In mid June, Beliefnet member Corpus sought some parenting advice by posting a rather tough question on our message boards. In typical Beliefnet style, you accepted his challenge and gave Corpus--and the rest of the Beliefnet community--plenty to think about.

June 21, 2001
When praying with my four year old son one evening, I explained to him that it's important for us to pray for those people who do bad things in hope that they will seek forgiveness and return to God. My son thought carefully and asked if we could pray for the devil. After a few minutes of humming and hawing I said yes. When I later suggested to him that the devil had already made his decision, he pointed out that mom and dad told him God can do anything and that he (my son) needs to believe in the power of prayer.

I'd like to give a straight answer to my son, but am not sure what the answer is. Is praying for the devil good, bad or simply ineffective?

The following pages contain a selection of your responses.

No prayers for Satan!    Undecided    Go ahead and pray!
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No prayers for Satan!No, you can't pray for the devil. The devil is an angelic spirit, and once they make a decision, such as rebelling against God, they can't go back on it: it's their nature. So there's no hope for the devil...

No prayers for Satan!Quote from the catechism:
393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for man after his death."

No prayers for Satan!I don't believe you should pray for people OR angels, simply because asking God to intervene would defeat the purpose of that person haveing free will and using that FREE WILL to choose to do the right thing.

Go ahead and pray!Sometimes it appears that children are more intelligent than Adults. I have often asked this question. The simple answer is, "Why not."

...If you dismiss Satan as worthy of prayer, then don't pray for anyone.

If you pick and choose which Godly creation to love, then you are a hypocrite.

Give Satan a hug today. I wonder when was the last time Satan received a kiss or a hug from God.

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