I don’t pray for some people for very long, it’s not because I do not care about their eternal soul, nor is it because of my poor memory or that there is so many of them, it is because some prayers are so specifically directed that I do not feel a need to continuously repeat them to the Lord.
I know the verses you are thinking of right now, “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17) “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16) “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Matt. 7:7) And many others, and I agree with the Holy Spirit in each of them, but I know that sometimes our prayers are as the verse in Romans 8:26 speaks of, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
There are heartfelt deep prayers that the Lord hears quite clearly, they do not need to be repeated.
When Hannah, the mother of Samuel was praying, she was so deep in prayer that Eli thought she was drunk, our Lord in the garden sweated drops of blood, in Psalm 51 David poured out all he was to the Lord. These were heard and answered as the Almighty saw fit. There are people who pray for others on a regular basis, how their heart is at those moments I cannot say, but I can envision a father that has been saved by grace through faith in the Lord praying every day for the entirety of his life for his prodigal son, as I am sure the father in the account in the Scriptures did.
There are many more I fear though that are those that hear the prayer request on Sunday morning, give a quick nod of their head while it is bowed, whisper a “Yes, Lord” under their breath, and then completely forget about it just moments later. Again, there are those that may take that Sunday morning bulletin home, place it in a spot in their house that they frequent often so that each time they pass by it they can honor that request that has been asked for.
Prayer is how God has determined in this age of grace to allow us to speak to Him, and His answers come in many different forms. I have always enjoyed reading the account in Exodus 33:11 where we are shown that, “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” I understand that Billy Graham’s mother, in the last few months of her life when she was bedridden and those who loved her felt so sorry for her, in her own way she rebuked them, for now she had all the time she could want to do that which she loved the most, pray.
I do not pray as often as I should, yet I pray without ceasing, if that makes sense to you. I seek for a continuous, nonstop conversation with my Lord, through contemplation on a nearly constant level. I want to know Him, I want to understand Him and what He wants from me, I want the truth that can only come from Him for without it I cannot serve Him properly or effectively. I offer what prayers that enter into my mind for those I meet, whether it is in person or online, and if they come to mind at a later date, I do so again. And my friends, many of their souls need some serious prayers.
I do not believe that we can pray effectively for those who do not yet know the Lord Jesus as such unless we can see them screaming and burning for all eternity, and I do not believe that we can pray effectively for them or our brothers and sisters in Christ unless we truly love them.
There is a saying that many of the wicked have said to me numerous times over the decades, and it is this, “That’s between me and God.” My friends, this is the one time that saying is true, your prayer life is between you and God. Speak accordingly to Him.