1. If I'm busy praying for someone, I am opening my heart to new ways of interacting with them. I know this from my personal walk in faith because I have been known to get quite irritated with someone I felt was a danger to someone I love--OK, OK totally furious. But because I had been praying for this person, I was able to live my values rather than my prejudices when that person was in need. I've never been sorry I did the better thing with kindness.
2. When I am turning my eyes and heart outward I am way less likely to be mired in self-pity because one must be pretty narcissistic to fail to see we all share common challenges and problems. When I am honest, I know I have made some degree of all the mistakes I find so horrid in others. If we are fighting the same demons, it seems very foolish to fight each other too.
3. I am likely to learn something new. Remember, every person is either teaching us the value of wise choices or the potential horror of bad choices. I don't know why I can see the train wreck coming in other people's lives more clearly than I can my own, but I can. Then, when I start to make the same mistake, just a bit of truth slips in and I find myself arguing with myself about why it is OK for me when it was a disaster for others. (When I find myself trying to justify an action in my own head, it is usually a pretty clear indication I'm about to do something foolish.)
But the biggest thing, of course, is that all prayer opens my heart to God who longs to reach us, teach us, love us and empower us to be all God created us to be. And praying for all the people God created (all people) is pretty much a full time job as we pray for each life that touches our life.
Busy moving in the right direction is never a bad thing.
* Ephesians 6:10-18