, he started a string of failed relationships with other women, all non-believers, a second marriage to a foreign wife that did not last more than a year, and now he is on his second girlfriend since the second marriage failed, and having sexual relations with her and hardly attending church. Some part of him knows better, but he’s in the grip of sin and is very, very deceived by the enemy. Please pray for him.

    1. May God in His mercy help Jim to hunger and thirst for His love, His peace, His joy, and His righteousness.

  17. Nancy Carroll

    Please pray for my grandson who is 23 and in a relationship with a woman who is 41 and I believe to be a witch. Very long story, but been going on since Jan. His mom and I have prayed so much and have many praying as well, but see no change. I am trying so hard to trust God but having a hard time.

    1. Anna

      Hallo Nancy. Is your grandson still with this older woman? The only reason i am asking is because my mother is in relationship with a young man – 36 years her junior and it is TERRIBLE.

  18. Aileen lopez

    I am a mother of s blessed child he was diagnosed with burkitt lymphoma in 2012 and is now cancer free. I am a single mother has raised my son by myself since day one. I work hard and try my very best to give him a good example. I am very loving and affectionate parent and try to be a cool but strict mom enough where he feels that he has the freedom to come to me about anything. I thank god everyday for his second chance in life. Only God knows that pain my heart and my soul when I went thru this battle and here I am still standing strong. My son now is a sophomore and he is it a bad kid doesn’t say bad words or disrespects me but is starting to go into the wrong path we was caught smoking marijuana in school and there was consequences that I thought he would of learned his lesson. I wanted to trust again so slowly I gave him the freedom a boy his age deserves the movies, going eat with his friends normal teenage stuff. I had a strong feeling as I start seeing him get distant from me talking back to me etc. call it mothers intuition but I went thru his text messages and the majority of the conversation were about smoking. I know this is the gates to other drugs. My son was a boy with a special calling since the age of 5 he would leave the house without his mini bible. He still prays and his wall paper on his phone is a god scripture. I need much prayer for him as my heart is hurting all over again as I encounter in such a small period time another huge challenge in his life and as strong as I have been my knees are starting to feel weak just to know he is only going to be 16 and this the path he is taking

  19. kamelle

    Please pray for my husband jamal perry we are currently going through a divorce my husband is already with another woman jacqueline gregg I pray god removes this woman out of my husbands life and god touches his heart for jamal does not know what he is doing and does not think its wrong show him what god says about it please pray and agree with me

    1. sarah bethea

      Praying for your marriage I ask that you pray for mine I’m going through almost the same situation with my husband clayton

  20. Lupe

    I pray that a person leaves my daughter’s life who does not believe in our God. This person has been nothing but a user coming into our relatives house and taking things out like a very expensive item . This person has told me on various occasions to kill myself if you can see it in your hearts can you pray he acts even more out of control so she can see it.

    1. Karen Rytwinsky Sharrock

      I have one of those in my life too. Instead of praying them gone, I’ve been praying that I can be a good example of gods love to her, and that god would soften her heart. I think it is because she has been beaten up in the world by Satan’s lies that sheishurtful. Maybe she believes she can’t be forgiven? I remind you that we are fighting spiritual forces,not the people being used. Ephesians 6:12-
      Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

  21. Geraldine

    I ask for help to allow my daughter to be set free from a con artist who only wants to have sex with my daughter. Then divides her from my family, and steals stuff from our houses so he can obtain more money for his wants and deeds pray for the veil of deception to be dropped and for her to want to leave this so I ask all you believers to divide this man and this woman . To allow him to leave her life forever by finding him someone else or his child’s mom to want him back.

  22. gingin

    These scriptures are perfect. I will pray these daily and know that God will answer my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing.

  23. Jasmine

    Jennifer thank you so much for these! I’ve been praying for my son Nicholas for yrs and still wait for a breakthrough in his life. I will be praying scriptures this way, wonderful please join me in prayer for my son to be delivered from the clutches of the enemy from addiction and rebellion and that the Lord would guide him back into His embrace and perfect His will in him. thank you for your encouragement!

  24. sarah bethea

    Please pray for my husband claytons salvation and that he would come home to his family

  25. Thanh Phan

    Please pray for my ex Amber even if her and I are no longer together, she is going down a road that I believe is the temptation of Satan. And she could use prayer more then anyone I know.

  26. Bianca

    please pray for my kids father Anthony.we have not been together for 7 years and he is always trying to destroy our two daughters 10 and 11 yr olds happiness and mine. he broke our family when he decided to cheat on me. I forgave him many years ago but he is so mean cause things didn’t work out for him. Me and the girls have been praying for him for years sometimes things are calm for months then he starts all over again. I just don’t know what to do any more. I don’t argue with him no more cause I’m such in a peaceful place but since he cant get to me he tells my daughters lies and mentally abuses them. I’m done fighting my girls defend themselves now but its to much for them he stresses them out badly.

  27. Virginia Alvarez

    Please pray with me for my son Jose (jj)he got out of prison with lots of anger hate.ect walking in the wrong path pray he find hisself and put jesus in his heart and stay away from drugs and negative peoples everywhere he goes he meets up with the wrong crowd find a job and understand and united with us his family amen amen.

  28. Norma Jimenez

    Please stand in agreement for daughter’s Ericka that she cleans up her life and one by turning herself in jail clearing up her traffic tickets warrants holly that she will stop letting her boyfriend of 6 years mentally abuse her that she will leave him and come home and that she will be so sick of his lies she will come home I had to ask my daughter’s to leave because when boyfriend gets mad with her he goes and breaks and destroys my property goes in my room breaks my things he’s abusive and violent chronic liar and unstable drug addict who also participated in bringing my daughter down she has 10 month old I let them stay for the baby he gets her pregnant again and this story just gets worse I pray that through the hardships daughter holly will encounter that God will speak to her and she will come come with her baby and have a safe place for her to be untill she can get her own housing please this guy’s dominating I just can’t be around that toxic guy daughter’s 25 and adult I have no legality and she always goes back to the abuse sick of it so I had to let her go and it hurts to see her follow him when she will be out looking for a place to live because this dude doesn’t work God I ask you to please intervene and bring holly home by herself and that she will be safe with her baby here please speak to Holly’s mind and have her come to the realization that she can’t be living like a bum on the streets with baby and pregnant again God please please answer my prayer because if it means u have to let Andrew live here rather let my daughter be homeless I can’t do this anymore it’s unhealthy mentally disturbing and makes me I’ll and whatever else he does to manipulate controller holly Lord please remove those bondages if control this guy has over holly she is no longer captive in his lies of manipulation please set holly free God please set holly free desperate mother please anyone everyone stand in prayer so that holly can stop letting this guy controller her and see she is codependent on this vampire that has bled us financially emotionally and has been a drugaddicted non working person leave my daughter let holly see he doesn’t care just wants the system to support his kids and won’t work but live off me his baby’s check and God forgive me but please bring holly back

    1. Blue Nadi'yah

      I am lifting Holly up in Jesus Christ’s name. Hold on, she is God’s child; He has not forgotten her. I lost my mind in a different way and my mama was the only one who had faith that I would return. Keep the faith, keep fighting. I love you, Lauren Fitzgerald

  29. Jennifer Sanchez

    I ask for prayer for my daughter, although I did not give birth to her she is mine no the less and I ask that God start to drive her life. She has a very bad group of worldly friends and a fast paced boyfriend who is not good for her. I want her to open her eyes to see the wrong road she is leading. I also pray that my husband becomes a Godly man. So he can be that awesome example for our family.