Why Christians need to pray for strangers

Jesus speaks some very harsh words in Matthew, chapter twenty-five.

And it’s not about our sins of doing as much as it is our sins of not doing.

Verse 45:” Truly, I say to you, to the extent that you did NOT do it (see verses 42 and 43) to one of the least of these, you did not to it to Me.”

If you’re like me, this is the area you fall short.

It’s easy to keep track of the good we do as they are recorded in our memory because they actually happened. They’ve left an imprint. Plus, we always remember when we do something good. Right?

It’s something else to keep track of the people and situations we passed by because they didn’t become an actual experience we can look back on. They didn’t even register in our minds because we never noticed them in the first place.

It’s like trying to remember a non-event. Our minds don’t work that way.

What I try to do to counteract this is to pay attention to people. Not to just walk by in my own little world focusing on my own little thoughts.

This is much harder to do than to write about. It means really living in the moment which is something most of us don’t do very well. We’re busy planning our next activity or at least thinking about it.

How many of us stand in line and never think about the people in front of us, never notice their facial expression, never think to engage in polite conversation that might end up actually brightening someone’s day.

strangers passing by

A few years ago I was in Brazil and decided to pray for strangers. Not every stranger. But those that struck a response in me. It wasn’t that hard.

For the skeptics out there who are asking what difference one prayer made, especially for a complete stranger, let me ask you this, “How do you know it doesn’t?”

praying for strangers

I believe anytime God asks us to do anything and anytime we respond, God is doing something. Our problem is if we don’t actually witness the results, we become skeptical.

When I taught Bible studies, I often heard the most amazing stories. Stories most would “poo-poo”. But in each case it was a response someone made to God’s specific request in their life.


  • I will continue to refine this part of my life.
  • I will continue to believe God is always placing people in my life to pray for.
  • I will continue to notice the people in my life that need some sort of intervention.

This is what being a follower of Jesus is all about.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.