Q. In a recent question about praying for our president you mentioned that we have the option of praying that his eyes be opened and that God forgive him for what he is doing. My question is this: If what the president is doing is something that needs to be forgiven, it is a sin–will our prayers that someone else be forgiven for sinning actually accomplish forgiveness? I thought we can only ask for, and receive, forgiveness for our own sins.
A. In Matt. 6:44 Jesus told us to pray for those who persecute us. Then He set the example by praying for the people who were persecuting Him. (Luke 23:34) Steven did the same thing (Acts 7:60). And 1 John 5:16 we read, “If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.” The response that’s expected of us when we see someone sinning is to pray for their forgiveness. And yes, it is a form of intercessory prayer.