I have been reading The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. In the chapter on prayer he makes the statement that every real prayer of faith has been answered. Then he defines prayer.
Prayer is coming to God, telling Him my need (or the need of others), committing my way unto the Lord, and then leaving Him to deal with the case as seemeth Him best.
He actually goes into greater detail on prayer throughout the entire chapter but I really liked this definition and I do not want to detail the entire chapter right now. Recently I had someone ask me to pray for them and their family. Honestly I love this family and already pray for them every day but this request was different. My initial instinct was to ask for what I wanted and not what God wanted or even what the family wanted or needed. I even joked about praying selfishly to them. You see God might want to do greater things with this family far away from me and I would miss them.
I got home and tried to read 1 John but they were just words on a page. This family circled in my mind and clouded my focus. I was already praying for them before I got on my knees. What I prayed for was that God guide their decisions so their lives would bring Him glory. I was reminded of the verses from 1 Peter talking about being foreigners, sojourners, and temporary residence on this earth. God will put people in our lives for seasons on earth. Part of our responsibility during these seasons is to love them by sharing the gospel or encouraging them in their walk with Christ.
I can be assured that this prayer will be answered no matter where God leads them.